Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Books Without Paper

A few months ago, Mike started looking into Amazon's Kindle . The Kindle is an electronic book reader that is supposed to have a really good look and feel to it. Mike's main objection was that he wanted them to come up with a book swap program so that he could send back his paper versions and get the electronic free -- or maybe reduced cost. The logic being, of course, that he had already purchased the book. The cost and our lack of need for yet another gadget may also have convinced him to hold off on the purchase.

I liked the idea but it is yet another gadget to schlep around. And, I doubt that they will make knitting books available initially. Yes, I read popular fiction, lots of it and I have now found a great (for me) way to procure my "girlie books" and mysteries without having to schlep to the library and tote around paper that may very well be harboring those same buggies that I am trying to kill. (Yes, I am a bit obsessive these days. My obsessiveness did not stop me from requesting a copy of More Sensational Socks when Mike went to Borders yesterday.)

I also like to read while I knit and balancing a book on my lap (and keeping the pages from flopping about) can be somewhat awkward. Doesn't stop me from doing it, but it is a bit cumbersome. I also love to read on the subway but hate schleping extra weight so over the years I have experimented with reading books on my Palm. Initially I was getting them from Project Gutenberg which led to reading a lot of Louisa May Alcott for a while.

Then I discovered that the New York Public Library has the electronic version of TONS of books available for free download. They only stay active for 3 weeks so taking out a virtual stack of books is not a good idea if you are a slow reader. When I first discovered this, I only downloaded the books to my Palm and ran into the deadline issue. If my phone is the only place I am reading a book, it takes a very long time to finish because I am not likely to pick it up at home and I just do not ride the subway that often these days.

Then I realized (about a week ago) that I could read the books on my laptop. Woo Hoo! Using Mobipocket, I load the book and view about half a page of text at eye level while I knit away. I went through two books this way this weekend. Understand now how I injured myself?

Yesterday, during the usual "have to kill time while kids are in religious school" time, I took myself to the public library, found a comfy chair, propped my Palm on my lap, put the book (same one I am reading on my laptop) on "scroll" mode and knit away. Finished the toe of a sock. Yes, it was a bit odd to do this in the library but hey, it was a library book.

I'm in heaven! Now to see what they have in non-fiction ...

1 comment:

Dave Daniels said...

I'm with you about keeping that gadgets to a minimum. I'm still a fan of books in PDF format. I can either read them on the computer, or just print out few selected pages to take along, that type of thing. At the end of the 20th century, there were a few companies trying to get into the electronic book thing. It'll be interesting to see if any standards get developed.