I acquired an iPad this past December under sad circumstances which resulted in the strange, and emotional inheritance of this new technology.
I'm not super keen on tech. Although having said that, I have an attachment to this particular machine, and I was even less keen on it just sitting on my coffee table, or accompanying me to work as a fancy music repository. So, I bought an iBook – The Likeness by Tana French – for January 25th's Books and Bars.
I bought it right on the iPad with my iTunes account, and now the whole thing – all 509 iPages of it (998 if I hold the book horizontally) – are mine for the reading, wherever and whenever I want.
I remember a few months ago when I bought an extended hardcover version of Stephen King's The Stand for 50¢ how I was so excited to come home and read it – to lay down on my couch and relax with a little light reading, you know? But, the book was so large and heavy that I thought to myself that if I had ever, ever desired an e-reading device, this was the time.
Though I've been doing my best to keep up with how books are changing, via blogs like E-Reads: Publishing in the 21st Century, and have done a little work here and there at various internships converting printed novels to ebooks, despite my best efforts I just can't seem to get into the groove.
Though the iBook offers such features as the ability to search the book for specific words or phrases, highlight notable quotes (see Caryn's lovely previous post), increase or decrease font size, change the brightness, and bookmark a page there's something that just isn't sitting right with me about the e-reading experience.
Sure, the thing is light and versatile enough to be used nearly anywhere (even in a dark room while my husband sleeps soundly), but maybe – sure this might sound insane – it's too versatile?
There's something about the weight of a book.
The ability to physically gauge your process.
To see how far you and the characters you so believe in have come.
I mean, The Stand could kill someone if dropped from an unreasonable height, sure, but...I don't know. Maybe the best way to describe what I mean is to pull a quote that's not from a book, or about a book, but rather about a woman. In Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, Emmet Ray says to Hattie, right after they make love for the first time, something along the lines of: "You got a nice body. Round. I'm not saying fat, but I like a little heft. Makes a man feel like he's been somewhere, you know?"
That's how I feel about physical, printed books.
Courtney Davison is the Editorial Intern for Paper Darts. She loves getting mail, eating snacks and wants to be remembered as (a) part(y) animal. Feel free to stalk her, but never judge her.