First of all, some entirely unrelated photos of me as a kid...
and my sister too....
I have been thinking more about the reading a book vs reading on line issue.
I think that there is no real difference between reading a magazine and reading on line, but I do think that a book provides both an opportunity for sustained attention and focus that simply does not exist on the web. I think it also provides a much greater depth of discourse than is typically available on line.
I do not mean to say that we cannot investigate things in depth on line, as clearly we can, but it tends to involve a skipping around from site to site in order to do so, along with a certain amount of waiting time as disparate sites post information. Again, this mimics a daily magazine format more than a book. On line information, as elPadawan so eloquently put it is infinitely more timely. I also find that I frequently am stirred to thoughtfulness much more often on line than in a book, depending of course on the book. This is partially a function of the fact that for the last five years or so, I have largely had to read what I can find to read, rather than what I would like to read, meaning that I very often am not compelled by it the way I am with information I search out on the net, and which I aggregate to my feeder.
The book, though, is not headed the way of the dinosaur. There is, without a doubt, the sensual and aesthetic aspects of reading a book. It is also simply unrivalled as a tool for focused in depth conversation and investigation. It also is just so nice. So nice to have a big fat story to thumb through, so nice to have a good meaty chunk of information to work your way around.
Some of the comments brought me to another topic. E-books and their , readers or better still a Kindle, which I am desperate to own. Are they good things or devil spawn? I have to confess, I am not sure they would ever equal a real book, though I LOVE nearly everything about a kindle...for me though, living expat with few opportunities to get books, magazines or newspapers, let me tell you. I would LOVE one of these. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. They are only available if you have a US bank account right now, boo hoo.
The idea of being able to access, read and carry about a shelf full of books that I CHOSE! Has me almost wilting with excitement. I wouldn't need it or want it in the US though. *sigh*
So yes, I think I would read off an electronic devise, here, now. I do prefer a paper book, they are just so d*mned hard to get, and so expensive.
I agree that web based reading is a different tool, a different system for accessing information, in different ways. It leads to unique experiences with the language, with the information, and I think, if used well, to very thought provoking interactions be they with timely and astringent or poignant commentary, a community of readers and writers, like this blogging community, or a dissemination of thought provoking information, opportunity and possibility.
Vive la diferencia! (what the heck mangled language mess is that?)
Visqui la diferencia! (there that was at least all Catalan)
and I really really want a Kindle, wonder if I can download the books from here???