Tuesday, December 29, 2009

E Books Ahead

I’m reading about and excited about getting an e-reader sometime (I'm guessing) in the next year. I am certainly not an early adopter, but I’m very very interested. The idea of having all the classics-- all of Trollope, all of George Eliot and Dickens-- in my bag at all times– that is just super.

My ideal device would be first for reading, with easy-to-read screen, light weight, but also with at least email and note taking capability because I would be carrying this instead of my netbook Acer when I go into the city or on trips.

Meanwhile, of course, I also feel the the gentle mourning for books, for the weight, for dog-earring a corner feeling transgressive for doing it, for the pretty covers, and how you flip back to the pictures section (as in the history of abolitionism I just finished, Bound for Canaan to look at old nineteenth century images of, say, William Still the abolitionist or Clay Calhoun and Dan’l Webster and Mary Ann Shadd (Carey) and a whole slew of people I never knew of.
Going to the pictures or the cover– the multimedia-- is actually familiar to me, as I was a comix aficionada before I was a reader, or simultaneous with it. So I have no intrinsic problem with mixed media (although it makes me a little nervous to think I might be reading books on the same device as doing email, which is definitely a distraction).

And it is a fact that I have almost entirely turned to the Internet for information these days– Wikipedia and more. But would I be as able, I wonder, to pick and choose what I need had I not been trained in college and reading for a critical look at sources, comparing sources, and all that?

How is that being taught today?

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