In my spare time I’m two things: book-worm and techno-geek. I could read before starting school and have never stopped. Give me anything: magazines, the web, fiction (almost all types), technical, general non-fiction, whatever. My favourite is when the author mashes up psychology with history and sociology; Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Karen Armstrong, for example. At uni I majored in physics. I like knowing how things work. I take things apart. Sometimes I even put them back together.
E-Books, therefore, held an appeal for me even before they became available. How I envied Captain Picard for the tablet Jordi was always handing off to him. Jordi–give it to me; I can put books on it!
Of course I bought an eBook reader as soon as they became available. The first was a Sony, touch edition. It cost a bag of money (over $400 Canadian) and was quickly loaded up with books bought here and there. Fiction was significantly cheaper. Non fiction: well…
All of it. I hated that reader. Far too dim indoors; you had to have a very bright light. You had to use a USB to charge it up–it often went dead at the worst times and transferring the content to it was such a pain. Non-fiction did not format well at all. PDF files were almost unusable. Scrolling through pages took forever. It also locked up far too often. Right in the middle of a good book: FROZEN! Had to go get the pin and reset it. That took to long; generally had to pin it 40-50 times (really) before it would come back to life. And the software that came with it: Awful. I downloaded Calibre instead. It least it was okay.
It’s on the dresser in my bedroom. Hasn’t been used for a long time.
I got an iPad shortly after they came out. My iPad 1 is 3+ years old. What an awesome toy! Finally I felt like someone from Star Trek: Make it so!
It, too, was a horrible platform for reading books. Heavy. A bit “laggy.” Oh, and I HATE the way IOS does things. As a physics major I therefore want to do things the way the little electrons work. Show me the files; I’ll choose HOW to do the actions needed. Besides Apple wanted me to buy everything from them and do it their way. Uh Uh–that’s not how it works. Want to really piss me off and get me to do the opposite from what you want? Then tell me what to do and how to do it. Thanks!
The iPad sits forlorn in the living room. Hasn’t been used for a long time.
Last Christmas Santa (Mrs. Clause actually) gave me a 32 G Google Nexus 7. It has, among other things, very nice Facebook, Twitter and, yes, WordPress apps. It also came with Google Books, which sucked. Fortunately there’s Aldiko, a simple, practical eBook reader, which got installed. I immediately switched back to eBooks. The Nexus doesn’t mind where the books come from. Chapters-Indigo and Amazon, for example, work just fine with the thing, as do the university and public libraries. There’s about 30 new books on it since December.
Right now I’m in my back garden, under my ‘umbrella’ silver maple tree using my laptop to write this. The Nexus 7 is right next to me; a constant companion.
Last week while browsing a local Chapters store I came across an excellent paper-back (Jane McGonigal’s “Reality is Broken.” The next couple of blog posts will be based on it).
Guess what: paper-backs (mostly) suck. Bigger than the Nexus, can’t store local notes easily, not easily searchable, pages blow to-and-fro in the wind, gets dog-eared, takes up space in my tiny smurf house. Oh, and cost more.
Of course I don’t expect agreement–what works, works for me, that’s all! You decide what works for you!