On Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:49:32 +0100, Sid Nuncius
Post by Sid Nuncius
Since NetGalley came into my life and with a real and present danger of
mariticide if I should bring any more books or CDs into Nuncius Towers,
almost all my reading has been on my Kindle. Yesterday I was inspired
to take a real book from the shelves and read one of Orwell's essays.
As I needed to do something else quite soon, I found myself looking
several times at the top of the page to see what time it was. Oh dear.
Time I read more real books, I think.
The book which inspired me to read the Orwell, btw, was The Diary Of A
Bookseller by Shaun Bethell. Very warmly recommended. The Orwell
essay, which he quotes a number of times, is Bookshop memories - also
Volume 1 of Penguin's The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of
George Orwell, which I realise to my horror that I bought new about 45
years ago(!) in a booksop in Edinburgh. Volumes 2-4 were the original
1971 printing at 50p each, but had to pay a ruinous £1.25 for a later
printing of Volume 1. I am sure you are all much the better for knowing
I'm not sure whether to admire or be perplexed by your ability to be
comfortable reading books on a screen. I just can't do it. A Guardian
"Long Read" is a bit too long for me to be at ease on a computer; I
loose my sense of place with the scrolling and I would say I am
happiest reading physical books because I see them in 3D. By which I
mean that if I want to go back and check something, I have a sense of
how deep into the thickness of the pages I have to go and I have a
mental image of what the paragraphs looked like and where on the page
I ought to look. I just don't get this when scrolling. I know e-books
have search features but how do you instruct a search feature to look
for the first time whoosit said thingummy about whatsername when you
are not really sure who was whosit and what the thingummy was anyway
but you know what shapes that bit of the book made on the page?
On the other hand, I enjoy audio books and with them I don't feel the
need to go back and check details: I just get carried along on the
current of the story.
There was an excellent little programme on Radio 4 back in 2018 about
why we like physical things and get comfort from holding books and
touching album covers etc. It was called "The Persistence of Analogue"
and is still available to listen again on BBC Sounds at