I’m trying E.
Not Ecstasy. (Is that how you spell it when referring to the drug?) Electronics. I’m trying electronic books. One month. All e-books, all the time (not including magazines to which I subscribe or The Secret Miracle, which I have been plodding through bit by bit since the middle of May).
The reasons for this e-book experiment are many and varied; some are the reasons of a genuine reader, and others are the reasons of someone making excuses to play with a new toy.
First and foremost: People sing the praises of e-readers, saying they haven’t bought a book on paper since they got their Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, etc. I just can’t imagine that. My love for reading books—real books, with paper, and spines, and that booky smell—is too strong, I think, to migrate wholly to e-books. Until now, I’ve never had the tools or the desire to test my theory. Now I have both. These are some of the questions I hope to answer with my e-book experiment. I’ll post variations and follow-up questions/thoughts throughout the month.
I know that holding an iPad feels different than holding a book, but does the act of reading feel the same? Will reading on a screen make me read faster, slower, just the same? How will I make notes in the “margins” of an e-book? Will it be easier to always have my iPad with me than it is to always have a book? Will I be inclined to a certain genre or style of e-book, or will I read just as widely as I read books on paper? Will I be more distractible with an e-book than I am with a paper book?
In the end, it boils down to a central question of the richness of the reading experience. I love reading—for escapism, for education, for immersion, for entertainment, for the sheer joy of basking in language. It’s an experience I treasure, and one I’ve only ever known on paper. Can e-reading compete?
It was a rough start to my first month reading only e-books. Some almost-end-of-month reflections are here: http://www.broncofashion.com/home/2010/6/24/keep-on-e-reading.html