Brian was moving from gargoyle to gargoyle with the ease of long practice when he heard the voices. He was so startled he almost lost his grip. (77)
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
Musing Mondays is hosting by MizB at Should Be Reading
What devices - if any - do you read books on? Do you find it enjoyable, or still somewhat bothersome? Or: If you only read the print books, why haven’t you chosen to read on any devices?
This is an interesting question for me as it is one that I still continue to think of often - mainly because while reading ebooks is a fairly new addition to my reading repertoire, reading online certainly isn’t and so I feel as though I’ve made the journey through reading devices.
I remember when we first got the internet on our home computer (and what an ordeal it was convincing my parents it was safe for me to use as I was still rather young at the time). I always enjoyed writing and had several friends who likewise wrote and so I spent a fair bit of time reading these on our family computer.
When I reached high school we upgraded our family computer and the old one took up a new residence - in my room. Oh how excited I was to have a computer of my own! Until I realised… computer yes, but internet no. How was I to continue my practice of online reading? (especially since now I was part of mailing lists and the like dedicated to the writing and reading of stories?) I quickly deviced a system however, involving a stack of about ten 3 1/2 floppy discs and many many txt files. I would fill them all up, read them on my own computer and then traipse back to the family computer to reload. Looking back now, I consider this my first experience of ‘reading on a device’ and it was one that I kept up for many years.
By the time I started university I had a laptop and the house had a networked internet connection so my floppy discs were retired. Uni however also came with an hour and a half bus trip to uni every day and it wasn’t unusual for me finish a book and not have packed a spare. Enter my ipod. Adapting my old system, I would save txt files and utilise the ipods note function, scrolling scrolling scrolling through many books (by this time I’d discovered Project Gutenberg). My highly portable ipod was my first ‘ebook reader’.
My poor ipod (which is still alive) gave way to my old Samsung phone - which with it’s in-build QWERTY I adored. I remember being very excited as I read and wrote on my phone, gleefully thinking it a Star Trek PADD (yes, nerd, I know). Sooner or later however, my jealousy over the iphone’s far larger screen gave way and I traded my phone in. It was here that my ebook reading took flight and I spent a lot of hours squinting at my iphone.
When people started noticing the squinting (oddly enough around the same time I got glasses), it was suggested that I get myself a dedicated ebook reader which would be easier on the eyes. Being the tech lover that I was, I sacrificed some lightness (and a fair stack of money) to purchase an ipad and I haven’t looked back since.
I will always prefer a book over my ipad, but I cannot forget the plain convenience of having my ipad with me in my bag. Many many books at hand, more than I could ever fit in my bag. In built dictionaries and non-permanent highlighting. Note taking functions. Being able to pause my reading and do a little related research with the mere flick of a finger.
And you know what? I find that I read more with my ipad than I would without it. There have been many occasions that I’ve gone to bed without picking up my book first. You know what it’s like once your head hits the pillow - the last thing you want to do is get back up and turn the light on to retrieve your book. Much easier just to grab the ipad off my bedstand!
One of the things I like best about being a teacher is that I share a staff room with a large amount of nerdy people. And being an English teacher means that book recommendations are easily come by. While visiting a friend from work, Denise, she retrieved a book from her shelves telling me how much she enjoyed it and that I must read it. Always happy for a book to read (and entering the holidays with lots of reading time making it all the better) I tucked it under my arm to take home.
However it seems that Denise is a little like me when it comes to book recommendations – like me she gets a little excited when people are happy to receive suggestions. I left her house with 13 graphic novels in my possession and the promise of more when I was done.
I’ve been a little busy this holidays after all and haven’t had the chance to sit down and truly enjoy them. But today is a cold rainy day and I’m thinking that I shall settle down for the afternoon with a cup of tea and a collection of comics. What do you think?