… I’m going to talk about the experience of reading City of Refuge on my iPod and the Kindle. Here’s the headline: Bookstores Are Screwed Unless They Adapt.
People have no idea how much it pains me to say this. I was, quite literally, raised in an independent bookstore that my mother founded with her partners when I was a year old. …
I love books, physical books. When I left Chicago for graduate school in Louisiana, the only things in my car were my dog, my guitar, and my books. As I type this, I am surrounded by books and if my office were bigger, I’d be surrounded by even more of them because I have easily twice as many stowed away in boxes. I can look at my shelves and remember the time and the place I read each book.
But now that I’ve read City of Refuge on a digital device (70% on the iPod/30% on the Kindle), I can now see the future and it looks very, very different for publishers, writers, and booksellers.
Prior to the experience, I imagined that reading on one of these devices is, for sure, inferior to reading a good, old-fashioned book. I was especially dubious about the iPod, since I’d found the device totally frustrating and unacceptable for reading online newspapers or articles. But I have to tell you, I actually found reading on the iPod totally pleasurable. In fact, I think it’s entirely possible that I read with deeper engagement and absorption than I would’ve had I been reading the physical hard copy.