You all probably have an impression that I am a bit of a luddite when it comes to reading. I don’t think this would be an unfair or inaccurate assessment, but perhaps it’s not entirely true anymore. For our anniversary, Jen and I got Nooks.
As with so many things on the blog, I feel as though this needs a bit of preface. Jen and I subscribe to a number of magazines – Dwell, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, The Paris Review and the New York Times. We flirt with many others (namely, Foreign Affairs, The New Criterion, and a few others) but are faithful to most of those. Dwell is, at last discussion, getting cancelled. Still we have a fair amount of periodical reading to do on any given week. I typically have at least one New Yorker and New York Review of Books in my work bag, which can be a bit unwieldy. We also love in a remote area for mail, and so are typically one to two weeks out of sync with the rest of the country in receiving magazines – a problem when your magazines are published weekly or bi-weekly. We also are trying to live greener lives, and the energy that goes into shipping and printing seems to be wasteful. Of course, I am turning a blind eye to the manufacturing of the Nook itself – but I imagine that in the long run, it will be better for the environment.
I much prefer reading the Times on the Nook than I do to reading it online, or even on my iPhone. As there is no delivery of the paper Times to where we live, these are the only ways in which we can read it. I suppose I had just enough experience with the traditional analog newspaper to get accustomed to the organization of the physical paper – something blurred online. Being able to navigate sections of the paper in succession is quite nice, and makes the paper make a bit more sense to me. I feel as though I read more of the paper than I would otherwise.
I also think that for periodicals and newspapers, the reading experience is better than the formats we read from in general. The screen (as I mentioned) is much better for reading (I think) than the LCD screens of a computer or smartphone. The back lighting seems to fatigue my eyes much more quickly – and being able to read these things without the interference of advertisements is great as well. As an aside, one of the reasons why we picked the Nook over the Kindle was the page turn buttons on the bezel of the device – really helps to make the reading experience better, I think. It’s also nice not to have the ink come off in your hands, as well as being able to read the Nook in much smaller spaces (think: airplanes and bars) than I would feel comfortable reading a large-format periodical, like the Times or the NYRB. We’ve only had them about a week, and so I am sure we will think more about the Nook and such.
All of this to say that while we are reading electronic versions of our magazines and such, we are most certainly not abandoning analog books. I simply cannot bring myself to do that!
In other news, I am wrapping up editing and revising my first academic journal article –I’ll share more soon.