Five Things Friday: Paper vs. Digital

The debate about paper books versus digital books continues. In my post earlier this week, I thought that the argument is rather moot. I don’t think it is necessarily a case of one over the other. Personally, I use my iPad to read ebooks or or content that is exclusively online and still have a sizeable paper library of fiction and non-fiction books – still my favourite way to really enjoy thought-provoking works.

1. The Power of Paper in a Digital Era – Scholars have learned so much about writer’s through their collected papers and you have to wonder what will be lost when writers only work in digital, not keeping each draft of a work.

2. Going West by Maurice Gee – another fabulous book trailer/video produced by the New Zealand Book Council for a book originally published in 1994 (found via

3. An hilarious cartoon about the future library.

4. It’s a Book by Lane Smith – another funny book trailer that celebrates the magic of paper books.

5. Love Downton Abbey (PBS) but want to read novels set during the same time period? Russell Smith provides several excellent options, including The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. The movie is also excellent.


Pen and Paper, or Computer?

So, I publicly committed to doing NaNoWrimo again this year. I’ve attempted it twice before and didn’t make it to the 50,000 word mark by the end of November. I’m determined to win this year, more because I left my job to write my book and I really want to get it done. Except I’m struggling. The first two days went well, but now I’m struggling. I’ve spent hours staring at the computer screen squeaking how some meagre sentences. Somehow all the inspiration and passion I had for my story has disappeared. I find something paralyzing about looking at a computer screen. The neat lines of double-spaced sentences seem so cold and clinical, and frankly read that way too. I can’t say I’ve really suffered from writer’s block before. I’m more the type to avoid writing all together, but now I have a deadline.

So, while avoiding writing this morning, I came across a link to this podcast with Australian writer Kate Grenville (via Susannah Conway). For each of her eight books, she wrote the first draft with pen and paper. She feels that writing on paper is more intimate and honest, as writing on a computer seems more public. I keep a paper journal and enjoy writing by fountain pen daily. I’ve never had writer’s block with my journal. So, I’m going to pull out a pad of paper, fill a fountain pen and give my book another try.

I’m curious to know, how many of you out there write the first draft on a computer or with pen and paper?