Sunday, June 26, 2011

The contents, not the container

Terry Border makes weird things - Bent Objects, to be exact. And he concocted this still-life at the behest of his publisher. Yep, a book publisher asked for a sculpture that showed eReaders zooming way beyond printed books... anyone else see the 'huh?' in that??

Of course, it is the contents of books that we crave - the drama, the emotion, the relationships, the information, the humor - and sometimes the container doesn't matter at all.

If I'm looking for a map of the Lewis and Clark Trail, I don't care if it's online, in a National Park Service guide, or in a library book.

I've read numerous books in bite-sized pieces delivered to my email by Daily Lit, as Advance Reader Copies through NetGalley, and in whole works through Project Gutenberg (and have even helped proofread some new digitizations there).

But our brains just don't read text on the screen the same way that they read text on a page, according to researchers, as Thomas Larson notes in his overview of several recent books and studies on the two methods of reading.

I still love print books best for fiction, curled up in my chair, with a cat or two on my lap. No batteries to run down, no cords or mice (sorry, kitties), no overheating (laptops can be lapscorchers). The tactile experience of turning the pages of a book contributes to our reality of the reading experience.

I like real.


  1. Me, too! But I own a Kindle and am trying to read on there when I travel (books are heavy). Still, nothing replaces the feel of a book in my hands. I love to earmark pages and write remarks on the sides.

  2. Tia - I'm still waiting for the "format wars" to cool down before I commit to a specific eReader! Do you remember BetaMax versus VHS?

    And being able to share a book-book is so important to me - must be the lifelong librarian gene...

    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove


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