Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kindling

Age columnist Michael Shmith recently bought himself a Kindle, and so he doesn't like it very much, apparently. He must be a died in the wool book lover, because he doesn't warm to the experience of reading text on a screen and swiping your finger to turn the pages. Hence his spiffy new Kindle has barely been used.

I have only dipped my toes into the slightly uncharted waters of ebooks this year. Just over a month ago, we started providing ebook loans to students at the college I work for.  To educate myself about the technology, I downloaded and have started reading the ebook edition of Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel Jane Eyre on my iPod touch.

This has been my first experience of reading an ebook on a handheld device. Unless you adjust the font size, the text is tiny and hard on your eyes. On the other hand, I do like the bookmark feature. You touch a ribbon on the top right hand corner of the screen and and a nifty red ribbon scrolls down. This lets you mark the page and come back later if you want to turn off the iPod or use another application.

As I have written on here before, ebook technology has not yet matured.I'm not a Luddite, but I don't see paper books becoming extinct any time soon. I have no plans to stop reading paper books instead of ebooks. Lifelong habits cannot be changed overnight.

1 comment:

His Lordship The Gun-Toting Atheist said...

The way I see it, the Kindle is much easier on the eyes than normal LCD screens. The convenience of being able to carry thousands of titles at once is very appealing, so is the ability to search and bookmark. However, I fear a future where paper books have disappeared. When the power is out and the batteries finally run out, the book is gone. At least a paper book is something tangible that requires no electricity. I won't be giving mine up either.