I began a new chapter in my life as a reader this weekend with my first official foray into the world of ereading. Actually, I began crawling in early April when I purchased my first ebook, The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (don’t judge–I thought a good guilty pleasure potato chip type of read would be a good starting point), from the Amazon Kindle store for the flight to the CIL conference. Because I have been in love with iPhone (which truly is like a palm sized computer for me) since purchasing my first one last July, I thought the free Kindle app for iPhone was a logical starting point for me.
As it turned out, I was too keyed up about the conference to really read anything print or digital on the flight to Washington D.C., so I didn’t open my new ebook until this weekend. Spurred by my interest in the iPad and its possibilities, especially after reading Will Richardson’s post, I decided to finally take the plunge this past weekend. I will readily admit I was a little apprehensive and slightly skeptical about reading on such a tiny device. To my delight and surprise, however, I found myself relishing the reading experience on my iPhone and devoured eight chapters very quickly. In fact, I found it easier to concentrate and focus on my reading using the Kindle app for iPhone. I felt just as comfortable curling up on my parents’ swing beneath the big tree in their backyard/pasture with my iPhone and ebook as I would have with a paperback copy.
I then decided to try the Kindle app for PC to do a little nonfiction reading. While I can do the highlighting and note taking on my iPhone, I find it a little tricky to manipulate the text since my Otterbox cover sometimes it a little challenging to really “grab” the text; I also am a slow typist on the iPhone. I thought that trying the Kindle app for PC on my work netbook would be a happy medium for trying out the highlighting and note taking features; after
diving into Seth Godin’s new book, Linchpin, I can totally see myself using this app on my netbook for reading nonfiction as I can easily pool all my notes into my Kindle account and then clip and share any reading notes I’d like to make public using my Evernote account. How much easier is it to pull up your reading notes in one location rather than fumbling through the pages of a print book and transcribing all your marginalia into a central location?
Right now, I feel excited and eager to read books. While I do a prolific amount of online reading (blogs, podcasts, videos, news articles, database articles (journals, magazines), and Tweets) and reading of periodicals (primarily print magazines), I find it difficult to schedule reading time for books in my life, which somehow seems incredibly ironic given that I am surrounded by books most of my waking hours. When I read something, though, I tend to read it very deeply; consequently, I am somewhat of a picky reader as I am selective about where I might expend my energy for pleasure or professional reading (both fiction and nonfiction). Having a medium now for anytime, anywhere reading, a more affordable pricepoint (I love the $9.99 ballpark!), the bonus of being able to read on my netbook as well as my iPhone, and the fact I find reading on these devices to be pleasurable—these are all factors that I think will cause me to read more “books”.
The beginnings of this journey are a backdrop to directions and ideas I’m thinking about for my library program in 2010-11. I’ll be blogging more in a few days about how I envision eReaders in my library program and instruction as well as the notion of commonplace texts discussed in Jenny Levine’s brilliant April 30 blog post, “Broken Boxes”, and the possibilities for a shared social reading experience that are informed by my previous study of Dr. Dennis Sumara’s work and his conceptualization of commonplace texts as locations that are “ongoing sites of interpretation” and are found ultimately in people’s relationships with texts.