Modern Media: On Sterile e-books

I like books. One aspect of modern media that I can't stand is e-books, or any other formerly printed work published online. It is extremely vexing trying to read magazines or newspapers online not only because of the scrolling and the squinting (eye strain), but the pop up ads! With printed media, these ads can be ignored. It's not so easy online when they burst open in your face. Then you're roped into watching 30 seconds for a a commercial, or you're forced to click the "x" button five times or until the ad finally obeys.

Furthermore, it's difficult to remember one's place online or in e-book. Yes, Kindles do mark the page one leaves off on, but it's so time consuming trying to "click" back and refresh one's memory. With a book one can flip five pages at once. With a Kindle one has to click a button five times.

Additionally, how do you cut out a quote or article? It's easy with newspapers and magazines. Granted, printers do exist, but that process is even more time consuming than automatically going for the scissors.

Finally, the experience of reading online pales in comparison to that of reading in print. Paper has a smooth or grainy texture (depending on whether it's a magazine or newspaper), while an e-book is cold and apathetic. The scent of paper is also intoxicating. It can be the glossy, modern fragrance of a magazine or the musty, traditional smell of a newspaper.

In conclusion, reading from physical paper is a sensory experience that is far more enjoyable- and less vexing- than the sterile e-book. Now that computers have swept print media what will be next? Being a preservationist of the past I do feel we are depending on technology to the point where it's an addiction.  (The Internet has been infiltrated with photos of people- especially teenagers- on their cell phones.) Sometimes it's nice to just sit in the woods and read a book. An actual book.
Meg BrownComment