Analog vs Digital

It has been a couple of months and three books since I started using the Kobo.  Now, there should be a moment of reflection.

The obvious advantages of the Kobo really seem to be weight.  Compared to the second book in the Game of Thrones, the Kobo is much, much lighter.  I started this book on Friday morning, just after the bus left my stop,  and by the time I got to the subway station my arms were tired.  I am regretting not buying the Kobo version.  I might have to, just to save myself.

Currently, I have about 21 books on my Kobo.  Without adding any memory, I should be able to add about 79 more.  I haven’t actually purchased any of these books, relying instead on the benefits of public domain,  I am pretty sure I can easily find those 79 books.  Good thing I like the classics.

The downside of the Kobo falls into two categories.  Durability and capability.  Both of these are affected by my own responsibility.   The Kobo itself seems durable enough, but what if I drop it?  I tend to get sleepy on a warm bus, after a long day of work, followed by reading.  As far as capability goes, I really need to read the instruction files.  Currently I have the font set pretty large, making it easy to read, but making the chapters much longer than they might be in book form.  I am pretty sure that Dr Fu Manchu isn’t six hundred pages long.

So, two months in…. I am enjoying the Kobo, but still enjoying the analog version of books as well.

Commuting Distractions: An E-Reader Update

I used my e-reader for the first time today.  I spent a relatively brief time downloading free e-books from the Kobo website.  I spent a much longer time trying to find available (and free) books from the library.  The first of those tasks was fruitful and I now have about 31 books to read.  The second was difficult because anything I wanted was too popular and was subsequently checked out.  In addition, some of the waiting lists were so long that I didn’t feel inspired to get on them.

As far as reading goes, it seemed rather comfortable.  It certainly took less effort to turn the page–unbelievable to think of all the energy I wasted turning pages the old fashioned way.  (I guess I can take solace in the fact that I probably burned a few calories the old way)

My first book was a bummer.  It was really short (I read it in about 30 minutes) It wasn’t particularly well written, but since it was free, I really shouldn’t complain.  I am on the second book, and all is progressing nicely.  It is better written, and managed to keep my attention for most of the trip home.

I don’t seem to have any eye strain, and the e-reader is probably lighter than any book I have ever carried on the bus, so I shouldn’t experience any muscle pain.  If I have misjudged this, I will probably wake up tomorrow with an incredible headache.

The only negative thing about the device so far is that way it counts pages.  In a single commuting session, I read about 200 e-reader pages.  I take pride in my reading speed, but that seems rather fast.  The pages are small, so you blast through a lot of them.

I talked to a woman on my bus and one of those George R. R. Martin books clocks in at over 1000 pages.  Keeping that in mind, I was temped to download Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, but that would most likely surpass 2000 pages.

Time will tell if this device will replace books for me.  Most likely I will still go to the library to check out books from time to time.  I can’t imagine my life without periodic pilgrimages to the library.

Commuting Distractions

Commuters have lots of complaints.  Crowds, noise, smells, rude people, selfish people and delays seem to be the common ones,  For me, however, commuting allows (mostly uninterrupted) time for a variety of hobbies that I classify as commuting distractions.  There are a lot of them, and with each of these blogs I will highlight one of them.

One of best ways to kill time on the commute (and avoid killing your fellow commuters) is reading.  In a good year, when I am not concentrating on other hobbies, when there isn’t a strike, when the person beside me isn’t bleeding music out of his ears and when I can find books that aren’t a slog, I get through about 50 books.  In a bad year, that total is probably 30, probably because I read at home.
Finding books to read is occasionally a challenge.  Yes, I was an English Literature student at university, but I don’t always want to read the classics.  My degree may have prepared me for life in the 17th century (and not much else) but that doesn’t mean I want to spend all my time there.
Fortunately, most of my friends and family also love to read and they often make great recommendations.  I also, sometimes, make a good guess when judging a book by its cover and discover a great read.
As we are in the 21st Century, I have decided to embrace technology and buy an e-reader.  I haven’t used it yet because I have a few books in the queue.  I have the latest Ian Rankin book and people have been urging me to read The Game of Thrones.  When I get through them, I will fire up the e-reader and see where that takes me.  I chose the Kobo because I can access the library catalogue with it.
Loyal readers, if you have any good book recommendations, please list them in the comment section of this blog.  Your help is appreciated.