Dorrit goes digital

Interesting experiment: Ann Kirschner compares the experience of reading Little Dorrit as paperback, audiobook, on the Kindle and on the iPhone. How does she fare? The iPhone proves a surprise winner:

I abandoned the Kindle edition of Little Dorrit almost as soon as I read one chapter on my iPhone. Kindle, shmindle. It does almost nothing that an iPhone can’t do better — and most important, the iPhone is always with me. Woody Allen had it right: Seventy percent of success in life is showing up. Yes, the Kindle’s reasonable imitation of a book is an advantage, but not enough to outweigh the necessity to carry an extra object and its power plugs.

This validates an argument Jenny Lee made in Overland, one to which I keep returning in these discussion. New media doesn’t have to be as good as the form it supplants: it just has to be good enough so that its convenience overrides everything else.

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland.

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