October 23, 2003

Security Blanket

Some are born evil, some achieve evil, and some have evil thrust upon them - and there is nothing more evil than what was just thrust upon me: an electronic book reader, aka a PDA.

E-books strip reading of the sense-pleasures, of broad white margins, scented pages and architectural flourish. Real books are Eastern liturgies, e-books the low Mass.

And yet when my wife offered me her old Palm pilot, what couldst I do? Her company told her it was obsolete, apparently because it was not "in color".

For a tenth of a second I was conflicted between two great biases: "if it's free, it's for me" and "real readers read real books".

The first won out and I am no longer conflicted. I carry the PDA as an amulet against boredom, secure in the knowledge that any long queue can be eased by what is contained therein.

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