04 February 2010

Do You Read Me?

With the announcement of the iPad, the world now has yet another e-reader. Maybe not just another e-reader, but still an e-reader nonetheless. Still, for me, as long as I live near a public library, I don't see myself getting into the e-reading business. For me, books are somewhat like movies in that you read a book once then it spends the rest of its life on the shelf, taking space and collecting dust. At least with movies you may pull them off the shelf to fast forward to a particular scene to settle a bet. Well, in this Internet Age, that may not even be necessary. From my point of view, books are best read as borrowed items from the public library. I don't read the latest and greatest books anyway so I can renew over and over if needed. I know, the booksellers of the world won't be sending me any huge checks any time soon.

By the same logic, much as I enjoy the convenience of Audible.com, I don't see myself signing up with it any time soon. It does not help that the typical e-book costs around $20. Audible does have a few monthly plans, with one that come out to about $15 per book or per month, but it still seems wasteful to spend that much money for something that would be enjoyed for a few hours or a few days. I do have plenty of free podcasts to keep me company during the daily commute and other times. During a good week, when I remember to keep the iPod touch properly charged every morning, I would sail through Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, This Week In Tech, This American Life, and perhaps even a Mac-centric podcast. Still, having taken advantage of Audible's free A Confederacy of Dunces, I felt the allure of digital audiobooks. In the past, listening to audiobooks meant occasionally flipping tapes or rewinding them. With today's digital versions, there is nothing to flip and rewinding is relatively easy. There is no risk of rewinding too much and having fast forward to make up. Having the books sync'd effortlessly to iTunes gives me peace of mind, that should the iPod gets lost, I still have a copy on the computer.

Audible wisely sponsors many podcasts so I'm constantly reminded of their great service. Who knows, someday I may get tired of the free podcasts and may spring for the convenience of Audible.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about ebooks. CP wanted to give me one of those e-readers for Christmas, but I told him that when I read, I want to hold a book in my hands, turn the page, besides reading from a screen is not good for my eyes anyway. I probably should give audiobooks a try. Hope you did not work too hard cleaning up the snow. Have a good week and keep warm.