I bought the Steve Jobs book

And it actually is an interesting read. I had listened to the older biography by Steven S. Young when I started my Audible subscription in 2006 but can’t remember much. The Isaacson book refreshes my memory and gives me a good overview on Jobs’ development as a person.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m reading “Steve Jobs” in its ebook form. Last year, I decided to buy my books only in digital form, if possible; either as ebooks or as audiobooks. And there are many people that find that peculiar. I don’t.

Digital books are so much more comfortable. When I find a reference to an interesting read, it takes me only a few seconds to get it onto my Kindle or my iPhone. Then, I can “read” a book via my earbuds while I’m walking into city centre (which helps greatly with losing weight). And with 4 or more unread books on my Kindle, I get to choose spontaneously if I want to read a sci-fi novel, a book about IT operations processes or something else. Regardless of where I am — at home, on the train, on a plane, in a street cafe in Rome.

“But what about the experience? The haptic feeling of holding a book and turning pages?” I’ll let Marco Arment answer that with a quote from his article “Do you have the paperback or the hardcover?”:

Many people romanticize the experience of reading a printed book, but I just don’t get it. When I start reading, the form of the book quickly disappears. Just as I don’t notice the individual letters in each word, I stop noticing the layout, the font, the paper, the binding, and every other physical artifact because I’m focused on the writing.

It’s the same with me. When I focus on the writing, its delivery vanishes into the background. So, not only do I not judge a book by its cover, but I also don’t care about its medium. It’s the content that matters. Only the content. And once you define a book as what’s between the title and the end page, there’s no need to differentiate the medium any more. As Marco puts it:

Since I don’t think the distinction matters, I rarely need to say “I bought the Steve Jobs book in iBooks,” or “I bought the Steve Jobs book on my Kindle.” I just say, “I bought the Steve Jobs book.”

It’s not important in what form you get your reading material. It’s only important that you read.