Jun 10, 2014

New way to read

It is always equal measure excitement, equal measure dilemma to do a 'session'. The easiest and the most boring thing to do would be to read a few pages from the book, I suppose. Besides one cannot fill a half an hour session with book reading. So I always wonder what would the good people gathered want to hear.

Last week was talking to a set of software professionals on the occasion of a library launch. We inevitably talked about the influence of technology. With great alacrity I declared how I really liked technology. After all, if not for the printing press where would we all be? We talked of print books - the smell of it, the ability to scribble in the margins, not to have to worry about battery draining, [and I know this personally] not to have to worry about dozing off and letting it fall down. One of the young men described his positive impressions of reading the ebooks especially interactions like the ability to get other people's comments say from Goodreads, knowing how much more is there to read, even a prediction of how long you are likely to take to finish. 

I was quite intrigued by this. Despite the strides in printing, for the last few centuries the way one engages with a book has not changed fundamentally. It is predominantly a solitary pursuit. But I realized with a jolt, that is changing. Egad, I thought, the world of interruptions has finally arrived to reading books. Do I really want something popping up on the page, helpfully telling me, '50 people are reading this page now, 20 dislikes, 5 likes?' Maybe I do. Sometimes readers comments are even more insightful and plumb unknown depths.

June 10, 2014