Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year, New Toys - Part 2

Well, I have my e-reader going (January 2, 2014 blog). It took some effort on hubby's part, a few hours to co-ordinate everything. He's so smart. I have purchased three books from the internet and am giving it a chance. This is fun. I could buy books all day. They have my credit card info. All I have to do is point, click and it shows up on my e-reader...a shopaholic's dream. It doesn't even feel like spending money. Fortunately, I have some self control.

I am now giving this technology a fair chance.

First book is kind of strange I thought. It made no sense. How could it make no sense? Then I realized I had in fact started part way into the story. to get back to the beginning? No amount of clicking on the buttons gave me any clues so I started to scroll backwards on the back up little lever thingy. I wondered what page I was on, I clicked and I clicked and scrolled and scrolled until about 10 minutes later, success, a title! I figured out how to enlarge the font for senior eyes and I was off to the races. Wow...I've never read whole pages so fast before. It sure goes quickly when there are only twelve words to a page. Interestingly enough, the book still makes no sense even though I started at the beginning. ***Note to self - Do not recommend this book to anyone. Perhaps when I get to the end I'll figure out what it was about. I wonder how many chapters and pages this book has. Is there some way of solving this mystery or does one just read until it runs out?

I have learned some things. Here is a comparison of e-reader reading and paper book reading.

1.  If you fall asleep while reading a regular book, it falls on your nose and you lose your page. If you fall asleep while using an e-reader, it shuts itself off and retains your page before falling on your face. Advantage - e-reader.

2.  Taking a book into the tub can be a bit risky. Pages might buckle, particularly if it's a hot bath or a steamy novel. Falling asleep is a potential problem which could cause the book to fall into the tub. Place book on rad to dry out pages and except for a bit of warping, it's good to go. Taking e-reader into the tub is no problem. There are instructions on what to do if it gets wet. I have decided not to take the chance. I read my Kindle whilst perched on my left rib cage and holding e-reader over the edge of the tub. That way, if it drops, there's nothing but the toilet nearby. ***Note to self - Make sure toilet lid is shut while bathing. Advantage - neither, unless you happen to be two years old reading one of those vinyl paged tubby books.

3. Books have those annoying unrealistic colourful covers. They are a distraction. If it's a love story one feels compelled to go back and stare at the title page just to burn the image of the unrealistic, half clothed characters into one's head. The male hero is almost always shirtless. The e-reader provides no such opportunity. It has a screen saver or something similar, in my case, slanted gray lines with alphabet letters on them. Going back to review the potential image of the protagonists is futile. Instead, it requires using one's own imagination. Challenging, but probably a good thing since there's no unrealistic, preconceived notion.  Advantage, unsure.

4. Books have pages and page numbers. I love page numbers. You can tell how far into the plot you have gone and how much more of the book there is to read. Sometimes it is satisfying and gives a feeling of accomplishment. It's also convenient to see how many more pages in a chapter and if it's possible to complete those few pages before falling asleep and said book results in problem #1 above. With the e-reader, there may or may not be a page feature. I have not yet discovered one. Besides, when there are twelve words on a page, there's probably a long way to go in a chapter. Advantage - real book.

5. Books can be easily given away or traded with a friend. If you have read something which you've particularly enjoyed, for example, "The Help" or "The Hundred Year Old Man..." , you can pass it along to someone else. I am unclear what happens to books on the e-reader once they've been read. Do they stay there ad infinitum? Do they disappear once you've gotten to the last page? Do you give your e-reader to a friend and hope you get it back once they've read and perused your collection? Advantage - real book

6. If you are in public, on transit and the like, everyone can see what you're reading if it's a paper book. Using the e-reader, is more private. Apparently, that was the reason given for the record numbers of "Fifty Shades of Gray" (Sept. 5, 2012 blog) downloads. The only thing to worry about in public is theft. Who would steal a paper Harlequin Romance? Technology on the other hand is always a big ticket item. Advantage - unsure

7. If you are stuck indoors for any length of time, because of weather conditions or poor health, and you are unable to get to a thrift shop or library, you can easily order books for your e-reader. That is, provided you have electricity, know how to use a computer and internet, have a credit card, have an e-reader and so on. Advantage - e-reader.

8. If you are left handed, you have little choice but to turn the pages of a paper book with your right hand. If you own an e-reader, you can move forward and backward using the buttons on either the left or the right of the reader. I discovered this last night when I must have accidentally tapped the left buttons and the story became even less sequential than before. Advantage - e-reader.

So there you have it. These are my conclusions thus far. Now I'd better get back to my e-reader. I'm on page ? of the story, chapter? with ? sections to go. On the bright side, I am fully able to visualize the characters without a cover picture. I saw the first two installments of this book as movies and I have no problem imagining Hugh Grant shirtless. Can you guess what third book of a series I'm reading?

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