Franzen writes the kinds of novels that are best read on the Kindle. They demand attention solely to the text, the kind of undistracted reading environment that makes e-readers so appealing – not to mention the perk of carrying a small electronic device instead of a 700-page hardcover copy of Freedom.
This just struck me as an odd thing to say. Do people really think that ereaders are less distracted reading environments than traditional books? I don’t have an ereader (yet…), but I have downloaded a bunch of books to my phone, none of which I have actually sat down and read through because I find it’s such a distracted reading environment. Maybe it’s just because I have the attention span of a gnat, but I find print books, with their singular purpose and lack of any hyperlinks to click or buttons to push, make it easier for me to focus, to settle my brain. If I want to read something else, I have to physically move to do so. I’m afraid with an ereader all the “something elses” a click away would just be too tempting and I’d end up never finishing anything.
We’re having an ereader discussion at the TC forums if you want to join in (no registration necessary!).