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!).