The E Book and I

Last friday, all of my fellow CreComm first years and I walked the few blocks to the Cinematheque to see “Page One: Inside the New York Times”, a documentary that captures one year inside the New York Times newspaper. I found the film to be a gripping snapshot of a medium that is painfully in flux and uncertain.

The biggest concern for many of the NY Times staffers was the increasingly unclear future of the printed word. As citizen journalism becomes more and more popular and inexpensive to produce, many are beginning to question if knowledge should be for sale.

I myself feel concerned about the E revolution, but for somewhat different reasons. As a former English major, I love my books. And I’m not just talking about first date, giddy kind of love. I’m talking mind-blowing, unforgettable, truly one of a kind love. It’s the kind of love that you allow to order the Ultimate Feast at Red Lobster. Yeah, it’s that serious.

Needless to say, I don’t get the same life-changing love from an e book on my iPad than from my perfectly preserved first editions. My e book of “Pride and Prejudice”, for example, would get a Red Lobster  side salad. And I wouldn’t even share a single cheese bun.

But of course there are so many great things to be said for online reading materials: they’re cheaper, they’re better for the environment, they’re more accessible. But I just can’t see a real future for us. It’s not them, it’s me.

So as the world begins to change around me and I grip onto the spines of my wonderful novels that helped me see so many new worlds, I just can’t help but be a bit afraid, a bit unsure, and a lot nostalgic. Just don’t tell Steve Jobs.

How do you feel about the E revolution? Do you sleep with your iPhone or still work on a typewriter? Either way, I want to know. Comment and share your two cents, or twelve. Whichever.

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4 comments on “The E Book and I

  1. kipress says:

    I find reading on my iPad unsatisfying. Screens are for reading a few pages at a time. For (rare) sustained reading sessions, I must have a real book. Now, I don’t know if a low-glare proper e-reader would be different.

    For people who work seriously with books/other written media, ereaders have advantages (how you can carry a whole library with you) and disadvantages. Disadvantages the “typical” reader might not notice, like how you cannot have several ebooks open on your desk all at once to compare text (unless you have several ereaders!).

  2. Please check the spelling of the name of the movie theatre.

  3. Sam says:

    Because I travel quite a bit I reluctantly asked for an e-reader for my birthday and for travel, yes it is a fantastic investment in my opinion. I don’t have to worry about choosing between my hairdryer or a couple of books. And I don’t find it hard on my eyes the same way a computer is. However, I just can’t quit the similar love I have with the tactile book and a spine I can crack (…well if I had the urge to. But I hate cracking the spine. It makes me anxious. Unless its a really floppy book to begin with…anyways). I also really enjoy displaying the books I’ve read and perusing my friends shelves. How can I judge you on your reading material if its hidden in an electronic device!?

    I even bought a cover that opened like a book but its not the same. IT’S NOT THE SAME.
    (Although the Kobo gives you little prizes for reading at certain hours, certain books. etc etc. It’s like grade 2 again! )

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