Electron Alley

Oops — I Never Saw It Do That Before . . . .

E-Readers I Have Known

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In the past six years or so, I’ve migrated through four devices: Sony PRS-600, Nook Color, Nook HD and now an iPad mini with Retina display (my late entrance into the ecosystem of Apple products is a whole other story). On the iPad I have the Nook, Kindle, Kobo (for my Sony library), Scribd and, of course, iBooks aps.

Although I’m a something of a technology slut, I still do love the fruits of Johannes Gutenberg. Nothing can replace the experience of holding a real book in your hands, flipping its pages, reading a handwritten note in the margin, finding an airline boarding pass stub (which I habitually used for bookmarkers) from a long forgotten journey, or browsing the spines of a bookshop’s wares, like a calming walk through the woods — which, I guess, is an apt simile, since books are made of tree pulp.

But the sad truth of the matter is that technology has a way of forcing us forward. Jihadist audiophiles love their vinyl, but it’s hard to listen to a Clapton 33 1/3 LP record album blasting at excessive sound pressure levels in the car while speeding down the highway weaving through traffic with the windows rolled down. So too with books.

I have to confess that from the very start, e-Readers have allowed me to read more and more often than I had fallen into the habit of doing. All too often my wish list books remained on the shelves at home, waiting in vain to be read. Technology allows me to carry my entire library with me in a back-breaking 12 ounce package and, like in my college days, I’m usually hip deep in three or four books simultaneously. Right now, I’m reading The Lonesome Dove Series, Driftless, Warren G. Harding, a how-to book on e-publisher marketing and the manuscript of a novel I’m working on —

Seriously, I’d have to do a weight-and-balance calculation before I took off in a Cessna Skyhawk with that much tome tonnage in my briefcase.

Like Dirk Rangley. a character from my novel, In the Black: 1965 – 1969, asks: “After all, which would you rather do, pal, screw Bridget Bardot’s brains out or read reviews of her movies?”

Books are great, but reading is the real joy.

 

Originally posted on my goodreads.com blog here.

Written by M.T. Bass

July 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

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