I’ve thought a lot about this regarding tablets and e-book readers, which focus more on convenience over feeling.
With my recent purchase of a Kindle device, I feel closer to paper because e-ink looks like paper, as opposed to iPhone/iPad screens which look like computers.
Yet even the Kindle device does not mimic all of paper’s characteristics. Here are some tactile things I miss about paper (and reading physical books):
- The smell of a freshly opened book.
- Being able to caress or fold pages with my fingers.
- Flipping through a book’s pages with my thumb to get an idea of how much more is left to read.
I often find myself wanting to turn the page on the Kindle screen by using my thumb and index finger in a pinching motion.
There’s just no way digital screens and devices (in their current form) can emulate this feeling associated with physical things.