Why my E-reader plays tricks on me

Last year I took a leap from the cliff that was paperback books and landed in a sea of e-readers. Fortunately, after much floundering, I found a Nexus 7 and clung to it for dear life. Since then I’ve found that I actually prefer reading on a tablet as opposed to paper, however I do note some problems.

On a post last year, I talked about how easy it felt dumping a load of epic fantasy books onto my tablet and thought “I can read fifty-two of those in a year!” Why not? The tablet certainly didn’t look any bigger. However, I quickly found out how demoralizing it can be to simply slide your finger to turn a page and just read 76/1335. Not only did I not see the pile of reading material increase as I added books, I didn’t see it decrease with each book read either.

I also had to watch the dust build up on my trophy cabinet (bookcase). You see, I tend to keep my old books that I’ve read as a visual reminder of my achievements. Quite often, I can see the spine of a book that I’ve ready years ago and still remember where I was when I read it, even if I can’t quite remember the novel itself. The e-reader took that away from me replacing my paper trophies with electronic 1’s and 0’ (although I think it’s made my wife happier as I don’t tend to have too many books lying around anymore).

A couple of weeks back, I found another, similar, issue; the books just don’t age on a tablet, in fact they become ageless. Take a look at your bookshelf and I’m sure you can see some rips and creases on those books that are a few years old. Well, on a tablet they become immortal; free from the scars of time and careless readers.

Do you know how they do that?

They do it via a process (I call) ‘scratchdentformation’. This is when an e-book transfers all of the rips, tears and bends it would have gotten if it lived on paper and transforms them into scratches and dents on the e-reader!

Unfortunately, that also means that a book only six months old looks exactly the same on a tablet as one that is forty-two years old…which brings me (finally) to Writing Popular Fiction by Dean Koontz and why I was puzzled by Dean’s suggestion that I should use a library for research with no mention of the Internet at all..

I’m going to cover the book in another post as I did enjoy it, I just wasn’t aware, at first, that Dean was talking to me from the 1970’s.

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