Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Many ways to read...

Welcome to 2012! I trust you had a happy holiday season and that the year ahead looks promising and bright.

Aside from cheery gatherings with family and friends, I spent a lot of the holidays reading. I poured over some great books and some not-so-good ones, but they all got me thinking about writing and the future of publishing.

I read in the traditional paper format, but also tried out e-books on a Kindle and an iPad. It was interesting to compare those experiences. What did I find out?

- An iPad lets you read at night with the lights out because it's backlit (great for folks who want to read when their roommates are fast asleep). The iPad also lets you look up anything you have a question about as you are reading (both a good and a bad thing since you can easily get distracted from your book). The books aren't too expensive, but there doesn't seem to be a wide choice (or not as wide as I would like). Still, it's a convenient way to read.

- Using a Kindle is similar to reading a traditional book (you can't check the internet), but it's light-weight and very portable. You can carry around many volumes on this device, which makes a welcome change for folks who are used to schlepping armloads of heavy books back and forth from the library or onto an airplane. There is no touch screen, though, so it feels a bit old-fashioned after the iPad. On the plus side, there seems to be a wider selection of books to choose from (although one I purchased cost almost as much as a hardcover volume). I also hear that I can borrow Kindle books from the library, which is excellent news.

My daughter, also an avid reader, has noticed that since I became an e-book fan, I have fewer paper books to pass on to her. That is an interesting dilemma. (I'm always happy to purchase books if I know that she and others in the family will also read them.) I can see my ability to share books will change with e-books. Hmm...

Which of the three (traditional books, iPad or Kindle) do I prefer? The jury is still out. But it's great fun trying them all. I will keep you posted.

Happy New Year!

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