Yes, I can use the Kindle to read a literary novel, or a business bestseller, or a sci-fi thriller, but they all come out tasting like Kindle.Alexandra Samuel, 7 Ways You Can Learn to Love Reading eBooks
I wish I could learn to love reading on a device. The convenience–and the pricing–is so tempting. Thousands of books available right now on my library app to download for free? Thousands more available at low prices to purchase online? It’s a book lover’s dream.
Only I hate reading on my phone, iPad, or laptop.
That’s not entirely accurate. I read–very happily–all day long on both my phone and laptop. But I don’t read books. I read tweets and posts and blogs and articles and poems and instructions and recipes and news and reviews and academic articles with ease. But not books.
I have tried so many times, but it just doesn’t feel right. I wonder if Louise Rosenblatt’s two types of reading come into play here. Reading on a device is mostly efferent reading for me, reading for a purpose, reading for information. Reading physical books is mostly aesthetic reading for me, reading for absorption and appreciation of literary merit and craft.
Digital reading, for me, is more bite-sized and less demanding of full attention. It’s the reading I do when I only have a few minutes to read or I know my attention will be called away unpredictably and frequently. My brain seems trained now for these conditions. Even when it’s quiet and I’m alone, I can’t seem to rein in my wandering attention when I’m reading on a device.
And then there is the fact that I am constantly trying to talk myself into putting down the phone and shutting the laptop. I don’t wish to add even more time to the time I already spend glued to a device.
Still, I long to be a more flexible reader, able to access all those wonderful ebooks, to shift between paper and screen easily.
If you are an ereader, how did you learn to love (or at least tolerate) it?
This post was inspired by an exercise Amy Ludwig VanderWater shared in her video, Keeping a Notebook 2: Learnings: make lists in your notebook of things you’ve learned and things you’d like to learn, and then select one to write about. Learning to love ereading was on my “Things I’d Like to Learn” list.