“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page or just closing the book.”
The Beatles - Paperpack Writer
I know this post is for a totally different situation than alluded to in the above quote; however I have decided to adopt it for this piece. Most people are aware I do prefer a real printed book with those lovely crunchy pages. Some people also know I am now the owner of an iPhone. The dragged and kicking owner I may add. I hate mobile phones of any type by the way, but stuck with it for contact purposes in this modern age.
Anyway before I digress, let’s return to the subject at hand. There are books these days that are just not available in print, coming only in electronic book format – the eBOOK. I hear the gasps of horror and even the sighs of, even the astonished wonder. Nothing wrong about that, unless of course you don’t have the right tools to be able to read electronic books.
So for the first act, enter from stage right, the book publishers and the manufacturers of portable reading devices as the dawn of eBook evolution. Devices such as:
- Amazon - Kindle;
- Barnes & Nobles - Nook;
- Ectaco - jetBook
- Kobo Inc.- Kobo Glo & Kobo Touch
- Sony -Sony Reader
- PocketBook International S.A - PocketBook
The above are just a half dozen of the various portable eBook reader hardware that are available on the market today. Though flat they can sometimes be large and cumbersome. Many are still in production in new generation formats in an effort to keep up in the market. Kindle is statistically the best selling of the eReaders. I am not going to give an indepth explanation of these or the pros and cons of each. This would be a further digression into the world of superficial marketing.
Next step in the story, before we return to the eReaders, entering from stage right for the second act, the software, where if no portable device is available, enables one to read an eBook on a PC or Notebook, which is generally provided as free safe application download, some of which are supplied by the above publishers and/or manufacturers of the portable eReaders.
So back to my magical mystery tour of electronic vs. the printed book – third act. My first inroad to electronic was the PC/Notebook version of the Kindle at the suggestion of a very dear friend and a book that is currently unavailable in printer format, “Being French…”**. With a click of the mouse I downloaded and installed the software. Bought the book and Amazon “magically” downloaded it to my notebook with another click of the mouse. From there it was a case of just a mouse click to progress to next section of the story, never leaving the screen (or page so to speak). So the choice of turning the page was sort of gone, depending on how you looked at it. Closing the book, in my case, was powering down the notebook and closing the lid.
The fourth act was the unexpected purchase of an iPhone. Ah ha! I discovered that here, I could also have Kindle and read it to. One better even than a notebook - TOUCH TECHNOLOGY. I didn't even require a mouse to move along my text. Just a slide of my finger to the left and “Voilà!” the next section of text ready to read. No turning of a page, just a simple slide of the finger. Bookmarking is no issue, just a tap of the finger or the appropriate icon. Viewing position is quite easily locked into place for long or wide view. I can even read it in the dark. Joy bliss, reading material at my fingertips 24 hours a day and not a page to turn,
Yes of course, I am now reading an eBook on the iPhone. A free downloadable from Amazon. A Psi-murder thriller, A crime book in North American style, with the usual touch of romance, the right amount of sleaze and a nice lead up to the nail biting bit. Well I hope it gets nail biting, I haven’t quite got there yet. It may fizzle out and be a real dud. Time will tell. The plus side is I can read it on public transport and I don’t need a eReader for a book I probably would never have bought in paperback but was happy to download the free eBook.
SO you see there really does come a time when you have to choose between turning the page or just closing the book, taking up your eReader, PC/Notebook or even iPhone just to read something that doesn’t exist in the book form as we grew up to know. Do I think the printed book will ever be replaced by eReaders, hard to tell. From a personal perspective I hope not. So a quote for one purpose has to all intents and purposes served me well in the context of this post.
* A special thank you to Monsieur François ROLAND, Author, Blogger and Photographer for the contribution of the original photograph used here.
** Being French! A Frenchman's Guide to a More Sensual Life by François ROLAND