Can you concentrate on Flaubert when Facebook is only a swipe away, or give your true devotion to Mr. Darcy while Twitter beckons? People who read e-books on tablets like the iPad are realizing that while a book in print or on a black-and-white Kindle is straightforward and immersive, a tablet offers a menu of distractions that can fragment the reading experience, or stop it in its tracks.You can expect to see a bunch of articles about this in the coming week as the blogosphere demonstrates once again its herd mentality.
Normally I'd have given an ebook story in the NYTimes a mention in my morning coffee post, but this one is so offbase that it deserved a rebuttal.
Do you know the one very important detail that the NYTimes left out? This is an old story. This is the same problem people have had since the iPad came out, and for all tablets before it. This same problem has actually been around since the first smartphone. Maybe not quite that long, but it predates the iPhone, at least.
No, wait. I'd say that this situation predates smartphones. I can say, from personal experience, that in the late 90s I used to regularly switch from a computer game to a TV show to a (paper) book. That's over 12 years ago (I didn't know I was a trendsetter), and I'd also bet I'm not the first, either.
Do you know the interesting part? Some of us like it this way. This is a feature, not a distraction. I rarely have time during the day to devote long periods to reading a book, so being able to switch quickly from one activity to another is useful. And then there's the fact that I can switch between multiple ebookstores or even between ebooks and enhanced ebooks.