ramblings of a book-loving, coffee-drinking, marathon-running social studies teacher
After getting back to work and being able to take a break from my vacation, I’m back into my writing routine. I took a look at the articles that have been simmering for the past few weeks; it’s a wonder some of them haven’t boiled over! The good news is that I can finish these up and stay on schedule for the next few weeks while I polish some of the latest ideas I’ve been working on. The question remains: what to write about first? My answer: the post closest to completion: my first experience with an e-reader.
As you may remember, a few weeks ago I began preparing for Banned Books Week. No, I’m not going to tell you my list, but here’s a hint: at least one of the 7 is in the public domain, available on Project Gutenberg, and listed on GoodReads. I’ve always had an aversion to e-readers, but in this case reading the book in some kind of electronic format would save me 14.99 +tax. (Jinkes! A clue!) My wife kindly volunteered the use of her Nook, a gift I had (begrudgingly) bought for her a year or two ago.
I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats with anticipation.
It wasn’t long before I found my first complaint. Unlike real books, the Nook required charging. Despite the fact that I had successfully downloaded the file (and could read it in Notepad if I really wanted to), I had to wait for 45 minutes while the Nook charged. Really!? I like to be able to start reading as soon as I get home. However, I wasn’t going to give up just yet.
Once I transferred the file (and found it in the right folder), I started reading. It took me a few tries, but eventually I was able to consistently turn the page without highlighting anything. That night I read for several hours with no further complaints.
I loved the fact that the Nook remembered my place. I have a nasty habit of either not using bookmarks or having them “accidently” fall out. In fact, I just like thumbing through books and grabbing random phrases. But in this case, it would have been catastrophic to lose my place. (Look gang! Another clue!)
Eventually I had another problem: lighting. I’m used to reading in low light, but the Nook doesn’t really allow that. Despite touting itself as having ink and paper qualities, the screen just doesn’t reflect light the way white paper does. Since I’m not a caveman and pay my electric bill, this was not a hardship.
It took me a couple of days, but I eventually finished the book. Then I sat down and made some lists.
The result? The Nook didn’t win me over to using e-readers, but neither did it alienate me. I’d probably use one again if there was a book I really wanted to read and could get it for free. Other than that, I’d gladly pay more for the real thing.