We at Teach-ICT are inveterate gadget geeks – if there is a gadget out there, then eventually we will convince ourselves that we need it.
Take e-books. It started out with getting the Kindle app for the iPad. After playing around with it for a few weeks and downloading some of the free content it seemed to be an ‘ok’ application. For example, after an hour or so, the glare from the back-lit iPad became a strain on the eyes, just like trying to read from a regular screen. The weight of holding up the iPad also becomes tiresome after a while unless you scrunch up your legs to try and support it.
Next we booked a Kindle device from the Amazon store although it was on back-order due to the demand. But eventually it arrived. What a difference, the reflective e-ink technology means no more eye strain as there is only ambient light to illuminate the high contrast screen. It’s dead light so no problem there. It did feel a bit fragile though, so we bought a nice leather wallet to hold it in. Now it feels like a slim leather bound book.
A visit to the copyright-free book section to see what classics could be downloaded revealed old favourites such as Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (just watched the DVD) and The adventures of Sherlock Holmes (just watched the Robert Downey Jr / Jude Law movie). Now this is interesting. Having watched the movies, there was an urge to read the books once more – is this a trend? Will reading increase now that there is an almost instant link between watching a film adaption and downloading the book? We think so.
After the freebie search, we did buy half a dozen or more books, and this too is interesting. You can create up to a five-member group / family. So if one member purchases a book then the others can download it as well. Again, this does encourage you to read as it has already been paid for. Another advantage is being able to read your books whilst out and about or on holiday, no more expensive luggage excess.
DRM and proprietary company lock-in may be an issue, but we definitely think that e-books are here to stay.