Friday, June 3, 2011

Reading - Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow

I've been an avid reader since I was a kid. It's funny, because other than a newspaper or the occasional magazine, I don't remember menfolks reading all that much when I was a kid, although my Mom reads regularly now. But for whatever reason, I started reading early and I haven't stopped yet.

Hard covers or paperbacks, new, used, borrowed, or bought with my allowance money, I just really enjoyed all the journeys that I took through all those wonderful books. These days I prefer sci-fi/fantasy, murder mysteries, detective fiction, and thrillers, but I enjoy an adventure story (especially the true ones like Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki) now and again, too.

These days, most of my reading is done via ebook. I started reading ebooks long before they were the "in thing" that they are now. My very first mobile device was a Phillips Velo1 in 1998; it ran on WindowsCE (usually abbreviated WinCE, and it was quite a painful operating system to use!). There weren't many 'Apps' for it, but I did manage to find a book reader and a site that offered some free ebooks in plain text format. Obscure titles, all in the public domain, but I still managed to get some reading pleasure from them.

Within a year or so, I had upgraded to a Palm Pilot clone (called the Handspring Visor), and I continued to read electronically (along with managing my calendar and contact lists and such). Even with that tiny screen, it was so much better than lugging around a paperback or hard cover - especially when traveling (when I usually lugged around 4 or 5 books in my luggage). When I bought my first iPod Touch in 2008, the first App I downloaded was an ebook reader.

I still read occasionally read on my iPhone, although the small screen means you're turning pages every few seconds, but my ereader of choice these days is my iPad 2. and if you think that the iPad is a bit of 'overkill' just to read a book now and then, have no fears, there are lots of choices out there. The most popular is probably the Kindle by Amazon, followed by Barnes & Nobel's Nook and the the Kobo Reader (Kobo recently cut a deal with Borders, so expect to see more of them moving forward). And if you are an Apple fan, you'll be happy to know that all of those ebook readers (and many others, including Apple's own iBooks) are available as free apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Ebook readers make it so easy to carry lots of books with you and read whenever you want. I know that I'm reading more than ever and most of my friend have some type of ebook reader. If you enjoy reading and haven't tried using an ereader yet, do yourself a favor and give it a shot - I think you'll be surprised how much you'll like it.

And you're not limited to books, either. The Kindle offers newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and an App called Zinio on my iPad delivers my esubscription copies of MacWorld, Readers Digest, and National Geographic to my device every month!

So what does the future hold regarding your favorite books and magazines? I'm really not sure, but I know that I'll always be an avid reader, thankfully.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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