Thursday, March 15, 2012

E-Reading Abroad...Meh.

People have always told me that travel reading is where e-readers really shine, and that taking an e-reader with me on a trip would be the ultimate scale-tipper to make me favor the devices. I actually found the opposite to be true.

A) The most boring part of flying is taxiing around and waiting to take off. Once the plane is in the air, I have an unprecedented view of the world to gawk at. But during take-off and landing--when I really want to read--I can't turn the kindle on.

B) Perhaps this is less of an issue for e-ink screens, but I like to spend my away time beachside or poolside underneath that bright orb in the sky that New England sorely lacks. Reading the Kindle Fire in such a setting is less irritating than rubbing sand in your eyes, at least.

C) Speaking of, a book does not care if you get sand on it.

D) The same one-touch-to-purchase-things feature that makes the KFire so convenient (and dangerous!) to have at home makes me extremely paranoid to leave it out in public, even if it I do have it password locked. Not to mention its inherent value. Leaving it with the towel pile while going for a quick swim is the very definition of paranoia.

I still like my Kindle Fire, and it has really turned me on to the idea of tablet computing (a post for another time). But I am still very unconvinced in the e-reader's ultimate convenience for travel reading. One or three substantial paperback books don't take up that much space...and given that Kerry managed to cram ten volumes of manga into her carry-on and briefcase on top of everything else she took to San Diego (including a laptop and an ipad), I'm not convinced space is that much of a concern in the first place. If it is for you, watch this slide-show and thank me later.

tl;dr: Paperback books can be read anytime and anywhere, don't take up that much space, and cost so little that I don't mind if they get destroyed or lost. Yay woot books.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ereaders & Bathtubs

In all my 26 years, I've only dropped one book in the bathtub: a paperback edition of Frank Herbert's Dune. And that was before I was even a teenager. Yet doing the same to an ereading device has been among my biggest fears since the invention of the things. The acquisition of a Kindle Fire back in the Yuletide Holidays made a situation such as today's all but inevitable.

Today I confronted the dialectic of being enthralled with a story contained in an ereader (Rick Yancey's The Isle of Blood) while, at the same time, being possessed by an urgent need of a hot bath. The synthesis I reached is that--risks be damned!--if the format of a "book" cannot be read in the tub, it is not a format worth assimilation into my collection.

I read on my Kindle Fire in the bathtub. Nothing happened.