SOLC22 – day 13: electronic vs. paper

I am currently reading a book on my Kindle. It was free, so I couldn’t resist. And while I am enjoying it, and see the benefits of electronic books, I long for the weight of a book in my hands.

There are times when reading on a device is a joy. One of the biggest benefits of electronic books is that it is instant. With a click, a book can appear on my phone. What magic! There have been times when reading a book on a device has kept my attention. I read Anna Karenina, Sarum, and The Goldfinch on my phone. Crazy? Yes. And unintended. (I just needed a book at the moment.) I think I read faster on an electronic device. Something about the backlit screen. Or maybe it’s the act of swiping each page.

For me, there are more times when the physicality of a book is necessary. Electronic books eliminate the aesthetics of a book. The cover design can not be duplicated on an electronic page. The feel of the page, the place of a bookmark, the way the author places the words on a page is important for comprehension and enjoyment. I’d argue that careful reading is harder to do on with an electronic book. With paper, I find myself going back to re read certain parts. Not so with electronic. It’s too difficult to navigate the back and forth.

Paper books live with me: beside my bed and on my bookshelves. I see reading not as an act of solitude, but on that needs to be shared. Handing a book to a friend is an offering that says, I know you and I think this is worth you time.

If all that existed in life were electronic books, I’d adjust. I just hope it doesn’t come to that.

This post was inspired by bermageddon who compared city living to suburban life in this slice. What might you compare and contrast?

5 thoughts on “SOLC22 – day 13: electronic vs. paper

  1. First, you compare and contract so well. But what I really love is how you explained how you got this idea to write. Form another writer comaring and contracting a totally different topic. And then an invitation to get me to consider the same format. Your slice allows me to see what I expect you naturally do in your classroom. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree that the ending offers compelling inspiration. My favorite part, though, was the way you built up the best parts of “book” books, ending with the joy of sharing them with another. I could picture the person I am most likely to hand a book over to and it made me smile.

  3. Thanks for walking through the form of a story. I found myself reading a lot on my kindle, but only for books that I’m okay powering through. Like you, the paper is a unique experience–the unique heft & font & design & page quality. Love this meditation!

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