Guarding Our Aloneness

I crave technology, connectivity. But I crave solitude too. As we enter the cyborg era, as we begin the physical shift to human-machine hybrid, there will be those who embrace this epochal change, happily swapping cranial space for built-in processors. There will be others who reject the new ways entirely, perhaps even waging holy war against them, with little chance . . . of success. And there will be people like me, with our powered exoskeletons left in the closet, able to leap over buildings when the mood strikes us, but also prone to wandering naked and feeling the sand of a beach between our puny toes . . . In a world of intrusive technology, we must engage in a kind of struggle if we wish to sustain moments of solitude. E-reading opens the door to distraction . . . The closed network of a printed book . . . harks back to a pre-jacked in age . . . They guard our aloneness. This is why I love them, and why I read printed books still.

Mohsin Hamid, Bookends, How do e-books change the reading experience?