My daughter is in from San Francisco for Thanksgiving and she brought “The Road by Cormac McCarthy and insisted I read it before she leaves on Monday. Well, the book was a paper one and so I embarked on the task.
The reason I mention this is that I’ve just spent quite a while reading books solely on the Sony Reader, so reading The Road was an abrupt change and so makes for an easy contrast. I noticed the following things:
I didn’t mind the contrast difference between the pbook and the Sony Reader screen – this surprised me because the pbook has so much better contrast
The Sony Reader was lighter, thinner and easier to hold. The Road comes in at a mere 287 pages and is not a heavyweight at all, but the Sony was more pleasant to use for long periods.
It fatigued my hands to hold the pbook’s pages apart, i.e., bending the spine. This was noticeable since I read the whole book in one session. The Sony Reader would have been much more comfortable.
I had to keep a real bookmark in the book, which was a pain.
Turning pages took about the same amount of time as the “flash” when I turn a page on the Sony Reader.
Overall, I think I would have preferred to read this book on my Sony Reader, rather than paper form. I definitely would not have felt this way if I were reading the book on my Palm TX or Nokia 770 or 800.
By the way, heres an excerpt of the NY Times review of The Road: In “The Road” a boy and his father lurch across the cold, wretched, wet, corpse-strewn, ashen landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. The imagery is brutal even by Cormac McCarthy’s high standards for despair. This parable is also trenchant and terrifying, written with stripped-down urgency and fueled by the force of a universal nightmare. “The Road” would be pure misery if not for its stunning, savage beauty.
I have to add that in my 60-odd years of reading I have rarely, if ever, come across such a compelling vision. I cannot overemphasize how moving this book is, and how the writing style and the mood are so completely intertwined. Mission accomplished, my daughter can take the book back home with her (however I will buy a hardcover version for my permanent library – but that’s another topic).