The Simple Joy of Reading a Great… Computer

Eve Padula
Apr 4, 2011

I’ve always been an avid reader, but I don’t always find as much time as I’d like to sit back and read a good book. Last week, I took a relaxing vacation and rediscovered my love of literature.

Years ago, I recall a rather forward-thinking teacher telling my sixth grade class that people would someday do all of their reading on computers.

“I don’t like that idea,” my friend instantly objected. “You can’t curl up with a computer!” Of course, my classmate was quite right at the time–the computers of yesteryear were big, noisy, and barely transportable. Those computers had to be placed on a desk or table, and they also required access to an electrical outlet.

Fast-forward to today, and it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come. On my most recent vacation, I took a “computer”–my iPad–virtually everywhere. I brought it on the plane, in my car, and even to the beach. I primarily used my iPad for reading, but it didn’t hurt that I also had access to the Internet, games, and even some television shows. As it turns out, you really can curl up with a computer!

Although I’ve been reading e-books almost exclusively for about a year now, I brought a traditional softcover book for the flight home because I didn’t want to turn my iPad on and off based on the plane’s cruising height. While I was reading on the plane, I found myself “flicking” the pages of my paperback because I’ve grown so accustomed to using my iPad for reading. I momentarily forgot that you have to turn the pages of actual books… but in my defense, we took a red-eye flight and I’d gotten less than 3 hours of sleep the night before. As someone who has always been fascinated with language and etymology, I also missed having a dictionary/thesaurus right at my fingertips. Furthermore, I had to angle my overhead light just right to shine down on the book because it wasn’t illuminated the way my iPad is. Even holding the book open was a hassle when I’ve grown so accustomed to a tablet that lies flat on its own.

To my mind, reading an e-book is just better all around. Regardless of format, though, the important thing is that I finally got a chance to read something that wasn’t related to my job. I look forward to the next time that I’ll be able to get lost in a good book… and I certainly hope I don’t have to wait for my next vacation to make it happen!

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