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E-books make me read more March 26, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Misc, Study.
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About 12 months ago, I was a staunch opponent of e-books and e-readers.  Nothing against the people that read or purchased e-books — I just didn’t think I could do it because I didn’t like looking at a computer screen and I preferred the sensory pleasures of a real book made of paper.

Towards the end of last year, I got an iPad for a present.  An Apple product for a guy who never bought Apple products.  It wasn’t the first time.  I had received iPods and an Apple TV as gifts on previous occasions.

Over the months, I slowly became an Apple convert.  Well, I should say iPad convert.  I loved using it wherever I went.  Mostly playing the plethora of games available for free and at bargain prices, but also to send and receive emails, to surf the net, the watch and listen to live NBA games and to write blog posts.

Naturally, I also downloaded stacks free classic books (from Project Gutenberg) for the iBooks app and also downloaded the Kobo (which is owned by Borders) and Amazon (for the Kindle) apps — just in case.

Recently, I started using the iPad to read books.  The first was Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Helen Garner (review here), which I needed to read for class.  The hard copies were all out on loan at the university library, and I was about to fly out to China.  I decided to purchase the e-book version for around $11 (with Kobo, which was cheaper than iBooks, but my Amazon account stuffed up so dunno if it’s the cheapest).

And you know what?  It was surprisingly easy to read and use.  I toned down the light, which helped, and maybe it’s because my eyes have become accustomed to the iPad, but it didn’t strain my retina at all.  I breezed through the book in record time, and I have since moved onto my second book, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.  It’s a bloody long book, but I’m smashing it.

Come to think of it, the iPad is making me read more than I ever have.  Books in particular, but I’m also reading a lot more articles (online and in PDF), news, short stories (on my Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe app and Ghost Stories app) and manga (on my manga reader app).

Perhaps it’s because it’s the iPad, so I feel like I’m not really reading, I’m having fun.  Another reason is because the format is very reader friendly — you can enlarge the font, and the formatting is not the same as traditional books as new paragraphs are double spaced, so pages are extremely short and it makes you feel like you are making tremendous progress.  For me, the biggest momentum killer is feeling like I’ve been reading forever and I’ve only progressed a page or two.  With the e-reading apps, I get the illusion that I’m flying through it.

Maybe it’s also because I carry it around with me, so whenever I get a spare minute, I pull it out and do a bit of reading.  I could be stuck in traffic, or on the treadmill, or brushing my teeth, or eating lunch.  When you combine all those tiny blocks of time when you’re not doing anything, it actually adds up to quite a bit.

I’m loving it.

Any iPad or Kindle or Kobo or other e-reader owners out there having the same experience?

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Comments»

1. E-books make me read more « About Writing – The Personal Blog of … | Media Point - March 26, 2011

[…] Original post: E-books make me read more « About Writing – The Personal Blog of … […]

2. Michelle - March 27, 2011

1) you blog via the Ipad? Can you write on it? Like, can you put msword on there and write?! That would be…that would be…
I’ll slap down 800 dollars right now if I can write wherever I go and not have a twenty pound laptop strapped to my lap.
2) Manga lover?
Sweet :3
Everyone starts out like you btw, with the staunch e-book no-way attitude. I work at a bookstore and people say that every time they come in with a nook. Revolution here we come…

pacejmiller - March 27, 2011

Howdy and thanks for commenting.

1) Yes you can. I blog using the WordPress app, which is not optimal but it gets the job done. I can also just use the web browser on the iPad to get into the ‘new post’ page, but it stinks and is frustrating to use. I’m not sure whether Blogger has an app. If you’re not talking about just blogging and are referring to writing in general (eg novel, etc), sure, you can do that on the iPad too. There are heaps of writer-friendly apps, but I find the best is to use an ‘MS Word’ type program (I use OfficeHD) which can create Word files or read word files created elsewhere. Super convenient for the times you want to write on the go.

That said, typing on the iPad does take a bit of time to get used to. The lightest touch can make you type unwanted letters, so you can’t rest you hands on it. The keys are also too small unless you turn the iPad sideways. There’s also the auto-correct, which can be annoying (but can be switched off). Some people purchase a separate keyboard specifically designed for the iPad, which could work for you.

If you’re serious about getting a light, portable device to write, you don’t necessarily have to go with the iPad. I’m pretty sure some of the iPad’s competitors are probably even better than the iPad when it comes to word processing. Take a look around.

But yeah, I no longer lug my laptop around unless I have to either.

Michelle - March 27, 2011

Well that’s wicked awesome then :D I often sit around on break at work and wish I could be writing, or even in my classes. The less conspicuous I can be, the better. Thanks!

3. Andreas Moser - March 27, 2011

E-books are NOT the future. Print remains king: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/print-is-king/

4. Anna - March 28, 2011

I purchased a Kindle about 1.5 years ago. A few months ago, I purchased an iPad. I find myself reading more than ever. I use the Kindle in bright sunlight, and read from my iPad at night. I look to the future where one device would work well in both light conditions. I’m reading voraciously. It’s much more comfortable. I love synching across all my devices so I can pick up where I left off.

5. What to do When your Eyes Feel the Strain | My World of Writing - May 2, 2011

[…] E-books make me read more (pacejmiller.wordpress.com) […]


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