The Reading Experience

Let’s get this right out of the way – I’m a bookworm. To the core. I absolutely love books (yes, clichéd indeed, but it’s the truth). Back in my pad, I had at least four overflowing bookcases in paperback and hardback formats. However, today in London, as I sit on the couch typing these lines, just my term books lie around. And I’m sure that they don’t exactly count. But out of the corner of my eye, I spy my iPad. And I’m reminded of my conscious decision of not bringing any books over with me to London.

Why so? There is something unique and distinctly beautiful about holding a book – you are actually holding one of the oldest inventions of mankind in your hand. The eye catching cover design which gives you an idea about what the book holds, the feel of the pages on which you scribble, annotate, fold among your fingers and the sturdy and comforting spine which supports the pages – all of these define a book. Also, let’s not forget the smell of a book – it’s a little quirky, but that’s what art is. A book is essentially a work of art with the author’s words, the designer’s illustrations and the publisher’s layout.

Books:iPadA multifaceted product, the Kindle/iPad fits with the mind-set of today’s generation, who seek to multitask and do more with less effort. In a jack of all trades sense, if you will. Reading a book on it is somewhat of a less visceral pleasure, yet the words aren’t lost. They still move, impact and entertain you. Plus, software like iBooks seek to manifest the reading experience to a certain degree, by providing a flipping animation to replicate the feel of turning pages over. It’s not the same thing, but it’s close. But the last thing is the ease of storage. I’m basically free to carry around whatever I want, without any noticeable inconvenience.

While I still do miss the physical book, the switch over to a digital format has been easier than I thought. If the appearance/font settings are tinkered around with, it’s ridiculously easy to replicate a print book. Think of it as a hardback to some degree, if you will. As I’m a person who focuses on the word and the realities spun by the author, the physical structure matters little to me. And I think it is a mentality shared by today’s generation which is more focused on ease, mobility and accessibility than ever.

Image courtesy of: adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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