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.”