[I]n my experience, when I look at my iPad, I don't see books. I see an iPad. On the device is Middlemarch, a Jonathan Ames novel, a Charlie Huston mystery, a couple of P.G. Wodehouse books, and a half-dozen nonfiction books I thought I wanted to read once upon a time.Read the whole thing. I love blogging and reading others' online output, but I must admit to never feeling quite comfortable with electronic text. Yes, dry eyes have something to do with it, but so does Stearns' dilemma. The cavernous hard drive on my laptop doubtlessly holds files that will never see the light of day; the same would hold true for an electronic reader, I'm sure. Stacks of physical books, though, are no guarantee against mismanagement. I had a roommate whose collection of historical and theological titles were literally rotting, and I know relatives with bookshelves stuffed full of titles with multiple editions, none of which have even had their covers cracked. Ultimately, the only thing that can make us read is an internal desire to do so.
This could just be a sad side effect of the way I consume books: Some people buy and read books on a strictly one-at-a-time basis. Me, I tend to buy three at a time and leave them on the bedside shelf so that I have an array of choices when I finish one book and move to the next. ...
[I]nstead of making reading more of a presence in my life, [the iPad] has the opposite effect: It makes reading just one more media application. Provided I even remember the dozen or so books I have downloaded on the device.
(Picture: CC 2010 by Jesus Belzunce; Hat Tip: Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent)