Thursday, December 22, 2016

No e-book for me

I've always been against e-books in every way. I hate reading on a screen. I love the feel of a book. I love seeing my progress through a story with a bookmark. And I don't give me that crap about saving trees. Trees are renewable resource. Paper can be recycled. Thirty years from now when all those Kindles and Nooks are filling up landfills, we'll talk about which is better for the environment. 

I recently read an article which only re-affirmed my opinion on why I hate ebooks:

-In most cases, paper books have more obvious topography than onscreen text. An open paperback presents a reader with two clearly defined domains—the left and right pages—and a total of eight corners with which to orient oneself. A reader can focus on a single page of a paper book without losing sight of the whole text: one can see where the book begins and ends and where one page is in relation to those borders. One can even feel the thickness of the pages read in one hand and pages to be read in the other. Turning the pages of a paper book is like leaving one footprint after another on the trail—there's a rhythm to it and a visible record of how far one has traveled. All these features not only make text in a paper book easily navigable, they also make it easier to form a coherent mental map of the text.

Although e-readers like the Kindle and tablets like the iPad re-create pagination—sometimes complete with page numbers, headers and illustrations—the screen only displays a single virtual page: it is there and then it is gone. Instead of hiking the trail yourself, the trees, rocks and moss move past you in flashes with no trace of what came before and no way to see what lies ahead.
from The Reading Brain in the Digital Age by Ferris Jabr

I never would have put this together, but after reading this, it made perfect sense. Whenever looking for a passage, I can usually recall which side it was on and approximately where on the page. Studies have also shown that retention is stronger when things are read on the page rather than the screen. So now when people goad me about my purism, I have facts to prove my point of view is better.

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