With all the excitement about eBooks, it's nice to occasionally read a reasoned (and entertaining) defence from someone who just doesn't care for them:
I swear. I promise. I love my gadgets. I’ve been an enthusiastic up-taker of technology since I first laid eyes on an Apple computer back in 1987. I’ve had around eight Mac computers, desk- and laptops, and numerous iThings; I’ve always upgraded my mobile phone as soon as my contracts allowed—and now my 84 year old Dad, who never quite figured out how to use his mobile, thinks I’m surgically attached to my iPhone. (He’s not far wrong.)
So what's Judith's problem, right? (I kid, everyone is entitled to their own opinion):
It’s not that I have any particular objection to ereaders, and I certainly don’t think it’s a lesser form of reading. I find those who carp on about the death of the book as annoying as those who think people only tweet what they ate for lunch, or proclaim Facebook the end of intimacy. I am, in fact, delighted that ereader technology will very likely mean that writers will always have backlists that people can actually read, and that even the most obscure classic titles can be accessed at the press of a button. I’m even thrilled at the possibilities it presents for self-publishing and the publication of books that may otherwise be too “niche” for a paper print run to be viable, despite believing that the jury is well and truly out on editorial standards of straight-to-ereader titles.
So I’m all for the ereader. I just don’t want to use one.
Judith describes her own relationship with books and it's a great insight. Granted, the physicality of print books creates a completely different relationship between reader and print book than that between reader and ebook. I imagine it much like how the relationship between a horse and rider bears little resemblance to that between a driver and a car. Things change; relationships change as containers change: I agree with a lot of what Judith says, and also tend not to read as many books in electronic formats as I do in print. However, I'm really excited to see how a new generation of readers extols the virtues of electronic books (eg. all my books with me all the time!) and how that relationship could never be equaled by mere paper pages.
Read Judith's thoughts here: http://greylands.theslipstream.com.au/2012/07/i-am-not-a-luddite-judith-ridge/