After swimming upstream for many moons, I finally admitted the inevitability of the eBook’s dominance. That’s right I got me a Nook. I decided upon the simple touch, which is the black and white model. I was either unwilling to completely part with the experience of a printed book or simply thought getting a Nook color was too much like getting an overpriced, under-performing tablet computer for my tastes. Whatever the case may be, I’ve got one and am enjoying the printed word in all it’s e-ink incarnated glory. But I have a few thoughts I’d like to share. (Or course I do or there wouldn’t be a blog entry now would there?)
It’s no easy feat to translate the literal pages of a printed book into e-format. To a computer a file is a file is a file. There’s no direct one-for-one translation for a printed page and an e-page. There are so many factors in play on a computer; physical screen size, screen resolution, font size, margins, etc and most can (and do) change on the whim of the user. So the fact that any pagination was created isn’t the simple task that you’d think. That said, I wanted to point out a funny flaw. In the book I’m reading I “turned” the page to page 37 and when I finished that page I “turned” the page again but still found myself on page 37. It seems that for every 2 pages in the printed version there’s 3 pages of e-pages. It’ll be interesting to see how long this problem stays around. For technology is always improving.
Dictionary at Hand!
Depending on the mood I’m in, I sometimes have to read with a dictionary handy.I like to think I have an expansive vocabulary but I know I pale in comparison to true scholars. So I admit my weakness and keep some assistance handy. Trouble was, my dictionary sucked. So often I went to look up a word and it wasn’t in the blasted thing. With the Nook, I no longer need that extraneous tome! A simple touch of the screen and I’m afforded the opportunity to look up the word. Marvelous! Simply, marvelous. However, the second problem has already reared its ugly head: I’m but two books into my e-reading and I’ve already encountered a slew of “Word not found” errors. It may be due to the fact that I’m reading “20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and Verne seems to love his scientific nomenclature.
I’m two-for-two on this one. In the two books, I’ve already run across problemslikethis and rogue spaces in the middle of lines. Though to be fair I often noticed the former issue in printed books and the latter is most likely a by-product of the pagination issue.
I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I’m reading a hardcover. Not because I’m graced with the upper body strength of a wet noodle, but rather because when I’m on a crowded subway car with my personal space bubble virtually nonexistent, I have no room to hold a huge book. Not to mention that with my hearing problem comes a rather shoddy equilibrium. If I take my hand off the railing to turn a page, I’m liable to lose my balance and squash some poor soul. With a Nook, I need only to swipe my thumb across the page and, VIOLA! I’m on the next page. Splendid.
The iPod Phenomenon
I go through books at a pretty good clip. As a result I sometimes have to stuff an extra book in my backpack alongside my mammoth work laptop, my lunch, a notebook and assorted paraphernalia. ‘Tis annoying. But now, I never have to worry about dragging two books with me because I’m just about to finish one, I can have a library worth of books with me!
Be it good or bad, eBooks are here to stay and I’ve begun to embrace them. They’re not without their flaws but like all emerging technologies, those flaws will soon be fixed…only to be replaced by new flaws, which will in turn be fixed; and so the cycle goes. I’m liking it so far, but know that nothing is quite like settling down with a good old fashioned paper and ink book. So my bookcases remain stacked and I’m still adding to them. I know I’ll throw in a print book to my reading list every now and again. Because I don’t think I’m alone in this thinking, I also don’t think printed books will ever truly disappear. What say you?