You don’t have to be a technophobe to dismiss out of hand the idea of reading on a machine. Maybe it is muscle memory, but there is something deeply satisfying about a “real” book, whose binding you can crack and fold as you move from beginning to end. E-books, by contrast, are ephemeral. Yes you can carry thousands of them in your pocket, but what do you have to show for it? Then, one day, you find yourself housebound, and Wolf Hall has just won the Booker Prize, and you download a sample onto your iPhone, and just like with a book you are pulled into the story, and your resistance disappears. You press the “buy” button—its so easy!—and that is how it starts.
This article is available to subscribers only.
Please choose from one of the options below to access this article:
Purchase a print subscription (20 issues per year) and also receive online access to all articles published within the last five years.
Purchase an Online Edition subscription and receive full access to all articles published by the Review since 1963.