Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

Weekly Geeks: ‘Tech & Reading’

This week’s Weekly Geeks topic is one that I’ve covered a good few times on this blog: reading format. More specifically in the case of this blog, the switch from ‘real’ books to eBooks.

So, here are this week’s questions:

Did you have a hard and fast mindset in regards to your reading a year ago?

Last July I was in the final throes of my ‘to buy or not to buy’ debate on the run-up to my birthday. In the ‘For’ camp was storage space (or lack thereof), the ability to carry a whole library in my handbag, price and my slight nerdish love of gadgets. In the ‘Against’ camp was my dad who was utterly disturbed by the concept of any book that he couldn’t cover in sticky back plastic (yes, really…), my worry that I’d miss dawdling around a second-hand bookshop and concern that it just wouldn’t be the same reading a screen as compared to a page.

So, to cut to the chase, no hard and fast mindset – just a flurry of nonsense! At that stage, however, 100% of my reading was ‘real’ books.

Are you still true to that format?

I jumped off the fence very shortly before my birthday and took the plunge. My Sony eReader was welcomed to the family in August last year.

This time last year, I had read 22 books, 0% of which were eBooks.

So far this year, I have read 22 books (how bizarre!), 55% of which have been eBooks.

What a difference a year makes!

If you have tried another format (ebook, audio) – Share your experience?

I couldn’t love my eReader more – when I first got it, I still snuck in a good few real books. Lately, I’ve taken to not-so-stealthy downloading.

It’s great to carry around, easier to hold and, in the end, it’s exactly the same story I’m enjoying! Plus, once you’ve learnt where to look, eBooks are no more expensive than their paper counterparts despite the frequent articles that state the contrary.

What was it that made you tried something out of your comfort zone?

I wish it was something more grand but, really, we moved house in February 2010 and while I unpacked my many books, my boyfriend despaired. Somehow I’d accumulated more in our previous flat than either of us had realised and when they were displayed all shiny in our new study, it looked a teensy bit overwhelming! So I started thinking about whether I really could convert to eBooks…the rest is recorded on this blog!

If you have not tried another format – Why?

I’ve never tried listening to an audio book. Mostly because I doubt I’d take in anywhere near the same amount of detail as when I’m reading and I like the peace and quiet of getting lost in a book. It strikes me as too different to reading to be the same experience…

Give a brief overview of where you are at with your reading now, eg, load of paperback lying round, or the out of sight out of mind e-reader putting your mind at ease

Erm…both! I still have a ton of paperbacks just waiting to be read up in the study (and a good few spread around the rest of the house for good measure) AND an eReader full of books awaiting my attention. That dynamic is starting to shift to the out-of-sight kind as I buy more eBooks and less paperbacks.

How do you feel about different output method now?

Everyone should own an eReader. Simple as that 🙂

Even my dad, a staunch traditionalist who I persuaded just to try an eBook on his iPad one rainy afternoon, is all but converted and THAT is as good a success story as any!

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If you fancy sharing your thoughts on different ways to read, head on over here and share in all the geekdom! Or just share a comment or two – you’ll feel better!