I follow up here on the remarks of Jonathan Franzen that I featured yesterday, about his attachment to printed books. Though I share this attachment, I'm sceptical of the cry that new technology marks the end of all we know and love with respect to literature. Maybe I would be a bit more worried if more people were of the same view as Ann Althouse here:
Of course, the internet and the fluidity of etexts have changed us, and the changes should be particularly upsetting to fiction writers. In the future, who will sit down with a tome and become one with the sealed-off complete world created by a novelist? The internet is calling. Who can read a book? To read books now, I load them up in my iPad and read some of one and then another and another. I rotate the texts to give reading books more of a feeling of clicking all over the place on the internet. That feels more exciting and natural to me now.
Ouch. To each their own, and so this to Ann if it's what she prefers. But, for me, one of the pleasures of reading a book is that it doesn't feel like clicking all over the place on the internet. Not that I don't enjoy that as well, in its place and time. But not to be able to settle in and enjoy the 'complete world' of the novelist's creation would be a real deprivation. I hope Ann's wrong and people will continue to want to read books in an integral way and not just in bits and pieces.