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I’ve mentioned that I’m picky with what I read when talking about my epic TBR pile (which I REALLY need to get started on).
Technology…now that I haven’t quite covered. You’re probably thinking, well duh Ava, this is a writing blog, not a geeky technology blog. And that’s true. Except as well as being a reading/writing/movie/CG/X-Men/Harry Potter/Photoshop geek, I also happen to have a love for all things technological and it totally relates to writing/reading, I promise.
Before I buy any new technology, I read the reviews. Actually, that’s a bit misleading; I live and breathe the reviews for at least a day (usually more like a week) before I make any decisions. And if the reviews are bad, guess what? I’m not spending my money on it.
I also have this really bad habit of falling in love with technology I totally can’t afford (can you say MacbookPro?), but that’s another matter entirely.
So what does this have to do with all things literary, you ask? One word: e-reader.
The e-reader combines two things I love the most into one boss item, so you’d think I’d totally jump onto that ASAP, right? Well…
As of right now I don’t buy e-books. It’s not because I thumb my nose at self-publishing (I definitely don’t, I have mondo respect for all you indies out there), it’s not because I think e-books are inferior to actual books (even I will tell you that it’s the writing that matters, not the format), it’s not even that I love the new book smell so much I don’t know what I’d do without it (ok, maybe it’s a LITTLE bit that). The reason I don’t buy e-books, guys, is just that I’m really picky about the way I read.
Technically, I have an e-reader. It’s called an iPod Touch and it’s a little bit frightening how addicted I am to it. I take it everywhere and I don’t even use it to listen to music half the time. And yes, I’m fully aware that I can buy e-books on it, in fact I’ve even downloaded a few free samples to try it out. And although the samples were all fine, I wouldn’t read anything more than quick excerpts on it. Why?
- The screen is too tiny. I don’t know how many of you have an iPod Touch or iPhone or have played around with one (I’m willing to bet it’s most of you, though), but that screen is tiny. It’s fine for playing games, for listening to music, even for jotting down little notes. But reading? I don’t know guys, I just don’t buy it.
I have pretty decent eyes, I can deal with the tiny type (and I know I can make it bigger if I want to). What annoys me is only being able to read about a paragraph before I have to flip to the next page. The reading experience goes from flowing through an entire page (or two, depending on which page you’re on) to something like this:
Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl. The girl met the boy and…
…decided she didn’t like him very much but the boy liked the girl very…
Ok, lame story, I’m feeling a little lazy right now but that’s not the point. The point is that having to “flip” to the next page every few sentences drives me crazy.
- The battery life. I don’t know what the official count for iPod Touch battery life is (I don’t have the newest one either, so it’s probably not as much as the newer models), but I do know that if I read on it all the time, it wouldn’t last very long. As it is I often have to charge it part-way through the day because I’ve overused it and it’s 3:00 and my iPod only has 20% battery left and it keeps giving me these little notifications that say I’M RUNNING LOW ON BATTERY and I’m like OK, OK iPOD I’LL CHARGE YOU IN A MINUTE and it’s like CHARGE ME NOW I’M RUNNING LOW, MY BATTERY IS RED, SEE?
Now imagine trying to read while having that (totally normal) argument when your iPod. Maybe you could deal with it, but I can’t.
Now technically I have another e-reader, too. It’s called a laptop. And technically I could download e-books for reading onto it. And I’ve tried.
But guys, six years of reading work that needs editing on my computer has trained my brain to think if I’m reading it on the computer it isn’t finished and I know that’s seriously nitpicky and I’m sorry but that’s what it feels like to me. Not to mention that reading on the laptop screen gets tiring pretty quickly anyway.
Ok, ok, so obviously my solution is to go out and buy an e-reader. And I’ve tried a whole bunch of them out in the stores to see how I like them.
Well guys, I found one I like. Remember that bad habit I mentioned? The one about falling in love with technology you can’t afford?
Yep. I decided that the iPad is the best fit for me. Crap. (I’d go into huge detail about why I think the iPad will suit me best, but this blog post is long enough as it is.)
Seeing how I’m still saving up to replace my laptop, I don’t think I’ll be buying an iPad any time soon. Will I cave in and dish out money for a cheaper e-reader before then? I don’t know, it’s certainly possible. We’ll see how I feel around Christmas, I suppose.
One thing’s for sure though, I have a nice list of e-books in my head that I will most definitely be downloading when I do get one.
So what do you guys think? Am I being too nitpicky? (It’s ok, I know I am). What e-reader do you use if you have one? (I like reviews, remember?)