17 November 2011


I won something again!! This is amazing, I'm on a roll. I've never won anything before, and now two things in one month! This time I actually had to work for it, though, as it was a contest, not just a draw. Christopher Bunn (yes, he of the Aebelskivers) wrote this very cool new song, and was giving away an Amazon gift certificate to the first person who could identify all three people the song was about. One was a character from one of his books, and as his current Magnum Opus, The Tormay Trilogy, is a three-volume fantasy which is quite magnum, indeed, it took a bit of searching.

I did find it, though, dredging up from the recesses of my blurry memory the general vicinity of the part of the story in which the character was being talked about, and looked it up to find the actual name. It would have been a lot easier if I'd had the books in my hand in hardcopy, then I could have just gone "Okay, about a third of the way through the book, right page, second paragraph from the bottom," and flipped through until it jumped out at me. Alas, so far Christopher's books are only available in e-book format, and e-pages don't flip very well.

The funny thing is that I'll probably end up using that gift certificate to just buy more of his books. Well, okay, I already have all of the ones that are out in print - wait, not print - uh, font? pixel? binary code? (Hmm, this is the same problem I've run into with my online studies: I never hand in papers, they're always just digital files. "Excuse me, Professor, when are those bites due?") But there'll be more of his books coming out soon, and meanwhile, there's so much other good stuff out there to read... And with e-books, oh dear, it's just too darn easy to get yet another book.

Those of you who have been faithfully following my flog - sorry, blog (getting a bit carried away with the alliteration there for a moment) might remember that last year I bought myself an e-book reader, with absolutely no intention to read books on it, as in, fiction, for amusement. Oh no, I was going to firmly remain faithful to my beloved print-on-paper (pBooks, we call that nowadays). The electronic dog polisher was only going to be for strictly electronic dogs, i.e. for reading pdf files for the aforementioned online studies. Hah- hahahah!! As it turns out, tiny little 6" screens are actually quite lousy to read pages on that were designed for 13" windows. (D'oh!)

But, ooh, they're lovely for reading regular books. Instant large print, anyone? What's more, instant reading material, at 10:30 on a Saturday night when you've just finished your Nero Wolfe novel, and you want another one, RIGHT NOW. No more waiting until the library opens again on Tuesday, or at least until the bookstore opens on Sunday morning. Now I can get more books with a few taps of a button, whenever I want. Instant gratification. But the ironic thing is that the instant-gratification reading machine is also teaching me to read more thoroughly again - to really read, page by page, instead of just skipping through the story for the instant gratification of only getting the good bits.

And it's not that my e-reader has turned me off pBooks, in the least. Rather, it's added a new dimension to my reading life. It's a winning situation, all around.

Incidentally, if you can't, or don't want to, afford a dedicated e-reader, you can still read e-books on your computer; the software is available for free download. So you have no more excuses for not reading Christopher's books; he's even giving one away for free.

Life, the Universe, and E-book Reading. Unexpected wins.


  1. I guess I'm going to have to break down and read ebooks soon BUT there are still some nice novels over at the library not far from my door... Maybe I'll wait 'til later.

  2. Yeees... like I said, I wasn't going to read ebooks either, on the same principle. And then I got suckered in...
    By all means, read those novels. There's always more books in the world that one can read, whether that's e- or p-books - so go for what you enjoy!
    Happy reading!

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