While I wasn’t paying attention, it seems as though e-Readers were suddenly deemed passe: sales are dropping, while iPads and mobile phones, with their broader capability set, are picking up the slack.
On the one hand, this is a shame, as New York magazine’s Kevin Rose points out:
Reading on an original Kindle or a Nook is an immersive experience. There are no push notifications from other apps to distract you from your novel, no calendar reminders or texts popping up to demand your immediate attention.
On the other hand, one is more likely to have one’s phone accessible at any given time, and — provided one’s battery lasts — who’s to argue against that sort of simplification and convenience? Especially if it gets one’s nose into a book rather than, say, one’s email.
I’m old enough that I prefer paper to digital given ideal circumstances: at home or at least not dashing out the door, unlimited hand and shoulder strength, comfortable seating, and so on. But I don’t see it as an either-or question. I’ve forgotten my books and magazines on plenty a commute and have been grateful to have my iPhone as a backup. I’ve also come to rely on its unobtrusiveness while standing on crowded subway cars. And if I know I’ll be traveling for several hours and don’t want to weigh myself down, I’ll dust off my Kindle and load it with a bunch of eBook options.
What about you?