Opinion: Does that come in electronic?


I just fin­ished the first chap­ter of Cross­bones by Nurud­din Farah. A lit­tle hard to fol­low, but read­ing on my Kin­dle Fire makes it a hel­luva lot eas­ier, and this is why:

When I put on a book, I can change the colour or the text and back­ground between clas­sic white and black print, the inverse of that, and to a beige and dark red text. The lat­ter is my favorite because it’s the most relax­ing on my eyes.

Cross­bones on my kin­dle totals a lit­tle over 5,000 pages, because each page on my tablet has about two para­graphs. It doesn’t take me any more time to go through; I just like the big­ger text, and the smaller chunks of text are less intim­i­dat­ing than a page of never-ending words.

Corss­bones takes place in Soma­lia, so there are often some terms I don’t know. On my Kin­dle I just select the word and search the web and in a mat­ter of moments I know what the term means and I can con­tinue reading.

In another book I had in another class, I needed to know when a char­ac­ter first appeared. My Kin­dle is per­fect for this type of thing. I just searched the character’s name and it showed me every time their name was stated and I was able to be brought to their first appear­ance — mis­sion accomplished.

If I had to carry all the of the books on my Kin­dle with me to class every­day, I prob­a­bly sim­ply wouldn’t due to the weight, and so dur­ing free time through­out the day I wouldn’t get to spend it read­ing the many books I am assigned to read at a given time. This way they are all in one place, on the page I left off, in a light tablet.

Peo­ple talk about how these new book read­ing tablets aren’t the same. They don’t have the same feel to them, or that “book smell” which appar­ently some peo­ple in this world actu­ally like (I’m sorry about my reluc­tance to accept that you exist). I don’t know if I am just highly sus­cep­ti­ble to paper-cuts but I get a new one every day.

And when you have to hold books open because they’re too new to be used for their sole pur­pose and you have to pull on it just to see the words that are all the way into the bind­ing… okay, maybe using a Kin­dle has just made me incred­i­bly lazy about phys­i­cal books.

There are cons of course, though you prob­a­bly already know of them.

The other day in His­tory we had to take out our books and answer ques­tions on the study guide about them. I pulled out my Kin­dle, turned it on, and then it died. I for­got to charge it the night before.

There is the pos­si­bil­ity of it get­ting lost or stolen. I lost my kin­dle when I first got it. Thought I for­got it some­where at school and that some­one had stolen it. Turns out I for­got it in my friend Cyn’s car that morning.

Then to be more vague to all the cons is that once your Kin­dle is unus­able for what­ever vari­ety of rea­sons, you no longer have all of those books. One moment you have hun­dreds of books but once that bat­tery dies or that kin­dle gets lost at sea…

With my major and minors on the human­i­ties end of the aca­d­e­mic spec­trum, I have to read a lot of books at any given time, and hav­ing a Kin­dle makes it all so much eas­ier for me to be pre­pared and do well in all my classes. So when I am assigned books at the begin­ning of the year I ask “does that come in electronic?”

Image cour­tesy of Felic­ity Bosk — The Stinger
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