Pros and Cons of Tangibility

I’m a fairly tactile learner, and while there are still plenty of textbooks to buy for my courses, there’s a fair amount of required reading that is virtual. Mainly journal articles, new paper reports, etc.

I do support using less paper by making things more virtual but when it comes to things I need to read for school, it’s hard to give up the tangibility of being able to highlight and mark comments on real paper. I don’t find I keep track of my thoughts as well without having the kind of interaction you get with being able to circle, mark, highlight, draw, etc. on the text itself. I do like to use editable PDFs of articles when possible, but not all come in such a useful format, so when it comes to studying the temptation to print out my 10 to 20 page articles out is pretty high. I also just finally got new printer ink which isn’t helping.

I wonder if there will be any widely available technology soon that begins to bridge the gap a little closer between tangible and intangible reading. I suppose at some point tablets will become as common as laptops which might make even textbooks start to disappear from school backpacks. Right now though, I am really not sure if it’s technology that needs to adapt more to my needs or I need to learn how to adapt to more modern processes. I think for tonight I’ll try to be a bit greener and adapt to technology.



One thought on “Pros and Cons of Tangibility

  1. Lugging humungous textbooks around all day, is a tangible con, but everything you said about annotating, are definitely the pros. I still cherish the physical book. While I love my computer, books on screen doesn’t quite thrill me the way a “real” book does.

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