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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Me And My E-Reader

Okay, I've now had my wonderful new iPad for about a week. I thought it must be two at least because of all the fun I've had with it, but I've checked out the post in which I announced it and it was January 7. It's been great being able to check my email and read the Age newspaper in bed each morning. Once I'm back at work, I won't be able to do that except on the weekend, but I can take it on the train.

What I've been most thrilled with, though, is the e-reader facility. looking at my virtual book shelves, I now have the following:

A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur's Court, What Katy Did, What Katy Did At School, Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, Keith Laumer's Legions of Space, Andre Norton's The Time Traders, Fritz Leiber's short story "No Great Magic", which I've read and liked before, a 1930 copy of Astounding Stories, The Lost World and a Professor Challenger short story, "The Disintegration Machine, Wells' The Time Machine, both Jungle Books and a volume of Kipling's horror fiction, The Berserker Throne, The Code of Hammurabi (did you know you could be executed for receiving stolen goods in ancient Mesopotamia?), Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, A Princess of Mars, Grimm's Fairytales, Agent of Vega and A Logic Named Joe, a collection of Murray Leinster stories. The title story, published in 1946, predicted the Internet!

I do, of course, have the iPad manual for emergencies. It's several hundred pages long, so I'll use it when I need it.

And, just because I could, I bought a copy of my own novel, Wolfborn, so I could carry it around, maybe show it off a little, use it for reading from in public (when, one of these days, I get invited to speak in public about my writing... :-D). So far, it's the only book for which I was required to pay; the rest were from Project Gutenberg or the Baen free book page.

I don't mind paying, but most of these are classics I either haven't read or haven't read in years. And I can carry them all in my bag and open up whichever of them I want, when I want. I've been like a kid in a lolly shop! When I calm down I will start shopping, and buy some current books.

Today, while I was waiting for my mother to join me at Macca's, I opened my e-reader to Mark Twain's gorgeous time-travel novel, which I've loved since I first read it in primary school. (I have a battered old paperback and a first British edition my sister bought me from a catalogue). There was a table nearby with another mother and daughter and the daughter asked me lots of questions. Her elderly mother's ears pricked up when I said that if your eyesight isn't too good you can enlarge the letters on an e-reader.

Now, if my local library would make e-borrowing possible I'd buy my mother an e-reader so she could read her crime novels in large print...

Once I get a word-processing program I will be able to use it to check my students' homework, read slush and prepare stuff for the library.


Lan said...

Yes Sue, we are all suitably jealous! There's nothing better than free ebooks and I was so surprised that so many of the classics are offered for free.

Diana Guess said...

Yeah, it's great that it has e-reader facility :D Personally, I love this gadget, because I can read my eBooks downloaded from All You Can Books, a great site with hundreds of free titles... but with trial period unfortunately :( Now I read "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer, because it's my favorite book... I don't have a busy schedule.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Lan: Isn't is amazing how much free stuff is out there - as you say, classics, not just the kind of stuff that everyone has forgotten? And not just out-of-print stuff either. I mean - Agatha Christie! Andre Norton! Even recent writers like John Ringo? Not pirated stuff, either.

Diana: I'm just starting on this and I'm betting that, like you, I find a whole lot of pleasant surprises out there. That's something to look forward to. And with luck, even when I'm buying, there will be books I couldn't otherwise get hold of on this side of the world.

Satima Flavell said...

I'm planning to buy a reader this year so it's good to read of your experiences, Sue. I think I'll buy a dedicated reader rather than a tablet because the newer readers have no back lighting so are easier on the eyes.

But everyone who has an iPad raves about them! I don't want to learn how to work a Mac OS, though. I've tried several times before and just got myself frustrated and confused. (Doesn't take much to make me frustrated and confused these days!)

Sue Bursztynski said...

If all you want is the reader facility, it probably is best to get just a reader, Satima. AND they're smaller and easier to carry. But my school is buying iPads to lend out to the students and I thought it best to have one myself. It will be handy in a lot of ways. I can read the paper on the way to work and choose articles to use in class; we do have access to papers at work, but if I haven't read it before I get there, I just don't have the energy to read it later. Once i get my word processing program, I can use it to read and mark student work at my convenience.

I guess it's a matter of which OS you're used to. I started with Macintosh and found it very easy for a person not brought up on computers - you, of course, were also not brought up on computers, but I suppose you first learned on a PC. But I love my Apple and wouldn't ever buy anything else for myself, though I use PCs at work.