Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Little things that please me.

I’m trying hard to stick to at least one of my resolutions, I am reading almost every day and always something new. Helped by my shiny new Kobo e-reader.

Now I’ve had an e-reader for a long time. My previous version being the now defunct Sony reader. I both loved and loathed this device.

I loved the fact that I could carry around literally hundreds of books with me on something that weighed about the same as a small paperback.

I loathed the Sony store, it was clunky unresponsive and had a limited range of books available on what was initially its own proprietary format (they changed this so that it could deal with standard ePubs eventually)*

I loved the battery life, measured in weeks in some cases.

I loathed the fact that thanks yet again to Sony’s weird ass way of dealing with things you couldn’t charge it straight from the wall, it had to be via a PC.

I loved the e-paper which was non backlit and just as easy on the eye as normal paper and yet would allow me to bump up the font size if I didn’t have my contacts in.

I loathed the awkward position of the next page buttons

After a few years of using my e-reader, sometimes sporadically, other times diligently, I noticed that the battery life was getting shorter. Even worse it would go from 4 bars to zero in very short space of time.

RTH had noticed the same with his**. In the meantime the Sony store had closed and chucked all its business and accounts onto the Kobo store anyway.

It made sense that my next device would be a Kobo one. RTH and I got a pretty sweet deal over Christmas on two shiny new readers complete with cases. Coinciding nicely with my resolution to read more.

Now, a month in, I’ve spotted a small problem.

I’ve forgotten how quickly I read stuff. I don’t just read books, I demolish them. I read at a phenomenal pace, which makes the time it took me to plow through “From the Ground Up” both pitiful and inexcusable. It also means things are going to get kinda pricey in the new book department. Now I don’t mind spending money on books but combining this with the fact that I’m trying to cut down on clutter not create it *** I needed a solution.

And I’ve found one, one that makes me very happy. Our public library system has a thing call Overdrive. You can “check out” ebooks. If they are not available then you can place a hold on them and it emails you automatically when they become available.

It was simple to set up (once I ironed out the self-inflicted kinks with adobe digital editions) and now I’m happily browsing their extensive catalogue. I’m like a kid in a candy store; I’ll have one of those, one of those, one of those and oooh! One of those too!

Then I realised that not even I read that much in 21 days, so I cut back a little bit, before discovering that you can access magazines too, including “Flying” magazine. Sweeet!!!!!!!!

I know this post has pretty much zero aviation content but it’s something that’s making me happy at the moment. I like books. I like reading. And if I’m honest the stupidly long and protracted way that I tackled my PPL written exam kind of sucked the joy out of reading for me for a while.

Now I’m back into it and stupidly excited by the number of books that I have available to me. It’s going to make those long winter evenings just fly by !

*RTH and I had ways of buying non-Sony books and stripping the “wrapper” off them but it was a pain in the neck and involved editing command line code. Sometimes it was more hassle than it was worth.

** We had identical readers, the only way to tell them apart was the serial number on the back. It did happen that if we were reading the same book, I’d pick his up and carry on reading from a different point to where I’d left it!

*** When we moved to Canada we donated around 2000 paperback books to charity. Our entire house was one giant bookshelf!

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