Thursday, April 8, 2010

Print vs EBooks: The Intimacy Factor

I suppose the excitement about the Apple iPad has subsided since eralier this week. My kids, 11 and nine, are too young to be interested in that gizmo, but they're fascinated by the Nintendo DSi XL, which includes an eletronic book reader. But they won't be getting one. Each purchased a DSi with Christmas money.

Although the XL is geared toward adults, my oldest son said maybe he'd read more if he got one. I thought about that for a minute--make that a millisecond. He'd be too distracted by the games!

Nowadays, we're reading with Kindles, iPads, Sony digital readers and XLs. At the risk of sounding like I live in the Dark Ages, I prefer to hold a book in my hands and turn the pages. And sometimes, with a great romance for instance, I just feel compelled to hug it!

I read an article by Rick Bragg in the May 2010 issue of Reader's Digest. Regarding To Kill a Mockingbird, Bragg writes: "[It] is not just the kind of book people hold in their hearts; it's the kind people hold to their hearts, wrapping their arms around it and pressing it against their breasts as if they could feel a heartbeat in its paper."

All of us can identify with that feeling when we're truly moved by a book we've read. In my opinion, ereaders are great for magazines and newspapers. That's casual relationship reading. But a good book, one that makes you care for the characters, and laugh and cry right along with them, is something a little more intimate.

I know, I'm wrong to look at an ereader as a piece of cold, sterile technology. After all, a print book is an inantimate object, too. I guess you can just as easily hold an ebook to your heart as you can a print copy. What's your take?

1 comment:

SuzeBragg said...

I completely agree. I skim news and blogs on my little MacBook, but there's nothing that can compare to holding paper in my hands. I love when Vanity Fair comes in the mail and I can lose time it its pages. Right now I'm reading the book "Water For Elephants" and being able to turn the corner down when I take a break is very soothing. I like the weight of a book in my hands. Reminds me of childhood perhaps?