Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I was reading a manuscript on my Sony Reader during my commute this morning when I realized that I have yet to tell you about my Sony Reader. So here's some old news, kittens: the Reader is a miracle into which I can download the same manuscripts I was once forced to lug around everywhere I went (and we wonder why I have a bum hip). Although I have yet to use the device to read for pleasure (at the moment it's used solely for reading manuscripts for work), I can tell you that it has changed my life. I absolutely love it! It's small, lightweight, and slides right into my bag's back pocket. The best part: it holds up to 160 books. To have such an extensive library at my fingertips, wherever I am is a miracle and this nerd has converted to the church of the digital book.

It would be so very easy for me to announce that print is dead, but I hesitate to make any such pronouncements (for mostly sentimental reasons, yes). There's nothing like the weight of a book in one's hand, the feel and the smell of it, be it old or new, as one devours the words from pages that she can touch. I like nothing better than walking through the seldom visited aisles towards the back of my library, where the dust has settled over books on obscure topics. I am, however, at the tail end of a generation that prepared its first book reports on a type writer. My generation remembers when the personal computer was a novelty. We know what it was like to pop coins into pay phones. Is it any wonder that we still have an affinity for books?

What I often wonder is whether or not the child who is born in today's digital age will have an affinity for print. The answer often feels glaring and simple (and eco-friendly!).


Terra Shield said...

Is the picture up there the same as the one you have? It's gorgeous! Feel like getting one myself!

Aunty Helpful Dictator said...

I can see that it's a good idea, but I'm not sure if I could give up paper books no matter what the weight.

I download articles all the time, but I've found I don't read them properly unless I print them out. Can I ask is it really like reading off paper, or is it more like reading off a screen. I find my eyes tire a lot from reading off a screen and so after a full day of computer based reading I think I'd find it hard to relax with electronic book, rather than a paper one.

SabilaK said...

It's like reading a real book, actually. There is none of that computer backlighting that strains the eyes. There will be no printing out of articles if you get this baby, Aunty.

And Terra, yes, this is what my reader looks like. Pretty, ain't it?