Technology doesn’t really float my boat; it sinks my boat, down, deep, into the sublime depths of technological annoyance . Some specific burdens strongly aid in the sinking of my boat (they irk me). They are what I call fake books: Nooks, Kindles, and eReaders. Why are they the source of my annoyance? Do I not like convenient reading means? Here are my reasons:
1. Don’t be confused, I adore books and avidly jump into the plot of any story whenever I get the chance. This fondness enhances my dislike of these new “books”. For me, I like having an actual book in my hands, holding real pages bound together by beautiful–most of the time– covers, and being able to absorb the gallantry scented whiff released after turning the page. This, in my opinion–along with others, including some of my good friends–beats swiping a screen.
2. They cost money!! Why spend hundreds of unnecessary dollars on a machine to contain books–many of which you have to purchase–when you can simply go to the library? I know with my sister’s Kindle Fire, not only are there books on there, but games as well: a negative distraction if your true intention relates to reading.
3. You don’t have to charge a book. (I never have, and probably never will here someone say, “oh darn, my book needs charged.”) Many people use the argument of, “you can have as many books as you want on vacation or far away trips without having to lug heavy books around.” Though that point is true, let’s see how that argument stands when your on the beach or in London, your Kindle gets down to 1% battery level, and needs to be charged; books are at 100% all the time.
4. For one of the last, but definitely not the least: studies have proven that reading information through a screen actually rewires our brains, inhibiting the full capacity of information to be retained. We remember more of what we read, if we read through actual books because we have started acquainting ourselves with scrolling and fast paced Twitter or Tumblr skimming. This rewiring also impairs some people’s abilities to carefully read more difficult literature; our mind is so used to jumping around on electronic devices from reading, to Facebook, to Email, to Pinterest, that taking time to slowly digest literature–Shakespeare for example–requires a lot more effort. ”Our ability to focus is being undermined my bursts of information” (Richtel) Reading from a screen also takes more time, “the most common experimental finding is that silent reading from screen is significantly slower than reading from paper”. ( Kak,1981; Muter et al, 1982; Wright and Lickorish,1983; Gould and Grischkowsky, 1984; Smedshammar et al 1989)
I’m still baffled as to why anyone would prefer a Nook, Kindle, or eReader over an actual book. If my parents bought be one, that thing would go straight back to where it came from. Now that I’ve put mine out there, feel free to comment your opinions!
Dillon, A. (1992) Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature. Ergonomics, 35(10), 1297-1326. (www.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon/Journals/Reading.htm)
Richtel, Matt. Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature. The New York Times. June 7, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brain.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0