29 November 2009
A day in the life of an ebook reader
I've just finished an ebook (purchased locally surprise surprise) of The Book Thief. What a remarkable book. Will go down as one of the best I've ever read.
I've been laughing at myself lately because I either forget to charge the Sony ereader, or I don't turn it off properly, and then of course there are the problems with the device when I use the backlight (which chews up the battery). Trust me, I made sure I kept the battery strong for this book as I didn't want to get to a critical point and have a battery warning! There's nothing worse than wanting to read and not having the battery charge to do so...
It made me think about school students. I've heard many stories about (mainly private) schools wanting to have content on ereaders for their students but being rejected by publishers who either don't have the content digitised, don't want to participate, or just don't want to provide it for other reasons (piracy? who knows...). Anyway, I don't know about you, but my experience with teenagers in particular suggests they will lose their ereader, misplace it, forget to charge it etc. I can just imagine the teacher saying everyone turn to page 10 and some people have it on large font, some on small, so the page number is irrelevant. Then hearing cries from several students "miss, my battery is dead, I can't read it". Hysterical!
Of course they could always lose the print copy but you don't have battery issues with the traditional format. You don't risk damaging the whole device if you spill liquid on it. You can take it in the bath. You can read it throughout the flight (there's no "switching off all electronic devices" for the takeoff and landing period). The beauty of an ereader is storage and taking choice with you wherever you go.
Oh and further to my previous post, I had the ereader out and about with me yesterday - in a cafe and in a hairdresser. Only men asked me whether it was a Kindle. All older men - as previously identified - and all had lots of questions about it. Most women glance at it and it really does challenge their opinions. I think there's been half for and half against todate. Most add "I really hope the printed book doesn't die though". Me too folks, me too.