Yes, Virginia, there is a difference
Make no mistake: I love my E-readers. All three of them. I have an iPhone, an iPad, and an Amazon Fire Tablet.Between them I have a library of over 3,000 books. I devour books the way children devour ice cream and cake at birthday parties.But my living space?—and therefore my storage space?—is limited to a single room. Ergo, E-books and E-readers.
Vive le différence?
But lately I’ve discovered a problem, and it has to do with the differences between reading a printed book and an E-book.
When I’m reading a printed book, I can spend hours in my comfortable chair, only stirring to brew a fresh cup of tea or, as a result thereof, heading into the loo to download the same.
I love the smell of printed pages. I love the feel. And I especially love the ability to leaf back to earlier pages to see if I missed something.
I also love being able to carry my entire library in my purse. I love being able to conduct research whilst riding on the bus. And I love being able to finally finish my latest who-done-it sitting in the waiting area of my doctor’s office.
But but but…
Lately I’m finding that reading a mystery, a science text, or any kind of book at all on my iPhone gives me headaches.
My iPod is better, but here’s the really big thing: it’s exhausting to read my E-books. Where I can tear through five or six chapters of the printed page, I can barely get through a half of a chapter of an E-book.
And that’s strange, because I always adjust the text size on my E-readers so that it’s larger than it is on the printed page.
Does it have something to do with the fact that the printed word is reflected into my eyes, while E-text is beamed into them? But even that is questionable: I have no problem bingeing on Netflix for hours at a time.
And I can spend more than half a chapter’s worth of time composing a story for Medium on my iPhone.
It’s a mystery
One that may well fall under the rubric of religion: “There are some mysteries man was not meant to solve.”
But like young Jim Hawkins, I won’t rest until I’ve found the secret treasure. Perhaps then the mystery may be resolved.
NOTE: I’m sure there’s already a scientific or medical answer that I can easily find. But when have any of us let facts get in the way of a good story?
Originally published on Medium.com