I have to say, I like gadgets, I admit to that weakness right from the start.
So its no surprise that I have succumbed to my new Sony eReader, but its more than that, its the library service that comes with it.
“What the hell is an eReader?” I hear you all call, “Well” I reply, “click here you neanderthals and find out” and for those who can’t be arsed clicking there then allow me to explain.
Picture a paperback book, physically picture the size, width and height of a paperback book, but not its depth.
With me so far ?
Now picture something that size in a brushed aluminium case no thicker than a pencil with a screen covering almost all of one side – look just click the link OK, its going to be easier than describing what I’ve got in my hand right now.
So you load up an eBook onto your eReader and you read it, page by page, as you would a paperback book – so why not just read a paperback book I hear you all cry, and why not I reply, other than the fact that I have never coveted a paperback book and generally throw them away when I have finished reading them, and other than the fact that if Sony didn’t keep on trying to reinvent stuff every five years or so we’d all still be listening to Walkmen the size of a large hardback book with buttons that you had to use two hands to clunk “On” or “Off” – thats why.
My new Sony eReader holds up to 350 books and I’ll just have to believe them because there is no way that I am ever going to have 350 books on the go at the same time and as I’ve already stated, when I’ve read them I throw them away – the eReader is currently holding a dozen or so of the works of Charles Dickens that I will browse from time to time, Dickens being one of those writers, like Conan Doyle, that lend themselves to dipping in and out of with ease for both of them wrote most of their work for serialisation in the newspapers of their time and tend to parcel their chapters up into nice bite-sized chunks – and the best thing about books that have passed a mark in the sand seventy years beyond the death of their author, is that they are copyright free and generally available gratis on t’interweb, good eh ?
You can also very easily go online to the likes of Waterstones and purchase eBooks, albeit that the current bestsellers are usually more expensive as eBooks than as printed books, quite how that works I’m not sure being that there is a complete lack of material to purchase and machinery to be run in order to produce your eBook.
But the best bit about the eReader is its access to your local public library.
I assume that Leeds City Library Service isn’t the only City Library Service in the country to have embraced eBooks, I heard about the new service at the beginning of this year and have been downloading library books since then to read on a PC or laptop – Leeds City Council tentatively purchased 10,000 eBook licences at the start of the year and in order to let everyone have equal access only allowed two downloads at any one time, for a duration of one week, which meant that you had to be a pretty avid reader to get through the latest 500 page Jodie Picoult novel – on the other hand if you walk everywhere with your eReader clutched in one hand like others clutch their iPhones then you’ll get through 500 pages with 18 hours to spare, like I have just done.
Having just downloaded a Kathy Reichs book now I notice that the lending duration is two weeks so no mad dash to finish it off this time – but it is a quite excellent service when you simply plug your eReader into your laptop, log onto your library account and click the book you need to borrow, twenty seconds later its on the eReader and Bob is your Uncle, as indeed my Uncle Bob was.
My eReader – a simply marvellous new gadget.