Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paper vs Digital

Yesterday I bought the kids books, real paper page turning books and I bought myself a few off amazon earlier in the week.  As much as I love and covet real paper books I suspect the time is coming that they won't be used much longer in this house.

I may be assume a leap in politics and education, but honestly by the time the kids hit high school I assume paper text books will be a thing of the past.  For them school won't be about lugging a heavy backpack laden with books and bringing up the passage in a book won't be a scramble through pages, they will carry a light tablet and the passage will be a click away. The thing I struggle with is the idea that they and I will find the same enjoyment from clicking the next page as you do from turning the page a physical page.    When I think back to Pillars of the Earth or Harry Potter or Les Miserables I remember the weight of the books in my hands, the feeling of turning the worn pages and the satisfaction of finishing such a large piece of literature.  Will Harry Potter or Les Miserables still be as satisfying to finish reading even though you don't feel the weight of the accomplishment?

In me there is a tickle that the end of paper books is near in this house, except for my favorite authors I no longer buy books, but hit the library for my reading needs.  The only reason I don't download my books from the library is that the iPad isn't conducive for reading at this point. It is heavy, in an OtterBox case, and I have yet to find that good font to letter ratio that I need for reading. The other issue with digital for me is that the wander through the library or book store disappears. Spending an hour or more wandering a book store looking for that one book, or ten, that take my fancy doesn't really happen for me with ebooks.  Where can you go to wander the isles of the sci fi section to see what you see?  I realize you can go wander Amazon, but for me it isn't the same quite yet, though I am sure eventually it will happen.

The last year I have struggled repeatedly with the idea of just getting the kids kindles and being done with it. A light, single source of reading that is easy to use and they can tote with them anywhere is appealing.  Bean would have the opportunity to ready in a consistent size and font, which I have read can be beneficial.  Then again buying them a hundred dollar piece of technology that I haven't been able to rationalize buying for myself yet seems crazy.

Who knows what will happen, I assume I will eventually cave and buy them used Kindles, but until then we can all keep enjoying the feel of paper when we turn the page.  What is your preference and the preference of your kids, ebook or paper?

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