February 11, 2009 Qualitative Difference
Reading is reading is eReading. And then I have afterthoughts. It is different. I “access” it in a different way. It feels different. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t want to read every book in digital format. Cover and paper weight have an aesthetic feel to them that steel and aluminum can’t provide. The leather case for the Sony Reader helps, but it’s still different.
Yet I found myself fully immersed in Cervantes’ imaginative world. The allegory took over and pulled me into it, as I eagerly suspended my disbelief. All the cliches about reading were just as true. I escaped from the harshness of reality into the perfection of an ideal world, relishing the delights of his intellect and humor.
Since I’ve read so many ebooks now on electronic devices than I can even recall, I continue to be surprised when I come across protestations against ereading. Even educated readers can be resistant to the idea that there is “no difference,” yet ereading is just as intellectually exciting, rewarding, invigorating, and capable of changing my consciousness.
Is all that self-evident? There are a lot of people resisting the notion… the experience.
I suppose my point is that the quality of the reading experience is or can be every bit as deep and reflective as with a physical book. One needn’t feel one has betrayed books and letters by admitting as much. Far from that, it is the experience that counts, and the cultivation of consciousness that only reading can provide.
Physically, there’s a qualitative difference; intellectually, reading is reading is eReading.