I use the Internet daily: to read the news, email, listen to music, check my work schedule, and so on. However, I find at times that the Internet is a distraction, or the old way of doing things may be better, for example, writing. As a technical writer, most of my writing is done with the aid of a word processor or with online publishing tools. Sometimes, I find writing with pencil and paper to be both more enjoyable and more productive. I even have a Moleskine journal app for my iPad to get the feel of writing on paper.
Why? Is it the fact that paper, pen, and pencil have a long history that have become a standard way for writing? Is there a spiritual aspect to the process of writing on paper? I don’t have an answer.
Much of my reading is done online. This method is great for reading different slants on a news story from different newspapers. It is great for research. However, the pixel/paper paradox applies to this activity as it did for writing. At times, I find reading a paper book is more enjoyable than reading an eBook. I have the Kindle and Kobo eBook apps on my iPad along with Apple’s iBooks but I still have many paper books.
eBooks are great when I teach. I don’t have to lug books on the bus and subway. I like the fact that if I finish a paper book, I have eBooks on my iPad so I always have something to read. I also like the fact that the new Kobo app allows me to discuss what I’m reading with other readers. It is just that at times I find reading a paper book to be more enjoyable.
Between writing and reading, I find more comfort reading the old-fashioned way. I have no qualms with eBooks, in fact, as I read and give away my paper books (too many to pack when I move) I plan to purchase more eBooks. However, there will always be some paper books on my bookshelves.