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.”