Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reading More With an E-Reader?

Are Tablets and E-Readers Responsible for a Rebirth of Reading?

This is an article from Gizmodo (one of my more frequent tech news haunts) responding to a presentation from The Economist. I haven't viewed the presentation yet (shame on me!) but I just wanted to share a thought about reading. Also, I haven't posted on here in a long time, so it's about time I put something up!

My wife reads a lot. She has for as long as I've known her. We recently got her a Kindle Fire and she loves it. She's been reserving and checking out e-books like crazy from our local library's digital collection (Lincoln City Libraries). Owning a tablet/e-reader hasn't made her read more. I think she's still reading about the same amount that she used to.

I, on the other hand, do not read a lot. I used to, back when I was a kid. But that was before the Internet and before I became more immersed in video games, TV, and watching sports. Sure, back in the day we had a couple Tandy computers (with my favorite game, Red Storm Rising, which was awesome), network television, a Sega Genesis, and a Super Nintendo. But I read voraciously. Through high school I still read a lot, but my intake was tapering. I've been on a steady decline since then. Now, I'm lucky to read one or two books a year. I still haven't finished The Lord of the Rings and I started that my senior year in high school! Well, I've stopped and restarted a couple times since then, but I'm still mired in the dreck of Sam and Frodo plodding towards Mordor. I will finish! One day, I will finish. I think I'm on about the fifth or sixth Harry Potter book. I've been working on that series since 2008. Dracula is another book I've been on for about two-and-a-half years. But there is still hope for me.

Enter, the iPad. I just finished my first exclusively e-read book-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hammered it out in two weeks. I read a little bit on one Friday afternoon, and then I finished the book the following weekend. I'm hooked on reading on my iPad. Perhaps I should give a little background: I've always been a little hesitant to read on an e-reader/tablet. Even though I've turned into a terribly lazy reader, I long held to the belief that I could never get into a book on an e-reader because it wouldn't be the same experience as reading a physical book. True, I'm not holding a book or turning the pages, but this last book converted me. After a little adjusting, I have no problem reading on my tablet. So, I guess you could say that I have been reading a bit more lately because of my e-reader/tablet. I don't think my iPad has caused me to read more. I think it's a combination of the convenience of constantly having the iPad with me and a desire to start reading more. A team effort. It's much easier to carry your library books with you on a slim tablet then it is to lug around physical books. The ease of access and use has certainly contributed to the uptick in my literary consumption.

So there you have it. As a bonus, here's the list of the books I've read this year and the book I'm currently reading:

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Time Machine

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