A friend, Anne Carmack, recently posted an interesting article, "On Reading and the Web" from The Blog of Innocence (link provided below). With regard to the sensorial experience, it discusses the contrast between reading and writing electronically versus the old fashioned 'print' format.
Shortly after reading this article, I traveled to Captiva Island, Florida with my family. As a side note, now that my kids are a BIT older, (ages 2, 4, and 5), it was the first vacation since we have had kids in which I had the opportunity to just lay on the beach for more than two minutes and soak up the surroundings. It was complete sensory bliss. From the salty smell in the air (which by the way, is always the first thing I notice when I travel to Florida) that seems to relax me immediately, to the rhythmic sound of the crashing waves, to the warm winds blowing softly on my skin, to the cool enveloping sand quickly burying my fingers and toes. In every single way, the beach surroundings provide complete sensory relaxation. Ah, how I have missed this experience!
This setting reminded me of the attached article. I fully recognize that although e-reading has become very convenient, economical, and efficient, somehow the experience of reading cannot be matched, as compared to the print format. Growing up, I much preferred to spend my time in the pool, on the skating rink, or exploring the woods in my backyard as opposed to leisure reading. It always seemed there was enough homework that required reading, why spend extraneous time forging through another arbitrary book? But as an adult, I have discovered a new love for reading. It challenges me to think about historical fiction settings. It inspires me to try new things. It enlightens me with strategies for how to better cope with these crazy toddler years. It transports me into another fascinating/intriguing world with fascinating/intriguing characters. It helps me to put aside my daily concerns. It helps me to relax. It helps me to fall asleep. And, although I can (and have) enjoyed all of these things via reading on my iPad, somehow I still go back to the printed text. There is something inherently satisfying about picking up a book, flipping to the current page, smelling its freshness, feeling the contrast between the glossy cover and soft cotton-like pages. Perhaps after my brief beach experience, I am simply seeking a little bit of sensory bliss.
Link is as follows...
"On Reading and the Web"