I can sense that the eReader market is about to burgeon. Perhaps it's a case of the market driving the demand; I remember hearing in school about companies trying to sell such digital devices, as booklovers droned on about the wonder of newsprint and the smell of freshly cut paper. That was seven years ago, and whatever forces got us to this level are irrelevant.
Not to resemble the man grumbling over the corporate-mandated switch from scrolls to books, but another shift in textual consumption is basically where we're at in history. Pretty soon you'll be reading about books in your history text... screen.
If books are the new VHS, let's see what was so daggum ornery about the spine-laden reading devices, and why the upgrade was necessary. While not aggravating, the way one grasped the book took a bit of finagling; depending on the uprightness of the bookworm, some adjusting was required. Turning the page was — gasp! — always a frustrating maneuver. I just got this book where I want it! And remembering where that one sentence was, earlier in the book? Chapter... five, maybe? Good luck with that, Sergeant.
And what if the bookmark fell out? Well, there goes another 30 seconds of your life.
Sure enough, the Sony Reader Touch Edition improves on two of those assumed simple tasks. Changing the page — people in advertising get paid way much more than me, so I dare not improve on their wording — is as easy as the touch of a button. Since it's a touchscreen, the page can also be "turned" by swiping the finger.
(Personally, the page-turning button is my method of choice. When holding the Reader in my left hand, my thumb is naturally over the next page button. Swiping the finger is reverse-intuitive; in both turning a paper page and swiping a touchscreen like an iPhone, one would go right-to-left. But on the Touch Edition, right-to-left goes back; left-to-right moves ahead.)
Then there's finding that oh so elusive phrase. While reading The Machine: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds by Joe Posnanski, I was trying to find the anecdote about the Reds third baseman Tony Perez ribbing teammates about using a new-fangled weightlifting machine. Posnanski would occasionally describe the Cuban-born Perez's pronunciation, so in the options menu I went to search for "beeg," and sure enough, there was the passage. Of course, I lost my place. But you'll have that when you turn the page.