Via Hot Air, I hereby second Washington Post Opinion Writer Kathleen Parker's editorial assertion that digital books leave a reader cold. "Hard copy is a full-on sensory experience," she says, as opposed to the digitial equivalents like iPads and Kindles.
Yes, the words are the same, whether perceived on paper or on a small, illuminated screen. But the experience is not. One can read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” on a Kindle or an iPad, but one cannot see, hear, feel and smell the story in the same way. I’m unlikely to race to the sofa, there to nuzzle an electronic gizmo, with the same anticipation as with a book. Or to the hammock with the same relish I would with a new magazine. Somehow, napping with a gadget blinking notice of its dwindling power doesn’t hold the same appeal as falling asleep in the hammock with your paperback opened to where you dozed off.
I like both worlds but I also want a choice, even a third at times: audio. I just received three paperbacks from Amazon, each available electronically, but I want the edition I can casually read on the bus or at Caribou. Long material as in novels and non-fiction, just doesn't work for me any other way. Blogs and Wikis are fine for short articles and reference data, great for time-sensitive material in fact. They are indispensible for getting at the truth, as the recent gun control "debate" demonstrates. But when I want a long session with Mitch Rapp or Thomas Sowell, I kill a tree.
Another non-issue for actual paper is ownership. I buy it and all copyright issues are settled immediately. There's no fine print about "loaning" my Kindle copy to a friend and no device licensing or compatibility issues either. I don't have to move it every time I buy a new device. It's mine!