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I brought nearly 1000 research papers and over 200 books with me to Peru this spring.Not in heavy stacks and stapled packets, but on a SONY Digital Paper, a large-format e-reader that is basically the size of a thick piece of standard 8.5 x 11 paper.I’ve found it to be an invaluable device for being able to take my research with me everywhere, and I think you could argue that it would make you a more productive and happy scholar who can literally work all the time everywhere (that’s what the Dean wants, right? It’s great if you travel a lot, because it’s lighter than acutal paper and books, and it works even when you’re in places that might not have great internet access for your laptop, like airports, restaurants, and foreign countries.
Is the Digital Paper better than having Actual Printed Research Papers? In terms of traveling/weight/accessibility, definitely yes. But still nothing beats having a printout of a paper and writing all over it in the margins, working out examples, and so on, with an actual pen.
Navigation on the Digital Paper is sometimes a little clunky, and it certainly isn’t as easy as spreading out a bunch of printouts all over your desk and having six books open at once.
You can also use the stylus to spot-erase notes, a feature which I use all the time as I resolve questions or rewrite thoughts.
(This is one of the few ways that the Paper physically surpasses Actual Paper, since I usually use pens and therefore cannot erase.) Here is the Paper in action with lots of notes, marks, and highlights.
Here’s part of Fulton’s Intersection Theory, which I can now carry with me everywhere just in case: The Paper does only very specific things, but they are most of the things that you would want a technical e-reader to do.
You can swipe left and right to change pages, pinch to display thumbnails of a document, tap to jump to hyperlinked references, and even do full-text searches within a document.
I’ve smushed it into my luggage and thrown it into my bag without it being in a case, and it’s still in one piece and working great.
I did lose the stylus on a flight a month ago, and it cost me a lot of money to replace it, so if you do buy this then look after the stylus or you will be sad.