iPhone+iPad=Digital Addiction

April 19, 2011

Yesterday, Tari shared her thoughts on digital publishing and e-books. She talked about how she’s been slow to embrace the format, not so much because she’s adamant against the technology, but because she’s a bit slow to change and she adores tradition (pen and notebook, paper-paged books).

Today, I want to share my dramatic plunge into the world of e-reading. It all started with my iPhone.

Like many moms, I spend a large portion of each week driving kids to and from activities: Monday is acting class for my daughter. Tuesday is lacrosse for my daughter and one son, and then baseball for the other son. Wednesday is lacrosse and baseball again. Thursday is dance for my daughter, lacrosse for one son and baseball for the other. Friday is lacrosse for one son.

I drive, and I wait. All in all I’d say I wait at pick up from each activity for 15 minutes. Math isn’t my strong point, but I think that’s roughly 165 minutes—over two hours—of waiting.

When I downloaded iBooks to my iPhone and bought my first e-book, Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Kiss an Angel, I turned 165 minutes of waiting into 165 minutes of reading. Score!

Learning to read 400-page novels on a two-inch by three-inch screen took some time. While I wasn’t completely satisfied with the experience, I loved that I was reading during otherwise useless periods of time.

And then, I bought an iPad. The screen was bigger, and that’s all it took for my digital habit to grow out of control.

I haven’t purchased an honest-to-God book in over a year, although I still buy magazines. (Odd.) I buy e-books regularly and spontaneously at a much higher rate than I ever purchased hardcopy books. (I have to believe that’s better for authors and publishers.) I also read faster and more often.

I’m thrilled with the digital revolution. From music to books to writing (DocsToGo!), my life is easier and richer with my favorite things at my fingertips.

And yet despite my enthusiasm, I’m not advocating a digital takeover. I want Tari to enjoy writing and reading with paper in hand. I want my neighbor Frank to take his Tuesday trek to the library. I want my daughter to smile as she slips her jeweled bookmark into another Ivy and Bean.

Ultimately, I don’t care how we’re reading. I simply care that we are reading.

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