I bought a Kindle this year, although I resisted for years. I insisted that the feel and smell of a book were crucial to the experience of reading.
They aren’t. Not really. I still love cracking the spine of a new book, but it isn’t that important. I still get a thrill powering up my Kindle to see what is new on my virtual bookshelf.
Sometimes it is better, because there is some instant gratification to electronic publishing. I can get a book in seconds, without driving anywhere.
So today, when I heard a young, reluctant reader was eager to download books to his new iPad, I wanted to applaud this new technology. People love to stare at their little (and big) screens. The younger generations may not remember life without these handy hand-held devices. They may be more comfortable with Kindle for the iPad than they are with hardcover books. Perhaps the traditional book is intimidating and old fashioned. Perhaps they are hiding their bookish tendencies for other reasons. Or maybe it is that a hand-held device you carry with you is more convenient than remembering where you put that library book.
Whatever it is, I hope the digital revolution in literature encourages more reluctant young readers to get lost in a story.