Bound, Printed, Nonstreaming Media Artifacts vs. e-Readers

John Keilman, Chicago Tribune reporter, defends the printed book against the Kindle in this article from today’s edition. Using Gary Shteyngart’s sad sack of a protagonist, Lenny Abramov, from his novel Super Sad True Love Story as an example of someone hopelessly out of date because he still reads “bound, printed, nonstreaming media artifacts,” Keilman begins his argument in favor of traditional books. Simply stated, he thinks a printed text reader’s ability to navigate between the covers of a book with relative ease using physical bookmarks, dog-eared pages (horrors! a librarian exclaims), and a sense of where in the text a particular passage occurred (i.e., halfway through, near the end, etc.) are all tools that make reading books of high literary or academic content much easier than the all button pushing needed to navigate with an e-reader. Keilman acknowledges the plus side of e-readers for pleasure reading or what is called “receptive reading”–going from start to finish in a straight line, but for “responsive reading”–using the text more deeply to build and store knowledge, the printed book is the sure winner in his mind.

Barbara L.