Way back in 2010 the first generation of iPads came out. I knew immediately I would be purchasing it. I didn’t have a smartphone at that time, but a full color tablet appealed to me.
I’ve always been a comic reader. Strangely, one of the hardest parts of adjusting to life in Japan was no longer stopping by a local comic shop on Wednesdays. An iPad seems the perfect way to get back into my habit.
Soon, I realized that the tablet was not only great for comics, but regular books as well. Less weight. More options. Didn’t need to hunt down options at the local English boom shops or even bother with Amazon. Almost everything I could want was available digitally and instantly. It was, and is, an incredible convenience.
Flash forward several years. Im working at an elementary school. Every now and then, usually over Christmas, I receive a gift certificate card for bookstores. Just one of those things. I’m still reading digitally, so usually I just pass it along to my wife as the card is only good for a physical item. But, this time I decide to go visit a shop and see if something jumps out at me.
I leave with three books. They sit on a shelf for a long time. Longer than they should. After all, real books are thick and cumbersome and kind of heavy. Plus, they are so easy to damage, and I do like to keep books nice.
Finally I break down and start taking a book with me on my commute to work. Oh goodness, is it nice. The feel of it. That slight whiff of boom smell. Something about the curve of the words across a bent page.
It could be the low tech aspect of knowing that it is only a book and not a piece of technology, but it is easier to lose myself in the story. And feelings the shift of pages from left to right makes progression feel more rewarding.
I’m not saying paper reading is better that tablet reading. Tablets are certainly more convenient. But for me, for now, reading an actual physical book is more enjoyable. And it just furthers my need to make sure as I pursue publishing my own works that I make a physical copy available as well.