02 January 2012

Ebook impact on my reading

So in 2011 I took the plunge into ebook land. It was premeditated because I knew I would be moving to a place where English books would be hard to find and expensive. I chose the ipad because it also worked as essentially an extra laptop in the house, and it has some usefulness in my day job as well.

My first book was a free classic. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by one of our grand dames Agatha Christie. Enjoyed it just as much digitally as I've enjoyed her work on paper. I went to see if all of her books were free in ebook form only to get my first lesson in ebook marketing. Make the first one free, hook them, then charge full price.

I was a bit frustrated when I looked for specific books and didn't find them in the Apple Ibookstore. It also was hard to just browse. I think I should try to browse from Itunes and I'd enjoy it more. I was delightted to discover that Nook and Kindle have Apps for the ipad which opened up a whole new world. I now feel like I can visit different bookstores depending on what gift certificates I have or what mood I'm in or where an author makes their work available. I'm not limited.

I tried some different books that I wouldn't have risked money on when I experimented with booklending.com that lends via the Kindle. A little weird to figure out but then the books appeared on my app. I also borrowed a couple I couldn't finish. A rarity for me. I have not tried - yet - the library lending programs yet. I did download Overdrive but my home town library changed systems before I could borrow, so on to yet another app. Library borrowing: a blog for another day.

When I finish reading a book now, I have the internal debate of what's next. Paper or ebook? I don't want to deplete my paper shelves too quickly. I also consider how much am I going on the train or am I going to go to a Spanish tutoring class. If I'm going to class, which means the train and taking notes in class, I'll have my ipad anyway, so it's better not to add a book to the load. I am jealous of others on the train with a Kindle. It's much smaller and can be handled with one hand which I can't manage with my ipad. The weight of the ipad makes me think twice about dragging it with me everywhere. I have to get bigger purses and stronger shoulders if it is going to go automatically with me. The good news is I just downloaded the Kindle app to my phone, so I can read there too without taking the ipad. This makes me a bit more inclined to buy my books on Amazon, but I think I may have a nook app available for te phone too. I need to see if I can see my ibook cloud on my phone (not an iphone, so I doubt it.)In general I think I'm buying more on Amazon.

Something I enjoy in ebooks is that I can tap a word to get a definition instantly without leaving my book. I love this. I always read books and thought I should look that word up (Thanks, Elizabeth George), but then I didn't want to interrupt my reading to go do it. I also like marking great passages or turns of phrase that are good characterization. I don't like to deface paper books, so it's nice to mark things without the sense I'm making a mess in my book. I'm not good with straight lines or tiny printing in the margins, what can I say?

Here's an idea that would never have occurred to me pre-ebook. I might try to find a Spanish book as part of my journey of learning the language. If I can do the word look up thing, like I do in English, it would be a great learning experience. Maybe. Might be too much work in the end and reading is after all my mental release and recreation.

1 comment:

  1. A long time ago I used to save quotes I liked from books in a text file on my computer, but then I lost it with the hard drive. That option to highlight/save specific noteworthy passages would be nice. The word look-up option sounds awesome.

    I have an iPad, so I should try reading books on it (other than the Bible, which I already read on it). It's just low on my list of things to do, I guess.