Bibliophibiansâ€”those of us who live partly in the world and partly in booksâ€”are divided on the issue of ebooks, those handheld gadgets which allow you to read entire books on their screens. The usual bibliophibian argument against e-books, apart from the fact that theyâ€™re hard on the eyes, is that they do not give you the full experience of reading.
There are two main components to the reading experience: the book as a physical object, and the book as a portal that transports you to another place and time. Thereâ€™s your physical relationship to the book, and your mental relationship to the words.
The argument against ebooks has to do mostly with the physical part. With a book, you hold the entire text in your hands so you get a sense of the whole. You feel the weight of the printed matter, you smell the ink and paper, and you flip through the pages with ease. It is, how shall I put this, sexier. With an ebook, the whole is broken down into accessible bits: you only see a portion of text at a time. Youâ€™re holding cold, lifeless plastic and metal. You donâ€™t flip the pages, you scroll down. We wonâ€™t even start on what your library would look like. . .
Emotional Weather Report today in the Star.
It’s just occurred to me: If people read Kindles instead of books with cover art, I won’t know what they’re reading so I can’t judge them. Hmmm.