— Book Travellers

Stuff you can’t do with an iPad

… or any device exhibiting a screen and trying to lure you into thinking it’s just another book.

I know the trend is to slowly start accepting the facts. Even I found myself considering the advantages of having some kind of reader in my pocket. Especially when I painfully try to have all my books fit into my handbag – the poor thing breaking under the weight and volume of, presently:
- Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn
- Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree
- Philippe d’Iribarne, La Logique de l’Honneur
…plus my huge textbooks and notebooks.

But then a few ideas came to my mind, and I’m pretty sure that with a Kindle/Sony reader/Apple thing, you just can’t:

- read on the beach (sand, sunscreen, salty water, pop, kids, etc.)
- read in the bathtub (Claude François died because he phoned while having a bath – I don’t want to die because of electronics and electronics simply don’t like water)
- read by the fire, those guys can’t stand that nice heat
- impress your friends with your books-covered walls (it works)
- make yourself an inexpensive table to fit your couch (four piles of books, a board, you’re set!)
- hold up a window radiator (where did I get that one? from my apartment in Paris, long story)
- you don’t get to go to Ikea that often, bummer
- pretend to be deeply inspired by that Foucault book in the Jardins du Luxembourg (just another way of trying to get the attention of that really cute guy who also studies literature/philosophy/arts in the Sorbonne)
- or, other version, lend that great book to that great guy (ie, force him to take it) so that you’ll see him again when he brings it back to you with a whole new topic to bond
- read while you cook (Steinbeck didn’t mind the tomato sauce, Kindle does, I’m sure)
- stack some books under the bed, just for the pleasure of discovering them again when you finally vacuum there
- buy funky bookshelves (look at those and those, don’t you just want them?!)
- read for twelve hours in a row in a plane accross the Pacific/in a bus going down the Andes/in a SUV in the Sahara desert…

Among many other things, I’m sure…

But with a screen, you can
Read Barbara Cartland unnoticed ?

4 comments
  1. Vanessa says: 2 février 20108 h 59 min

    Hey, great post! We have to resist these kindle things, let's not even go there. Every time I see one in the bookshop, I get mad. I totally agree with all of your reasons but the ones I can most identify with are leaving the books under the bed where they acquire dust and trying to attract guys by looking intellectual with a hefty tome. I've lost track of how often I've tried the latter. Plus you gave me an idea of how to get a table without buying one! Your current reading choices sound so interesting and I can't wait to hear more about them.

  2. julie says: 2 février 201020 h 09 min

    @Vanessa, I find the debates around Kindles and the like really interesting… I don't think we can avoid them eternally (even though, of course, I'll always be a paper girl). I understand why bookstores carry them: they don't have a choice if they want to survive economically. In a way, it's still something to read…

  3. Stephen says: 5 février 20109 h 11 min

    And a Kindle just doesn't have that smell. Though I have a strong feeling there was pretty much the same debate going on in the blogosphere circa 1485. "I dunno, mechanically printed? I mean, what's a book without brushtrokes??"

  4. julie says: 5 février 201018 h 24 min

    @Stephen, hahaha… you're so right!
    And how could I forget the smell…

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