Wednesday, April 13, 2011
And so, the iPad2, which arrived a week ago, and which I have put to minimal, but interested use. I am a New York Times subscriber, for example, and so, by downloading the New York Times app, I can now sit with this glass tablet on my lap in the dark making no disturbing rustling noises while I read the reviews of such great books as Francisco Goldman's Say Her Name. I find it easier to read this way—my arms don't hurt, my eyes don't squint, and I can turn off the lamp beside my husband while he watches shows about fish, food, and war (sometimes he's lucky and all three things appear on one show at once). I'm reading my hometown paper this way as well, and when my subscription to the paper version of The New Yorker runs out, I may go iPad with that as well, though I don't know. I'm rather fond of my stacks of New Yorker stories, torn fresh from the bindings. Vanity Fair? Maybe.
I also, as readers of this blog know, downloaded Tina Fey's Bossypants and iPad2'ed it—the perfect book for this medium. As much as I loved Bossypants, I don't plan to ever teach it, do not need my scribbled marginalia as a guide to my first readerly reactions. I know that some sort of marginalia can be achieved via the iPad2, don't get me wrong. I'm just not interested in going there at this moment and rather suspect I'll never be. There's an art to making notes in books, and I like pen to paper. I also like, however, the extras the expanded iBook version of Bossypants afforded—more photos, an audio chapter, pretty cool flipping and bookmarking technology. I've just downloaded Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad as well as a guide to Croatia for my next iPad2 readings. I want to take Egan to Ithaca over Easter weekend and Croatia to Croatia, some time in June. I think of these books as traveling companions.
Finally, I've downloaded the PDF app that will allow me to iPad2-read my own manuscripts-in-progress. I've got two books I'm working on—a novel, nearly complete, and a memoir. I've worked to give myself enormous distance on the novel and reading it again on a new technology, following a final set of revisions, will, I think (I hope), allow me to see this book as a stranger might. That, at least, is what I'm going for.
My friend Karen, always so far ahead in matters of technology, does many things with her iPad that I don't know how to do—watch Netflix movies while exercising, say, or reading student papers. She's the real expert on this (as she is on most things). I'll become a smarter iPad2 user in time, I hope. But for now, to answer your questions:
I really like my iPad2.