Saturday, 24 April 2010

On e-books

I've only properly started reading e-books a few months ago and now it has become my favourite activity to do on my iPhone (apart from obsessively checking e-mails and whatsapp-ing). It all started with my desire to read every Sherlock Holmes novel out there and finding that my library stocks them in the form of 2 massive volumes which are heavy and cumbersome to lug around. So I went on my iPhone and downloaded them from Project Gutenberg via Stanza and finished reading them with little time and no fuss. Since then, I've gone on to download other classics as well as Cory Dotorow's Little Brother, which I am currently reading and is under the Creative Commons license. 

This surprised me because I thought that I would find reading an entire book onscreen straining and the traditionalist in me enjoys feeling the pages between my fingers when I turn them. As it turns out, that couldn't beat the convenience of having an e-book reader with me all the time, since I bring my phone with me everywhere and could whip it out to resume reading anytime. This comes in especially handy when I don't expect to have spare time to kill, for example, waiting for a friend to show up. In the past, I would bring a book out when I expect to have a long commute on the train or am setting time aside to read, but now reading has become an activity that fills up my sporadic free pockets of time.

For the same reason, I'm not sure if an iPad will fill this need since it is not something I can keep in my pocket and will bring out unless I know there is a chance of it being used, even though it is lighter than my netbook. Undoubtedly, its interactivity and bigger screen will provide a better experience for reading e-books and make my long commutes to work more interesting...that is, if I do buy one. Until then, I'm content with the portability and convenience that comes with reading e-books on the iPhone.

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