War and PC

Close-up of a wire mesh screen with water in some of the holes

Screen by j / f / photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/good-karma/3801635858/ / 2.0 CC

Last week, one of my co-workers was fighting with Adobe and complained that sometimes people just need to write their corrections out on paper.

I understand his frustration. I like track changes on Word, but there are times when the deletions, pushed off to the side, are blocking copy that I’m trying to read and edit. I have the urge to physically pick up the change-made box and move it so I can see under it. Obviously, that doesn’t work so well.

Going digital and paperless has its ups and downs. It certainly takes some getting used to.

Those frustrated with this push toward electronica can now point to a new study that shows that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be: people read faster on paper than onscreen.

When the idea of ebooks first came out, I snubbed my nose. My eco-side loved the idea, but after reviewing a few pdf-only books that were wow! crap, I saw being printed on paper as an indicator of just being better. If your publisher couldn’t be bothered to saw down a tree for your book, it couldn’t be good. And then the world revolved around the sun a few times and Kindles and Nooks and iPads were born.

Many moons ago, I checked War and Peace out from the library (I like to throw classics into my reading list every now and again). Three weeks flew by and I wasn’t nearly done, so I checked it out again. The next three weeks flew by equally as fast: about ten times as fast as the pages. After a month and a half, I had almost reached page 300. Sadly, that was less than quarter of the book. Defeated, I returned it.

So, when I was playing around with iBook on my new iPhone, I decided to give W&P another shot. Thanks to Project Gutenberg, it was free. It’s only been a week and I’m already 180+ screens into it. That would be 180 screens out of 6000+. And the chapter list took up 20 of those screens.

My husband thinks I’m crazy.  I’m confident that, this time, I’ll finish it. It’ll just take awhile…and according to that new study, it will only take me about 10 times as long. So maybe by next year…


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