READING: Analog vs Digital

For the past few months I’ve been reading an unreleased book (written by a friend) to help out with a super secret project for the upcoming release of this book. Since this is an unreleased work, it has not yet been printed onto paper and I was sent a top secret PDF. 

So, for the first time ever, I’ve had to read an entire book using only my iPad, and I’m not hating the experience. I’m talking about the experience of reading on an iPad. Not the content of the story. I’m really digging that.

For my entire life, I’ve enjoyed books in their physical form (I did read a few chapters of A Game of Thrones on my iPad just to test it out, since I owned both the digital and physical version). Sure, I read tons of articles on a screen most days. I even read stuff on my tiny iPhone screen (my current iPhone isn’t that tiny, but those older models were kind of tiny to be reading full articles on). I even do the bulk of my writing on digital screens (PC, MacBook, iPad, iPhone).

I’m thinking it may be a good idea to start making the switch to more digital books. For one thing, I have my iPad with me most of the time, and my iPhone with me all of the time (which could also keep track of my reading habits through the mysterious iCloud). It will be much easier to read anywhere without having to take a book around, plus I wouldn’t have books all over my room (but I love books! Books for reading. Books of art. Books of music and poetry. All kinds of books).

I love reading physical books. I enjoy turning pages and although the iPad can digitally simulate that feeling, it’s just not the same. I kind of like, but also sometimes don’t like how iBooks tells me, “you have __ pages left in this chapter,” at the bottom of the screen. When reading a physical book late at night I do find myself counting how many pages are left in the current chapter. But sometimes I don’t need to know (ten or more pages left is always a discouraging number and I am on the verge of quitting reading to play video games instead).

I like using bookmarks (I use movie tickets, business cards and sometimes actual bookmarks). The iPad bookmark is strange and I almost always forget to unmark it when I begin reading again, leaving an iBook with tons of marked pages throughout my journey. 

I don’t want to read my iPad out in the sun and get it all sweaty and full of sunscreen. On a bright day, the screen just can’t get bright enough. Physical books are way safer in the great outdoors.

However, on an iPad reading in the dark is much easier. Perhaps books, like DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s should come with digital copies when you purchase the physical version. It would be nice to freely jump from a physical book for certain occasions to the  digital version at other times. I don’t need an audiobook though, unless it’s in the form of a radio play or there’s something fun going on with the voice over (I have been listening to Rakim read his book Sweat the Technique, since the audio version is available on Apple Music. That’s a fun audio book because he’s reading his lyrics throughout the book).

Perhaps my next project will be to read a physical and digital book at the same time, maybe as a race to determine which is faster for me. And which version of reading will truly win. Otherwise, I will continue to read physical books and digital articles and other stuff too.

*I mentioned iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, Apple Music, iCloud, iBooks and more in this article, but in no way is this a paid ad for Apple. I just happen to be a fan of their products and services.

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