IT’S A RAINY SUNDAY AFTERNOON and I’m sitting in a cafe in central Tokyo, desperately trying to enjoy a book on my iPad. Distractions abound: sloppy typography, misspelt words, confusing page breaks, widows, orphans, broken tables. These and more pull me from the narrative spell. In that moment I realize, although I’ve had this substantial object of glass and metal for a few weeks, I haven’t managed more than ten pages of anything.
What, then, is the problem?
It’s not the screen — I’ve happily read several novels on my iPhone.
It’s not the weight — it feels fine when resting on a table or my knee.
The problem is much simpler: iBooks and Kindle.app are incompetent e-readers. They get in the way of the reading experience and treat digital books like poorly typeset PDFs.
We can do better. (We have to do better.)
There is no better reason to not do something
There is no better reason to try
There is no better reason to fight
Against tyranny and strife
Removal is often the goal
Removal is often the challenge
Removal is often not enough
To completely fix what hangs in the balance
But it can bring about great change
But it can bring light
But it can bring great joys
In the darkness of the night
And so I live with friction
And so I live with what is hard
And so I live with what I love
But I stay upon my guard