Thursday, December 4, 2008

I read the first chapter of Mansfield Park on my iPod this morning. Why? Because I am Fanny Price, according to facebook, so I'm curious to determine if this is true.

I quickly discovered that I'm able to read a lot faster on the iPod. Why? Because you're turning pages a lot more frequently, which makes it feel like you're zipping through. But also because it eliminates my OCD habit of obsessing over page numbers when I read regular books. It takes me forever to turn a page sometimes because I'm always worried that my thumb is grabbing more than one page or, worse, that the pages have been printed out of sequence, which is not me being paranoid because IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED to me one time. It was White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I was about to turn from page 167 (I don't really remember the number, but let's call it 167) to 168, but when I flipped the page, instead of 168 I arrived at 256 (or something)! I remained calm and turned to where 256 should have been, and sure enough, there was 168. Somehow those two pages had gotten switched in the printing process. Thankfully it was the only error in the book. That was almost six years ago, and ever since then I've been wary of turning pages for fear that something like that might happen again.


So if you ever watch me read a book you'll see me flipping a page back and forth for several whole minutes muttering "41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42..."

But with the iPod, all it takes is a tap and the next page swoops right in. No mess! Burden lifted! Electronic books may not revolutionize the way I read, but they might revolutionize the way I read.

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