I remember reading about a Hollywood studio executive who praised her Kindle for making life easier, allowing her quicker access to reading materials as she searched for future projects. This was probably two years before I received my own Kindle, thanks to my husband, who figured it would hurt less when it fell on my face every night as I conked out while reading. Though that was very thoughtful of him, I was not an easy convert.
Like many people, I maintained until I received the gift that I wasn’t keen on abandoning traditional books; I loved the look, the feel, the ability to flip back through the pages to find a passage I wanted to reread. I wanted to see the cover—front and back—in order to glean more information about the author and reconnect with the story the cover design promised to tell. I just wanted the same relationship with books that I had always had. I was not ready for this fruit of modern technology.
It didn’t take long before the advantages of the electronic book hooked me. Sure, I still miss the physical book itself, mainly the cover for the constant reminder of what exactly it is that I’m reading. Sadly, there have been many occasions when I’ve forgotten the name of the author who wrote the book I’ve been enjoying. This is especially true for writers who I’m not familiar with, and I must confess it is much harder for me to work their names into my memory bank where they belong without the constant reminder from the cover.
And really, after spending time with a book—something that can take an author years to write—shouldn’t we more imprinted with the details about where this book came from, be it the name of the author, cover designer or the publisher that ultimately made this work available?
As with most advances in technology, there are tradeoffs. In the four-plus years that I’ve been glued to my Kindle, the few times that I’ve attempted to read a printed book have sent to Amazon to download the digital version. This is solely due to the fact that it’s much more difficult for me to hold a traditional book aloft while lying down, which is the only time I have to read.
Fortunately, when my first, original Kindle croaked and couldn’t be repaired or replaced, I had to switch to a “Paperwhite.” Now, because of the way the books are displayed on my device, it is easier for me to familiarize myself with the covers of the books I read. And most importantly, I can now remember the names of the those who have given me the gift of hours of reading pleasure!
So, which do YOU prefer? Paper or paperless?? Please share your thoughts!
Until next time,