Are you an ebook virgin?

I didn’t believe an ebook could be fun to read. Sitting in front of computers all day…I can attest to the fact that reading large amounts of text from a monitor is not ideal. But, I felt like I should really read an entire novel before making my final decision.

Hmmmm…what to read? I browsed the University of Virginia’s Free eBook Library and Amazon and selected “The Secret Garden” (a classic I had somehow managed to miss reading). I curled up on the couch with my iPAQ and began reading. It was awkward at first; I was using the stylus to turn the page. Then I realized I could just press the round navigator button to page forward…nice.

Before I knew it, I was deep into the book. I realized that the amount of text on the screen was actually just right for my reading speed. I mean really…how many words do you take into your head in 30 seconds? I never had to adjust the ebook in front of my face..and turning ePages was easier than paper.

After about an hour of reading…I thought…hmmmm…not bad. It sure is great having a good book to read with me all the time. I don’t mind getting stuck in traffic, and if my lunch date is late, I take advantage of the situation and read.

The next night I delighted in the fact that I could read in the middle of the night without even turning on a light. The backlit screen was all the light I needed. And then I discovered the ability to look up a word in the dictionary, highlight and bookmark. Sweet…my kids could no longer pull my bookmarks out!

As I turned the last page, I asked myself, “what didn’t you like?” Well, I didn’t like the time displayed in the top corner…made me stop reading sooner since I knew how late it really was! And I missed the feel of knowing when I was approaching the end of the book. I slow down towards the end…when I’m in a really good book…not wanting to leave. (but with a little more investigation, I learned how to display the number of pages left).

So, I’ll admit it. I’m now totally into eBooks. I still have my library of books. I still love going into a bookstore and browsing. But, mark my words, eBooks are wonderful and until you’ve read a good book on a PDA encased in leather…you won’t know what you are missing!


  1. I think that not knowing how much of the book is left would be one thing I’d really like about an eBook. Most of what I read is either authored or recommended by people I trust, because I like to go into a book as blindly as possible, so I can go read it with no knowledge or expectation of what I’m going to get. So I’m often disappointed with that limitation of printed books; knowing that the end is approaching allows me to start piecing together what’s left of the book, and I’d rather let the book do the storytelling.

  2. Cool perspective, Rob. I never thought of it that way. Next eBook I read, I’ll turn off the “how many pages left” feature and be less confined.

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