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Old 11-15-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
JxK
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E-reading isn't reading?

It seems that Andrew Piper at Slate hasn't been terribly happy with the emergence of ereading in today's culture.

His piece is linked here.

Personally I think it takes a special kind of balls to make such an argument, but to each is own opinion. For myself, I'd argue that books themselves are just memes which are preserved using a variety of changing containers.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Wut.

I didn't read the whole article. I stopped here:

Quote:
Buttons also resist. Over time, their use causes stress to the human body, known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The guy says he owns "an e-reader or two." I always feel that once I get engrossed in a book, I don't really "see" the pages any more, whether it's a paper book or on my Sony. Once you're into it, you just read, right?

I didn't know I was in such danger of carpal tunnel syndrome from occasionally pushing a couple of tiny, responsive buttons.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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Why did he post this electronically? I can't read it because I can't feel the article and smell it. Is it really there?

He really did go deep into his argument. Not sure why he did so.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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I tried to read the article but got bored half way through. If he is so against e-books then why is his book available as a Kindle edition?
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
For myself, I'd argue that books themselves are just memes which are preserved using a variety of changing containers.

Thoughts?
The same can be said for music and films. It's the content that's important, the papery thing, disk, VHS, DVD, is just the delivery mechanism.

I love the précis in the comments though, roughly paraphrased; "I'm an old fogey who doesn't like electronic stuff"
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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Surely that's parody.

Quote:
The hand no longer points, and thus cognitively and emotionally reaches for something it cannot have (like Michelangelo’s famous finger) [...] Our hands become brooms, sweeping away the alphabetic dust before us.
*snort*
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:39 PM   #7
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I could imagine many arguments on why ereading isn't "reading". The thing is, the author of the article seems to be obsessed with things that may contribute to the reading experience but isn't part of the function of reading.

The other issues with these arguments is that the reason why ereading isn't the same as reading, in my humble opinion, is because of current technological limitations. The current generation of ereaders shoehorn both the author and the reader into adopting certain conventions. Once the technology has improved, authors and readers will be able to use virtually all of the conventions of print and electronic media.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #8
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I almost clicked the link. Then I remembered I frankly don't care what others might think e-reading isn't.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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Am poking through the comments. Best so far:

Quote:
I agree that reading is a tactile experience (and not just an intellectual one). I haven't fully read a book until I have
1. read the words inside of it.
2. felt each page individual, gently rubbing my finger tips from top to bottom.
3. caressed the cover
4. licked the spine
5. snorted all of the dust mites that get stuck in the cracks between the pages
6. listened to the pages (it kind of sounds like the ocean)
7. and, finally, ripped each page out individually, put mustard on them, and eat them.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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The only things that are of value at that link are the comments.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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according to his argument, reading a tabloid that is physically printed on paper is "more like reading" than reading war and peace on my Kobo ... just because the book is "tactile" and my ereader supposedly isn't.

ok, sure dude ...
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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What utter drivel!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
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I really loved this comment:

Quote:
It's not the paper or the binding that define the book. It's the words. And more importantly, the reproduce-ability of the words. The article/exerp opens with a reading of a reproduction of the words from St. Augustine. If it were the paper that is important, then the author surely has no authority to write that quote since it is quite unlikely that he has read those words on the original paper they were written on. In real life though, he has actually read St. Augustine's actual words precisely because it is not the leather/cardboard/paper book that matters, but the words.

So if it is the words that matter, then the form of reproduction of those words matters very little. Every generation has advances in the way words are reproduced and distributed. We have ebooks; before us were paperback; before that was hardcover; before that was cloth; before that was leather; before that was wood. Every generation probably had someone who bemoaned the loss of the look, feel, smell etc. of wood/leather/cloth/hardcover/paper book of the generation previous. These people who apparently are busy reminiscing about an allegedly dying form of word container should be rejoicing that an even more reproductive form of word container has been produced which can scatter books and ideas over a much larger range than anything every known. The birth of the "e-reader" is the most significant step forward for the spread of human knowledge since the printing press.

Consider this: in St. Augustine's immediate 50 mile radius when he wrote those words, there were probably only half a dozen people who could actually read half of what he wrote, and there were probably only a few dozen who had actually ever seen a book up close before. That is the progress that books have brought to human knowledge, and the spread of portable electronic books will only accelerate that change.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:53 PM   #14
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #15
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If we listen to this guy, then even paper books are not real reading as reading was originally on stone tablets.
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