My ereader resembles my favourite toy: an etch a sketch. It fits a gazillion books and slips into my purse, most importantly, the version I have, allows me to make scribbly notes (that I likely can’t read later) on the text.
So why hasn’t it replaced the paperback novel in my heart?
Holding it seems like a one hand job but my fingers have to stretch uncomfortably to grip it. (World’s tiniest violin is playing, I can hear it in the distance). Using two hands feels…odd.
Okay, and I haven’t mastered downloading stuff on it because I don’t do it enough. Inevitably I want my resident tech at my side especially for library take outs.
One of the strangest disadvantages is that I tend to speed read on it. My screen may be the closest facsimile to paper there is but it’s still a screen which signals WORK to my brain. Years of editing makes me want to quick scan for errors.
I also don’t have a physical sense of how long the book is. Yes there’s a page count at the bottom but in my own Crush. Candy. Corpse for example page 4 goes on for 5 pages, a function of the font and text design no doubt.
When I read the paperback version, I physically sense when I’m half way through, there’s an equal stack of pages on either side of my hand whereas that 5 page for 1 thing on the eversion makes me feel I’m behind in my reading. I’m a victim of the Evelyn Woods school of reading where you’re supposed to scroll your eyes down instead of across in order to read more quickly. When I went
to school, reading was always a race. The ereader, with it’s narrower focus, seems to feed that psychosis. Faster and faster I gallop through story breezing through whole passages of delicious description.
Knowing physically where I am in a book affects how long I’ll read, especially at night. I may want to savour the last 20 pages and save it for morning alert reading. Or if it’s a bit of a thriller I may push on for the last 40 pages and loose some shut eye.
Gone with the ereader.
But there’s that fitting in the purse thing. I HATE when I’m made to wait anywhere and I don’t have a book on me. I end up reading the posters on the walls and the sales pamphlets. Instead, what I’d love is to have the paperback I’m reading on the ereader. I want the ereader to read it out loud to me when I have to take a break from the physical book to drive for example.
In other words, I want all versions of the book. I wouldn’t mind paying more for both e and soft but somehow want them packaged together. I think that’s in the works some.