Booking Through Thursday: Electronic vs Paper

booking-through-thursday{Booking Through Thursday for Jan. 29}

First. Go read this great article from Time Magazine: Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature. (Well worth reading.)…

Tell us what you think. Do you have an ebook reader? Do you read ebooks on your computer? Do you hate the very thought? How do you feel about the fact that book publishing is changing and facing much the same existential dilemma as the music industry upon the creation of MP3s?

This throws me back to my internship at Dallas’ only and Texas’ largest paper. My editors, my editors’ editors, and the publisher of the paper were all in a panic because overall print edition of newspapers are down – way down– and they wanted to know how I, a teenager, get my news. I was in the minority as I still read the paper every morning and watch NBC Nightly News in the evening. The vast majority of my fellow interns read the paper online, got their news through Twitter, or waited for it to reach them via Facebook, MySpace, etc.

I don’t have an eBook reader, but I did fall in love with my Uncle’s Kindle when he brought it to Dallas. It could hold my 1,000+ page copy of Centennial {James A. Michener} in a more compact space than my copy. He can increase the size of the text – a plus for someone with Irlen’s Syndrome – and unlike a computer screen, it doesn’t have a glare – another plus for someone with Irlen’s Syndrome.

The glare issue is really what keeps me from reacing books on my computer. I can get quite a few of them for free through my library and there’s always Project Gutenburg for the classics, but I avoid them because computer screens kill my eyes after long periods of time. I have to wear my glass while reading books occasionally to cope with my Irlen’s Syndrome.

Part of the reason why I get so upset when people say newspaper are going to be absolute – at least, in print – is because my parents and I read the paper at the breakfast table in the morning. If we were to read the paper online, our breakfast table would consist of three laptops blocking off one another as we shovle down our breakfast. How cold and heartless. But reading is typically a singular task. Book clubs meet to discuss books but the only time I’ve ever had it where people are reading together – literally reading together- has been in my English class and I hate that. So I guess I’m not upset about the use of computers for books.

Yes, I love the glossy covers, the feeling of the pages between my fingers, and the visual showing of how far I’ve come or how far I have to go but, boy, do I really like the Kindle.

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