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