I glided through sentence after sentence, volume after volume, on my Android in the nighttime darkness. The experience was remarkably … Proustian.
I was absolutely thrilled to read this wonderful description by Sarah Boxer of her experience of reading on her phone, in bed, in the dark. You can find the whole thing online at The Atlantic. After explaining her numerous failed attempts to read Proust all the way through, she reports that reading it on her cellphone was like no other reading experience she’s had before or since. This is how she did it:
Make sure no one else is awake. Turn off the lights. Your windows can stay open. Now turn on your phone and begin reading. Repeat as necessary each night. Do not stop until the very last word of the very last volume, Time Regained.
My favourite paragraph of all goes like this:
Your cellphone screen is like a tiny glass-bottomed boat moving slowly over a vast and glowing ocean of words in the night. There is no shore. There is nothing beyond the words in front of you. It’s a voyage for one in the nighttime. Pure romance.
Now, I have to say that although I read stuff on my cellphone all the time, it’s never been my tool of choice for whole books, let alone seven volumes, and I do tend to read with the light on. But maybe Sarah Boxer has changed my mind, because now I really crave her glass-bottomed boat gliding across a glowing ocean.