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Old June 8 2012, 12:03 AM   #31
Fleet Captain
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Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Mage wrote: View Post
You try and make us understand something here, but do you get our point of view?
Sure I understand that! I think we got off a bit on the wrong foot there, which is probably my fault: No more am I trying to paint you a luddite than it's accurate to characterize me as a posterboy for ebooks . I'm simply being anal about the physicality thing, because I'd like for scifi fans to be more rigorous in their application of concepts and terminology. We're kind of supposed to be the people who care about getting it right, I think.

There are some nifty things codices afford experience-wise that ebooks don't which I find very interesting, in particular a connection to past readers of the same book: I inherited a truckload of books from my late father, and whenver I read one of them and come across a section he underlined or a coffee stain and I realize he read the same tome at some point, that's a powerful experience.

At the same time, I think it's entirely possible to overstate the qualities of the codex experience, though. For one, I think they have real ergonomic flaws where many e-reading devices do better. The whole, err, "clamshell" design really bugs me, for example, it's lopsided near the beginning and the end of a work, awkward to hold with one hand, etc. So I would like to submit that just like the codex is an alternative to earlier implementations of "book", the codex may not be the end of the road, or guaranteed to be the definitive implementation.

As for the whole romantic thing - I'm a software developer, and passionate about these machines and what they allow their users to realize, that's why I suspect it's much easier for me to feel also emotionally satisfied by e-reading. It's not a "cold and hard keyboard and screen" to me. In fact, my personal reading experience is partially shaped by software I wrote or modified myself, so it's a very personalized experience.
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