11 April 2008

Reading online, or on the screen.

I've actually been reading quite a bit recently, although it's not showing up in my "Good Reads" widget. That's because I have been reading e-books, and I'm not quite certain how to put them up. First I read Rollback by Robert Sawyer. Now I have just finished Old Man's War by John Scalzi, which is a reread prior to reading his The Last Colony. As you might guess, I am reading my way through the 2008 Hugo nominees preparatory to the vote this summer. All the nominees (except The Yiddish Policemen's Union) have been released in e-form to the members of Denvention III, the voting body for the 2008 Hugos.

What this has shown me is that I don't really enjoy reading books on screen. It's not that my screen isn't great: I have the option of a 17" or a 13", both with good clarity. It's that I like to walk around with my book, cook with my book, carry my book downstairs while waiting for the girls, have my book in my backpack for public transport or queuing. I have Mobireader for my Palm and I used to use it while commuting, when the laptop and work literature made carrying hardcovers painful, but now, I just want to hold the book in my hands.

In the past, if I like the book after the first 50 pages, I would just order it from Amazon and have it tomorrow morning. But here, where it can take weeks for me to get English language books (if they are even a bit abstruse, or not yet published in the UK) I am just reading online. And it's annoying.


Diane Mandy said...

I understand enjoy reading books online, because I really don't think it is the best medium for it. And this opinion is coming from a former web guru who designed and tested educational websites. I admire the fact that you read and enjoy reading. It's a skill I have yet to acquire.

Oh and another bookcase for you here:

Lynda said...

I am with you... an avid reader all my life, you just can't snuggle up in your cosy bed with a screen... you can't take the screen in the bath... you can't curl up on the sofa with a soft glass of red on a rainy day with a screen. Turning to the first, crisp page of a new book is almost a spiritual experience if you have been waiting for a while for something special.