Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good Night, Sweet Prince Paper

It's a bizarre thing, and a day I wouldn't have thought would come. But I think I have to say:

Good-bye to paperbooks.

It's sad, because I still love them, I'll bet I'll still have some around til my deathbed in fifty years if I live to be a hundred. (Predicting fifty years ahead? What a fool. This very post shows how I couldn't even predict five years ahead.)

But I just can't read them anymore. In the last years before the iPad came, I was reading markedly fewer, just because of the web. And I actually don't think I have finished one single one since my first iPad in May 2010! (As long time readers will recall, I loved the Kindle, but had great trouble with the grey screen, until the Paperwhite arrived.)

Recently, a very unusual occurrence these days, I wanted a book (On Photography by Susan Sontag), and it was not available in ebook format... So I bought a paperbook.

And I started reading it. Or I tried. First I had to arrange a lamp so lots of light hit the page. Then I had to position my body in just the right shape and place and distance from the lamp for the page to be well lit and not shaded by anything else. Then I had to squint and do the trombone thing, to try and find a good reading distance, because like with many books, it was printed in a font a bit smaller than I'd have set on a Kindle or tablet. Finally, believe it or not, most paperbooks actually have less clear text than we get on a current tablet screen! This is true except for a few very expensively printed books.

So I read a few pages in a couple of days. And now it's been a couple of weeks, and I have to face: I probably won't finish it. Not until I can get it as an ebook.

There's a turnout for the books, eh?


Len Edgerly said...

I love the trombone thing. This is a terrific description of the details of reading on paper versus e.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you, friend. Got to hear from you.