In fact, the title of this piece isn’t strictly true… or fair. It is always a matter for horses and courses. Digital reading is useful in all sorts of situations. It’s easier to have “War and Peace” on your iPad than having to lug a great volume of it when you’re going on a long journey.
Digital reading is cheaper too. I always buy thrillers, light entertainment in digital format rather than buy a new piece of entertainment which I will only read once. and digital publication comes with added extras – you can see how much you’ve read, how much time you’ve spent reading, all kinds of notes and additions that you won’t get with a plain old print’n’paper job.
The text, along with all. the bells and whistles, is what you get.
This can be a real help. If you’re reading a Shakespeare play for the first time, you need all the help you can get. If you’re reading a paper on astro physics, then a few visuals would be very useful.
Well, what has an ordinary old book to offer ? The answer to that is atmosphere, history. If you buy a battered copy of “Oliver Twist” you don’t just get the story, you get the story of the book.
Let me explain. Years ago I bought an old, leather bound prayer book. It was badly printed with rough line drawings, and I bought it because it was cheap…and something drew me to it.
When I got home I had a proper look. It was an incomplete prayer book published in 1583. It was five hundred years old. Somehow or other it had drifted down the centuries until it found…me. And there was more. Written in the margins were notes in shorthand.
What, I wonder, was that all about.
Old books link you -physically- with the past.
Think about that one
the pain that gnaws and can’t be talked away,