Digital Reading Vs Conventional Reading

Few years back, one of my friends who had bought an e-book reader kept sharing about his reading experience. He began to hint the positive side of digital reading, during our chats. Every now and then he would insist me to give up conventional book reading, sighting the pros of the e-reading and the cons of conventional reading. I, however, was escaping from buying myself an e-reader. One day he called me and notified about an online super discount sale of Google nexus 5 tab. As per the advice I got, the tab might well double as an e-reader and in case I’m not comfortable with it, still it might serve other tasks. It really sounded better and I yielded to it. At last my reading too went digital!

 

 

In the early days, it sounded very much uncomfortable to read on the screen. Although, the digital interfacing mimicked page turning effect, somehow I missed the fragrance and the unique feel of turning a real paper. Digital reading had many advantages too. I was able to access dictionary in one go and look for the meanings almost instantly. The possibility of switching from one book to another was much easier. I was able to carry light.

Despite all these advantage – most of which came from the supporters of digital reading – my heart lingered around the conventional reading. Yes, it saves lots of papers. But at the same time, if we begin to compare the ‘virtual water’ that a e-reader like gadget might have consumed, the former reason doesn’t sound very promising. Yes, it makes the reader to carry less, reducing the physical weight of the luggage. But just any book lover, if he/she really minds carrying a load of books, or if he/she really considers at all books as luggage, at the first place.

 

“Books are a uniquely portable magic” said Stephen King

 

Being a reader, I’ve tasted the essence of this quote to the core. Somehow, the magical feel of books comes only from the physically realizing the books in hand, than their digital alternatives. Dating a real book is raw while the experience of reading the same content digitally seems emotionally very remote. Having a real book in hand, makes me feel like having my girl friend, sitting by my side, in flesh and blood, with my arms thrown around embracing her, with limitless love. The same book in the e-format, nonetheless, is only able to give the feel of chatting with her over a video or phone call. I mean she is there, where I’m only able to feel the presence of her, but not the warmth of her physical proximity.

 

 

Besides such emotionally overloaded reasons, personally, my ability to recollect the contents read is much better in the real book. My memory traces dramatically shrinks, regarding what I’d read in the digital format. The visual memory of the read content is always better with conventional reading than reading it on screens.

Still, my love to date a book goes with the sweet imagination of flipping pages, caressing the edges of each page, cuddling the book half opened, resting it over my chest while I ponder in between. And never in that dreamy moment, had the scrolling or clicking come.

 

 

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  • Pranju Chakrapani

    I have grown accustomed to having virtual dates with books, although to keep in touch with the reality, I sometimes do have a physical intimacy with paperbacks!