Saturday, January 29, 2011

ereaders







I started this as a comment to Meghan's post, below, but it kept getting longer and longer.

One of the kids I babysit for (a girl, 8) got a Nook for Christmas and says a lot of the books she wants aren't available for it. I know everyone is going to say "What books?" and when asked that question, she couldn't remember.

As for me: I live in the country and I must say, it would be HEAVEN to be able to get any book I wanted, instantly. I don't think I'll ever be much of an ereader, though, unless they ALL let you see the pages turning the way the ipad does -- that really is cool. I'm a fast reader and read the last line on one page awhile I turn to the next, so the screen going blank/blank completely ruins the reading experience for me. It takes me out of the world of the book. If I had unlimited funds, I might get ipad just so I could read in bed and read anything.

But then what would I do when I travel? I have to bring a laptop. It would be too heavy to carry a laptop for my writing (which is already too heavy!) AND the ipad. The Macbook Air is light enough to carry around, and Kindle books can be downloaded to it....but it's expensive, and what good is that for reading with the screen going blank or black at the end of every page?

Back to the ipad: if it could handle Word, I'd be tempted: very tempted. You can use the USB camera port on it for external keyboards, and a mouse, too......but I just don't think it would work well for long documents. I'd miss Word, which has become so automatic for me (I have been using it for over 20 years) that I don't even need to think about it, I just write with it. It's become part of my brain, in almost an Ender's-game-like way.

Has anyone found a good Word substitute that works on the ipad? If there is one, I could adjust and might be even more tempted!

The ipad is very cute, and lots of the applications are fun. My favorite is the one that labels all the stars and constellations in the sky WHERE YOU ARE STANDING, from your point of view! The kids I babysit for never use this or any others, though: they just play games on it. And one of them is a reader, the kind of reader who LOVES to read. He's ten, and when he reads, he reads books: printed books.

5 comments:

alvina said...

Libby, the iPad has Pages, which is basically the Mac version of Word. The problem for me is that you can't use Track Changes/comments, so I can't edit on it. But it's fine for writing long documents, like blog posts and talks, etc. I think if you had an external keyboard, you'd find it fine to write on. I'm happy to let you try it next time I see you!

I think you'd be able to adapt to reading on a Kindle or Sony Reader, etc. There isn't really a black page or anything between page turns, at least not on mine...it flahes to the next page pretty quickly, and as I've said on previous posts, I actually forget that I'm reading on an eReader.

Also, I traveled with both my MacBook and iPad when I was CA for three weeks. It wasn't really that inconvenient if you're going somewhere for a certain length of time and put on device in your rolling suitcase or whatever. I felt pretty silly carrying my MacBook, iPad, AND iPhone with me, but I did end up using all three all the time.

Courtney Pippin-Mathur said...

As a mom of three, 2 of which are 2 year old twin boys, the iPhone/iPad has been a life saver. (also love the constellation app) The only issue with turning pages or delayed loading (how I hate that!) is on my nook app. The kindle app is great. For my writing I use Pages and save the docs in google docs so o can access them on my Mac and iPad. If you don't want to invest in an iPad, I would go for a kindle. The big bummer is no backlight!

Meghan McCarthy said...

I wrote my opinion of this on another blog but I'll briefly do it here (maybe I'll make a whole post on it). If I grew up now (and more so in a few years IF e-readers really get going the way some folks want them to with animations and all) then I'd never be able to learn in. I had MANY attention problems. Good lord--books that animate! Why not show an animation and just scrap the text? I would refuse to learn to read period. For kids like me it would be hopeless. Perhaps this is why I'm so very anti-e-reader the way they're being designed now-- with games, animated books, etc.

Courtney Pippin-Mathur said...

I just wanted to add that I use the e-readers for myself. I am a huge believer in paper books. The only book apps we have for the kids are with are the monster at the end of this book and the cat in the hat. All opinions above are for my picture-less books. ;)

Julie Hedlund said...

I totally understand the MS Word issue. I got an iPad for Christmas, and while I absolutely love it, I haven't figured out how to have it completely replace my laptop for writing because of the editing issue. I haven't tried Pages yet though. Also, I had a failed experiment with Dropbox/Elements where I lost a bunch of edits I made on a few documents. So now I'm skittish about syncing/transferring files.

I feel confident these issues are about the user (me) rather than the iPad, as I know many writers who love it for writing...