The Secret HistoryMy son’s just finished reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and enjoying it so much I decided to re-read it after twenty years.

He gave me his print copy and as I started, I realised I haven’t read a novel in pbook format in a long time.

And as I read the first pages, I realised I was  finding it heavy going in some way. Not the writing, which was just as enjoyable as I remembered it, but the actual act of reading.
I got to page 30 or so and gave in and, much to my own surprise, found myself buying the ebook edition.

And happily settled in.

The only reason I can think of is that the reader offers me one page at a time, not two. Something about that second page being there, just out of sightline, has come to weigh me down a little, now I’ve got used to there being just one.

I also missed being able to highlight passages that I particularly enjoyed, snippets of language, aphorisms and insights.  I love marking these as I go and then reading back over them when I’m finished. Underlining a print book just  isn’t the same.

It seems it’s official, I now prefer ebooks.


About Orna Ross

Orna Ross writes and publishes novels, poems and the Go Creative! books and blog. She is Founder and Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors, an association of the world's best self-publishing authors and advisors and has been described as "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" (The Bookseller). Born and raised in Wexford in the south-east of Ireland, she now lives, mostly, in London. Talk to her on Twitter: @ornaross


  1. Debbie Young

    Yikes indeed! I must admit I love my Kindle and much prefer reading novels as e-books because they’re less trouble to hold (how lazy am I?!)- and of course I don’t think twice about popping my Kindle in my handbag whenever I go out, which I wouldn’t be able to do with a print book. (That’s why I loved those little Penguin 60s, remember them? Tiny books brought out to mark Penguin’s 60th birthday.) I’d always print for non-fiction, though, so that it’s easier to flip back and forth to look things up. Or maybe I just need to practice using he “GOTO” feature more…

  2. karen lotter

    My problem with print books is that I tap the pages instead of turning them :-) I also find them heavy. But what I love most about my kindle is that I can make the type bigger.

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