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Ed Lee
Ed Lee
Ed Lee has been around EDA since before it was called EDA. He cut his teeth doing Public Relations with Valid, Cadence, Mentor, ECAD, VLSI, AMI and a host of others. And he has introduced more than three dozen EDA startups, ranging from the first commercial IP company to the latest statistical … More »

More new gen thoughts on the passing of print

 
April 30th, 2013 by Ed Lee

Today we will hear from McKenzie Mortensen, of IPextreme, on print vs. digital.

McKenzie Mortensen

McKenzie Mortensen

I’m far more on the fence about this topic than I ever thought I would be. In all honesty, I’m not completely sure where I stand. I’ll try to replicate my thought process below:

Pro Print

  • I’m a literature nerd in a very big way—BA English (Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture), MA Children’s Literature, life-long bookworm. I love books—the look, the feel, the smell, the different typefaces, the weight of a volume as I’m reading… it’s a sensory experience as much as it is an intellectual one. I have actually begun collecting antique hardcovers and rare picture books over the past couple of years. From hand bound antiques to glossy coffee table volumes, books are a form of art. 
  • I suffer from a mild obsession with stationery and paper products in general, plus I am an avid paper-crafter. I love to scrapbook and make collages, and magazines often come in very handy for harvesting images. I love cutting up magazines and turning them into something new. I’ve done some really neat things with old book pages also (only from damaged volumes, of course—I could never kill a book without it being a humane death). 
  • There are certain circumstances when I would not feel comfortable having a tablet with me. For example, when I’m going to the beach or hanging out by the pool, the last thing I want to take with me is my iPad. A cheap paperback or a magazine seems a better choice in a wet, sandy environment where damage is likely. 
  • I have a lot of bookworm friends, and one of our favorite things to do is trade books. Until it’s possible to lend a book to a friend digitally, I will need print copies of my favorites so that I can share them with people I know will appreciate them. 
  • Books come from bookstores and libraries, and if I could live in either one, I totally would. The atmosphere is simultaneously calming and invigorating to me, a heady blend of paper, ink, and curiosity. 

 Pro Digital

  • I thought I would always be firmly a print girl, but I run into problems when I travel; as a fairly quick reader, I usually need to take more than one book with me on a trip in order to ensure that I’ll have sufficient reading material. As you can imagine, my carryon bags have been rather weighty at times. I started using my iPad only for travel to avoid the 50-pound hand luggage problem. 
  • The illuminated screen is great for reading under any light conditions without disturbing those around me (on a dark airplane, for instance).
  • I can download another book whenever I want to (well, provided I have Wi-Fi access). Simple!
  • I love that I can highlight passages and make notes easily as I read. You can take the girl out of literary academia, but you can’t take literary academia out of the girl, I guess! I developed a “study as you read” method during my education that I still apply to leisure reading. Such a nerd! Another bonus in this area is that I can easily explore allusions made in the text. I can look up dates and brush up on historical events, for example, as necessary. I can do all of these things when reading a print volume, but it’s not very practical when I’m on the go. 
  • Reading magazines digitally affords me the huge benefit of “clickability.” If an article mentions a restaurant I’d like to try, I can instantly view their website and check out the menu. I can order products or seek more information without having to dog-ear a page and remember to look things up later. 
  • I can bookmark things and save images with ease, and in a very compact amount of space. Like many crafty people, I suffer from a Pinterest addiction.

Hmmm… with all that said, I find myself still on the fence. I still use print and digital media fairly equally, but considering that I was solely a print girl less than a year ago, I guess I could potentially see myself going full digital eventually. On the other hand, our society today is all about convenience, but let me put it to you this way: if you love to garden, would you hire a gardener simply because it is more convenient? I’m not sure I will ever be able to give up printed books simply because digital fits more seamlessly into today’s lifestyle. You’re definitely not alone in mourning the death of print media, but I think we can all take comfort in the fact that the written word will endure, just as music survived the death of the 8-track.

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2 Responses to “More new gen thoughts on the passing of print”

  1. Dave Bursky says:

    All well and good for digital books read one at a time, but there are many instances, especially in research, where multiple books are needed simultaneously, and digital readers just can’t handle such a scenario — their screens are too small, the software only allows one ebook to be open at a time, and sections of ebooks can’t easily be copied and transferred.
    Dave Bursky

  2. Tom Collins says:

    For researchers then, Dave, they’ll need multiple e-books. Only advantage they can download the books rather than traveling to where the books are. Either that or it was better in the olden days.

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