Reading via laptop part 1

I’m making my first attempt at reading an e-book.

Back story: Device-wise
I’ve nabbed a few e-books when I’ve seen them and thought I might be interested over the past year or two, but none of these has enticed me to actually attempt to read them onscreen. See, I have no e-reader. No Kindle, no Sony Reader, no iPhone (alas). While I may not be entirely happy with this situation, it appears to be part of a larger situation that we’re still collectively waiting to see how it unfolds.

I’ve written before (more than a year ago now) about how (free) e-books are great publicity for the author and the title but aren’t necessarily read much. My thought process goes something like this: Great, a free book! Ugh, I don’t really want to print this tome. Besides, even if I did — well, first it wouldn’t actually be free anymore — do I really want to read a finished book, which I’m not marking up, in unbound galley form? Not the most pleasant reading experience. Then again, neither is reading an entire book on the computer, either. This, for the reader, is an impasse. That free book doesn’t really do anything, except take up hard drive space.

Back story: Book-wise:
Just recently, though, an e-book found its way onto my hard drive that I decided I’d at least attempt to read. This is the first post in my ongoing attempt to chronicle this effort.

The book: Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson, 2006), 246 pages

Although this book was published in 2006, I don’t recall hearing anything about it — at least not anything that made me think the book might be for me (That is some subtitle, though, isn’t it?) — until February 2009. In February, while preparing for my writing hermitage, I asked for suggestions of books to read. This book was recommended over and over, by a barrage of friends, readers and non-readers alike. When I came upon an email offering me a free e-book of it a week or so ago, I decided to give it a shot.

Reading experience:
I started reading right away, and I made it to page 14 of the 246-page PDF document in the first day. I read that page count spread out over the course of the day, some while sitting at the desk and some at the couch, where I’d taken the laptop for that purpose specifically. The story pulled me right in.

After looking at the screen all day, though, I was happy to switch out the e-book for a different title, this time in real-life book form.

This is the first in what I’m planning to be a series of brief (much shorter than this!) journal-type posts about my experience reading an e-book. On a laptop. Hope you enjoy it. I’d love feedback.

Anything you want to know?

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8 responses to “Reading via laptop part 1

  1. Liked this post. I actually have a Sony Reader, so I do most of my ebook reading on that. Before that, I used to read on my computer screen every once in awhile. It ended up giving me headaches and making my eyes really tired!

  2. I think that’s how I’d feel – happy to have a regular book back in my hands.

  3. I just want you to keep us posted. I started an ebook for the first time also last week, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I’m getting sucked into the book but I do wish I could hold it and sit somewhere besides my desk to read it.

  4. Thanks for your post! I love hearing other experiences with e-books. I, like you, was hesitant to read e-books. You know…that wonderful book smell, the feel of a book in your hands, the feeling of always knowing how much farther you have to read, etc. Well, I was given a Kindle for my birthday last year, and I also found that once the story sucked me in, it pretty much didn’t matter what form the story came in anymore. I still bounce back and forth between the Kindle and real books (and carry both around with me when I’m out and about…yes, very heavy at times), and have only read one e-book on the computer. It does seem that as long as the story is good, you get carried away from it all anyway! 🙂

  5. Hi – wanted to stop by and let you know I gave you a blog award:

    http://booksandmovies.today.com/2009/04/11/passing-on-the-bloggy-love/

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Oh yes, great subtitle! I’ve heard of the book, but haven’t ever looked into it.

    Reading on screen is very hard for me. That’s probably why I tend towards writing shorter blog posts! : )

    Enjoyed your comment over on Seedlings, btw. It’s a hard topic. Hard to be even-keeled about, hard to figure out what’s really going on in hearts, heads, pocketbooks and publisher’s meeting rooms.

  7. Pingback: Reading via laptop part 2 « Word Lily

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