Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wrapping grey matter around new technology

Sometimes the universe makes decisions for me, decisions like “Thou shalt have an electronic reader device other than the laptop or your computer at work.”

Last week a friend of mine in Oz told me she had a spare Kindle floating around, which she kindly donated to my cause until we discovered that the thing’s lithium batteries create a bit of a tizz with the postal services. Hence, I told her not to bother…only to have another friend drop down from upcountry for a visit, and give me his old Sony Reader, which he isn’t using anymore.

It’s taken me less than a week to fall irrevocably in love with my new Reader. No more getting my nice books munched at the bottom of my bag. No more having to haul out the laptop to read ebooks. I can read in bright sunlight. I can make the text bigger. The document opens on the same page where I left off.

The Reader is compact, it’s slim and it doesn’t weigh as much as a book (or at least the doorstoppers I'm accustomed to reading). I’ve now got almost 90 books stored on it, with plenty of space for more. There are two SD card slots as well, so I can expand with further memory, should I need to. And, after hearing some of the frightening capacities of the memory cards coming onto the market nowadays…

I’m a happy puppy. A really happy puppy.

Because, to be quite honest, I’ve run out of shelf space at home. It’s chronic. I have to start making some hard decisions about letting some books go. And, while I’ll always have a bit of a book problem **laughs** I’m so chuffed I’m now fully into this ebook thing. It feels more “real” now that I’ve a reading device in hand.

I’ve been keeping pace with some of the changes the publishing industry is undergoing, and I’m glad I got my toe in the door about two years ago because I’ve a feeling this whole electronic publishing shindig is still going to do some amazing things for a lot of authors who wouldn’t ordinarily have had an opportunity.

I don’t care much for the attitude that “ebooks” aren’t real books. To me it’s the words that count, how the content of what I’m reading makes me feel. It’s not about holding paper in my hand. New forms of media are changing the way we exchange information, and I embrace this change with open arms.

Gone are the days with me stressing about a package in the mail, of waiting sometimes more than a month for my precious book to arrive from the US or UK. What I’m getting now is instant gratification to feed my reading weevil.

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