I couldn’t care less how people read. Hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Nook, iPad, whatever… I don’t care. Hell, you can read your books etched in stones if you want. (Though I question the practicality of that particular format, for both portability and storage reasons.)
As I’ve mentioned a time or a thousand, all I care about is encouraging people to read. The how or what is far less important to me.
However, a whole lot of people do care about the manner in which people consume books.
Jonathan Franzen and his cronies, for example, have stated that “serious readers” don’t read digitally. Other people have accused digital readers of heading to their Kindles or Nooks because they want to hide what they’re reading. Sometimes I can’t help but feel that I’m perceived as a less-serious reader or a traitor to “book culture” because I prefer a digital format, and honestly, that really bothers me.
Whenever I come across another sweeping statement—which happens at least once a week—about people’s reading format preferences, I get my feathers ruffled. (The same feather-ruffling happens when 20-something digital natives accuse folks who prefer paper of being Luddites. Choice is a good thing—which is also why I think the possibility of print-on-demand is very intriguing.)
In the effort of doing my little part of thwart the sweeping, inaccurate statements that pepper the web about the way people choose to consume books, I thought I’d delve a bit more into issues related to ereading and digital “stuff” (i.e., digital design, etc) in general, since I spend much of my time embedded in a digital environment and am an avid e-reader. I’ll start with talking about why I elect to primarily e-read. Contrary to the popular commentary, it has absolutely nothing to do with being embarrassed by what I read—instead, it involves a lot of factors, both sheer preference and the practical.