Interview: Author Susan Orlean on her life with the iPad

Susan Orlean has become a geek, something that simultaneously amuses and mildly horrifies her. Orlean has been a staff writer at since 1992, and is known for her richly detailed features about places and people. Orlean's focus is often on individuals outside the public eye, who she dissects in the gentlest of ways to reveal what makes them tick. Her book , looking at how orchid collecting and cultivation leads people to odd acts, was made into the quirky film "Adaptation."

Lately, however, Orlean has been tearing up the techie side of things. The writer, who lives with her husband and 5-year-old son (and 10 chickens) in the Hudson Valley in New York, has amassed 55,000 followers on Twitter, and writes regular blog entries for The New Yorker.

Orlean used to document her anticipation of a 3G iPad, and its ultimate arrival. As a part of our "Living with iPad" feature story in the September 2009 print issue of , we caught up with her a month after she'd received her 64 GB model. She is currently at work on a biography of dog movie star Rin Tin Tin.

(The interview has been edited for length, including questions being condensed for clarity and brevity.)

I work at home with a desktop. I have an iMac... and a MacBook. And I travel a lot so I used to bring the MacBook with me. But two years ago, I was about to go on a trip and I thought, Boy, I really don't want to carry this MacBook. First of all, it's heavy; secondly, I really don't want to lose it, or have it be stolen, or dropped or whatever. ...n'