E-books Can’t Burn by Tim Parks February 27, 2012
The e-book, by eliminating all variations in the appearance and weight of the material object we hold in our hand and by discouraging anything but our focus on where we are in the sequence of words (the page once read disappears, the page to come has yet to appear) would seem to bring us closer than the paper book to the essence of the literary experience.
An interesting article that has elicited a lot of comments (134 at time of posting), some in agreement, some in disagreement.
My take on this subject is still that there are times and places for all types of reading equipment - electronic or paper or papyrus scroll for that matter. The illuminated manuscripts, for instance, I am glad to have seen first hand in analogue form so that I was able to see the slight variations in the calligraphy, to appreciate the shimmer of the gold leaf etc. However, the copy of the technical manual that allows me to quickly search for the keyword I'm after, produced by a company that allows me to download different versions of the book - so I can use it on my kindle, or on iBooks, or in whatever format my next eReader reads - is just as valuable.