Friday, February 18, 2011

Will E-readers Win?

The Kindle and others of it's kind have arrived and taken hold of many an avid reader. Now the new and improved color Kindle is looming and "... a number of the smaller players such as Sharper Image and Pandigital are coming out with color LCD readers (presumably to try to capitalize on the success of the iPad). The problem is that LCD displays consume a lot of power and are hard to read outdoors."
- Chris Meadows, New York Times

Now that's one of the technical issues, but what about the personal ones? What about the tactile issue, the olfactory and the artistic issues? I have a problem letting go of the feel of paper under my fingers, the smell of an older book that has sat on a shelf with it's peers for years and the design of a cover that makes me want to pick up the book and examine it's contents. I have bought books because the stock (paper) used for the cover feels good; it's a matte finish as opposed to a flat finish, or a combination used in a manner that separates it from the mundane.

I want my books to be the good old fashioned ink on paper. The idea that we could someday all be reading from one of these displays frightens me. Print is suffering from the digital era and stands to lose more ground in the future. I work from my Mac with all the digital tools available to me for design but I still ant my magazines, books, newspapers and greeting cards to be "real". We have become lazy with sending out greeting cards, so I get this card, read it and it's gone! No nostalgia to be had two years from now if I run across it in the back of my drawer, no running my fingers across the tacky velvet texture on the front. We read the newspaper online, ok, so we won't get that black ink smudge on our fingers or on our nice shirt but what about the recipe to rip out and keep for Sunday's dinner, the crossword that I'd like to come back to, the ad for 2 for 1 beer at the new Tavern "with this ad" that I have to take with me?

There are just some things that you can't get from the Nook, Kindle, and it's associates, or from the good old Mac or PC. Sorry geeks and all the very young who suckle from the digital bottle, I beg to ride my Print Truck all the way to the end. I have no desire to hop off and ride the fast train, just too much to miss, I'd rather take the slow route and absorb it all.


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