NYTimes article on E-books and whether reading them on a tablet like the iPad, Kindle Fire, or Nook (Color or otherwise) makes the experience too daunting for modern readers who have chosen to take up the LED pages.
To be sure: I’ve read books in the raw and in the pulp, on an eInk screen, on a tablet screen, on my computer, and on an iPod. Nearly all academic papers I read are on my computer screen, and those have ranged from basic psychological studies to virology theses. I am positive that any issue I have with distraction is independent of the medium.
I mean, if you’re sitting down to read a book about a rags to riches story (if you consider Harvard to be “riches”, and most do) that you really want to read, and it takes being on an airplane to not be distracted by Facebook, you have other issues and you shouldn’t blame the device because it contains the potential for distraction. It’d be like blaming my boyfriend for distracting me while I was doing homework because he’s too cute. While I do use this excuse, it’s not very legitimate.
The most telling was this last quote
“With so many distractions, my taste in books has really leveled up,” Ms. Faulk said. “Recently, I gravitate to books that make me forget I have a world of entertainment at my fingertips. If the book’s not good enough to do that, I guess my time is better spent.”
On what? Watching CSI Miami or cat/baby/puppy videos on Youtbe? Reading Kanye West’s twitter? Catching up on the latest reality shows?
I think the best part of going to school in Minneapolis was realizing that the world of entertainment in all isn’t that entertaining (not when going to the MN Orch or Guthrie is infinitely more satisfying). And I’m sorry, but a book like The Brother’s Karamazov isn’t going to catch and hold your attention like an episode of Glee, but it’s still worth your time.
I’m referencing this because I’m writing an introduction to a manifesto concerning the means we use, and it is largely derived on how Facebook, etc are ends during our pedestrian days. [@Jill, mayhaps you'd like to write one as well. Like running a marathon together, but we finish our theses on life by July 1. Mine's guaranteed to be optimistic as it decries apathetic moieties in our culture while prescribing more arts to generate more science. I have a title, but the subtitle is The Ballad of Jill Goslinga. More importantly we actually need to read the Karamazov. All are welcome to join us starting May 12].
All in all, I support reading books in any form. Like pulp?–that’s great. Like the screen?–that’s great too. Most importantly, have you actually read a good book lately? Do you even want to?