The E-reader II
I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the cookie jar, or rather the e-reader bag, after the post yesterday. I figured I had earned myself a treat since I, unwillingly and with no quarter, found myself locked inside my apartment for over a week writing papers and reading all there is to know about modern Chinese literature from a historical p.o.v. So I turned the reader on and selected ‘Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus’ as my test-dummy. It is 576 pages long in this reader, and I managed to read about 75 pages before I fell asleep; glasses incessantly poking the corner of my eye, and with animal instinct firmly gripping the reader.
The experience I have had with an e-reader has so far been a bit ‘bleh’. Conservative as I am, I don’t associate the joy of reading with button-pushing, hard steel (or cheap plastic) covers and blinking screens imitating a page turn. And so many buttons to press. Oddly it seems more fast-paced to read a book on an e-reader than it is when reading the paper version. It is if the connotations of bigger (or smaller, since that now is a plus), faster and better associated with electronics these days translates onto my reading habits, whereas with the physical books I go through a whole other motion when reading. I guess it is a sensory thing, and all I have to do is redirect my synapses. I mean, I used to hate Parmesan cheese, but now I love it. How hard can it be to love an electronic device that, if you use logic instead of sentimentality, could save tons of forest from being cut down, just because I have to settle my fix of literary cravings? I should applaud the progress and efficiency.
I will say this in defense of the e-reader: usually when I fall asleep with a book in my hand I crease the cover, lose orientation regarding what page I am on, and I have even torn a page out due to disrespect of gravitational laws. But yesternight there was no such fret. When I woke up this morning, I was on the exact page I fell asleep at and there was no harm done to the cover.
Have you read a book or paper on an e-reader? What did you think?