I really like my tablet. I do. I have all my favorite newspapers’ apps in there, my magazines too, and a few subscriptions to some reviews as well. It’s great, knowing that they are all in there, ready to be read, just a few “taps” away.
Except that — let’s face it — I very rarely read the press on my tablet.
Okay, part of the reason is that I’m probably too old-fashioned already. I love newsprint and I take pride in my ability to fold a newspaper neatly, even in a moving tube train, with the tunnel wind against me (bowler hat and umbrella optional). I actually tend to subconsciously despise people who make a mess of their newspapers — at best, I think it shows clumsiness or goofiness. At worst, it suggests a disdain for the printed word — so much more visible with a newspaper because they are structurally more fragile than a bound book. Books can defend themselves. A bit.
I could resell my newspapers after reading them. Most people wouldn’t notice they’ve already been read.
Another reason for my preference for paper is — I tend to be paranoid. With websites and apps, I am never sure I have read all the articles in a newspaper, briefs and boxes included. Who knows what piece of news I could have missed — it could be important. Who knows (and that’s being even more paranoid) what article might have been retracted — or worse.
The last reason is crassly practical. I receive a newspaper, I put it on my desk, I know I must read it at some point during the day. Same with the reviews I’ve subscribed to: when the pile on my nightstand starts to lean vicariously above my pillow, I know things have gotten out of hand.
When I have the app, it gets continuously updated… And I never feel the necessity to devote time to read it. It just slips out of my mind. And that’s how I’m now six months late on one of my favorite magazines, and I’ve decided to move back my subscription to it to paper again.
Plus it’s such a rest for the eyes. You spend what, twelve, fourteen hours a day poring at a screen, you don’t want to read a tablet after that, especially not just before going to sleep (all that light and your circadian clock, etc.).
So I guess that makes me a dinosaur, in a way. Or does it?