Although I've started a few different entries since my last published one, I just haven't been able to put anything together--after a good month of Holidailies, I guess I just ran out of steam. Tonight, to start a new week, I'm going to get a blog entry written, however inconsequential it may prove to be.
A friend recently asked for advice about whether to get a Kindle or a Nook--for those who don't know, these are two different eBook readers: the former being Amazon's reader and the latter coming from Barnes and Noble. I didn't have much to tell her, but I have been using the Kindle app for my iPod Touch (and for those who don't know, an "app" is basically a little program for the iPod, iPhone, or iPad that mimics roughly the function of another device (such as a Kindle) or a computer program or website).
Surprisingly, I've rather liked it. Don't get me wrong: I'm staunchly neo-Luddite in my preference for dead-tree books over digital ones. I don't envision myself ever snuggling up on the couch or a comfy chair or in bed with my iPod Touch to read a book. However, I have found that an e-reader on my new favorite portable device is a nice thing to have.
First, it should be noted that in the past when I've carried a dead-tree book around to anywhere, whether she's expressed it or not, my wife has been vaguely embarrassed by me. Somehow, it is less embarrassing of me to be engrossed in a small electronic device, presumably because many other people are doing it too. So the first thing the e-reader on my iPod has going for it is that it fosters marital bliss (or its rough equivalent), because I do like to have something to read when time might otherwise be "wasted" while waiting.
And those are precisely the times when I pull up an e-book to read--stolen moments. It's not unusual for me to read a bit of a book that way while taking the dog for a walk or any number of other such occasions. And while I've looked a bit eccentric when I've done the same thing with an actual book, no one bats an eye at someone engrossed in an electronic screen. Added bonus: not only can I still read after if would be too dark to read an actual book, it's actually easier at that point than when it's sunny.
Not surprisingly, you can't fit a lot of words onto a 2-inch-by-3-inch (or whatever it is) screen, but that's actually a positive thing, the way I'm using it, because with a normal book I more or less have to stop at the top of a left-hand page if I'm not at a chapter break. I finish the paragraph that's carried over the the previous page and then stop--it's how I've done it since elementary school, so I always know where to look to start up again. With the Kindle app on my iPod, a "page" is a couple short paragraphs, one modest paragraph, or a portion of a longer paragraph, which means, practically speaking, that it's a lot easier for me to stop and start.
I like the fact that anywhere there's wi-fi, I can download a new book, either paying for something I want enough to pay for (haven't done it yet) or getting public domain books for free. I recently read A Christmas Carol that way and have started War and Peace. I also got through the preview of a book that I have since acquired in dead-tree form (for most every book Amazon sells in e-format, they let you download a sample before you buy).
And that, my friends, is my limited experience with an e-reader of any sort. What experience do you have (or lack)? How do you feel about e-readers?