From the New York Times:
As always, I am reading several books at a time — actually, several stacks. One is the stack of heirloom books by my bed, which begins with the engaging and soon-to-be-published “Camel” by Robert Irwin and works haphazardly outward to Rose Macaulay’s “The Towers of Trebizond” and Bronislaw Malinowski’s “A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term.”
And then there is a virtual stack of e-books. There is Alvin Kernan’s “Crossing the Line,” which I’m reading on my laptop via ebrary. I’m using other e-book software, like Kindle for the Mac and Stanza. My iPad is on its way.
In one way or another, I’ve been reading on a computer ever since it meant looking at green phosphor pixels against a black background. And I love the prospect of e-reading — the immediacy it offers, the increasing wealth of its resources. But I’m discovering, too, a hidden property in printed books, one of the reasons I will always prefer them. They do nothing.