Anyway, Nick’s jumped into the whole “ebook v. print” debate which some people wish would go away, others are making a whole living out of, and the rest of us find fascinating and satisfyingly controversial.
His point, in an excellent posting on Futurebook, is that ebooks are fine, but only when they find their right slot inside our personal cultures:
After a few years of enjoying and thinking about electronic books, paper still has a very specific place in my world – in fact, it has regained some ground. The depthless grey of my Kindle screen and the gloss brightness of the iPad or iPhone are fine and good, but they are not the hearth and home experience. For that, I want paper, with its grain and flexibility. I want to be able to manipulate pages in three dimensions, riffle through them, flick back. I want to be an ape with an object for a while, relax into my physical universe while my mind generates the world of the book.
For myself, I’ve yet to be able to read my Kindle at bedtime and here’s the thing: I don’t know why. It just doesn’t feel right. I read my Kindle in the living room, on the bus, at the kitchen table: anywhere where portability matters and time is moderately fleeting. But bedtime is different; bedtime is for quiet reflection, surprisingly sharp concentration, and for unplugging oneself before sleep. So there, I’ve maybe answered my own question: that’s why I prefer a proper book. And as of right now, it’s Nick’s, even though it’s a heavy bloody thing and I wake up with sore wrists and a sizzling head in equal measure….