Monday, November 29th, 2010
2

The Screening Room: Reading On and Off Paper

"For a time, the iPad made everything worse. It was too easy to check social media, for example. When Dustin began feeling like an internet widow as I walked through the apartment, silently moving from device to device, we set rules on usage, which included talking to him again. The iPad then quickly disappointed: A visit to Hulu asked me to pay for something I could watch for free on my computer. My current print magazine subscriptions did not transfer to the iPad—I would have to either repurchase my magazines, an unpleasant idea, or switch to the iPad-only version, and at only a slight discount compared to the print-subscription rate. Meanwhile, my subscriptions to Granta, Harper’s, and The New Yorker, for example, provided me with online access to their archives through my computer in a way the apps, for now, can’t. The Huffington Post app was a relief—no comments!—and then an update provided the angry squadrons I’d been happy to avoid."

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KarenUhOh (#19)

Of little relevance to anyone else, this put me in mind of a gift I received several years ago; well, not quite a gift, actually: a loan of a book from a friend who was of a mind to explain a few things to me about myself that I appeared to be struggling with, and certainly little understood.

The book was dog-eared and tattered; my friend's own notes were scribbled and scrawled throughout the margins, many illegible or nearly incoherent; and with nary an "LOL" in sight. Back before we wrote in anagrams, it was.

But it was profoundly touching–not the book, really, which conveyed a fairly hidebound assessment of the purpose of writing–but the fact that I could hold in my hands what my friend kept so dear, and so acutely personal. Until the gesture, and the handing off of the text, became the power of the work.

I wonder if you can do that with an iPad.

buzzorhowl (#992)

This was excellent. I know I'm weeks late. But yes.

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