No longer reading Gibbon on my iPod
I did manage to read about two hundred sixty pages, and it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t really great either. Having a gigantic set of books fit in your pocket is nice, but if your main goal is not portability, a nice large set of hardbound books is preferable.
The used copy I found yesterday was treated very nicely by its previous owner, who put a library-style plastic cover on each of the dust jackets, and put a list of Roman emperors and the years of their reigns in the back of Volume I. Unlike the version on my iPod, the books have beautiful illustrations: maps, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s etchings. Unlike the version on my iPod, the books are designed, with beautiful and legible typesetting with nice wide margins, pretty initial capitals, and footnotes placed in the margins.
The books are also physical objects, which my six-year-old daughter is able to stack on each other and leaf through to find pretty pictures. Weightlessness is nice, but weight can be too.