Electronic Interjection

Me.  Talking to Me.

You should have guessed you’d be talking about e-reading.  What planet are you on?  Doesn’t that just sound weird:  E.  Reading.  Anyhoo, you figured it was coming, like that train you see in your nightmares in the distance, barreling toward you in the dark, red lights glowing, flashing.  You with your big boot caught in the tracks, unable to escape.  You just didn’t think it would happen.  Not so soon.  Not this year.  Certainly not this month.  Yet here you are.  Red lights flashing.  Boot stuck.  Train barreling.

Here’s how it went down:

I own an iPad.’My friend Averil has an e-book coming out (a bodice-ripper, hello) which I can’t wait to read.

Someone told me I could download a Kindle App onto my iPad (for free).

And here I thought I was so strong, so tough, so resilient, steadfast against the techno-devil.

PROS:

  1. Instant gratification.  See book on-line.  Read about book.  Book sounds awesome, a must-read.  One click more and for $9.99 or less I can have said book NOW, this instant, no waiting.
  2. I’m away from home with only my purse and iPad in tow.  I have some minutes to spare.  I can open my iPad/Kindle and voila, there are some books to read, all book-marked right where I left off.
  3. Enlarging print means I don’t need to wear my glasses to read.  I have bad eyes.  Cataracts at 45.  Yet, I can read without glasses.  A flaming, fucking miracle.  (angels sing, can you hear them?, even though I’ve used the f-word)
  4. Without even asking, I got the following for free:  TREASURE ISLAND, The OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY, AESOP’S FABLES, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.  I recently posted that I’ve never read any Jane Austen.  This, I’m sure, is a sign.
  5. I can read in black-on-white, white-on-black, or with a sepia background.
  6. Did I mention enlarged print?
  7. I read my first story with a black background, white letters.  It felt soothing, a relief.
  8. If I’m reading book I don’t want to advertise in public (your bodice-ripper, Averil!) I can do so without worry.

Interjections (Well!) show excitement (Oh!) or emotion (Hey!).

They’re generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point,

Or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong.

– from “Interjections!” School House Rock

CONS:

  1. The iPad is heavy.  Really heavy.  Holding it long enough to read my first short story – “The Staying Freight” from VOLT by Alan Heathcock, maybe a ½ hour – exhausts my wrists.
  2. I miss the feel of paper.  Of turning thin pages.  The look and smell of virgin velum.
  3. I’m never quite sure where I am in the story.  For example, I’m reading a short story and can’t flip ahead to see how many page are left, if I have time to finish.
  4. I hate – hate! – the percentages.  “You have read 4% of this book.”  Who cares! Reading is supposed to be relaxing.  Always has been.  It’s my escape.  This is just one more ‘something’ to obsess over, one more number to watch that tells me I’m not doing enough.
  5. How when my fingers touch the screen, I have no clue what will happen.  Will the page turn?  Will I be presented with the side-bars for magnification, note-taking, viewing options?  Or will I lose my place?  Does this get better with experience?
  6. Paper.  Touching, turning paper.
  7. The heft of a book.  I don’t like hardbacks.  I am enamored with trade paperbacks, pages with smooth edges, the ability to flip through, to fan the pages like playing cards.  To see said book lying on my coffee table, bedside table, bathtub ledge, stuffed unwilling into my too-small purse.
  8. No marginalia.  No turning down corners, top or bottom.  I’m a bottom-turner.  I like to write in my books.  So shoot me.
  9. Instant gratification.

Are you E-Reading?  What excites / saddens you about it?

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16 thoughts on “Electronic Interjection

  1. josephinecarr

    Everything’s going to be fine. We think it’s important, but it’s not. What matters is US.

  2. josephinecarr

    Yes. Just DO it. I was about to, but then I was offered representation by a WONDERFUL agent. That said, I’ve already started to turn old books of mine into E-books, plus one that no one would agree to represent, a book I LOVE.

  3. Lyra

    Trade paperbacks…ahhhh…

    I have a Kindle, it was a gift from a certain talk show in Chicago that I had to sign a form saying I’d never discuss anything about the show. Anyway, a very generous gift, and I’ve read a couple of books on it.

    I love having books right when i think of them. I HATE the no page feature. You can turn off the percentage feature, but that is the only way I know where I am. I couldn’t agree more though about it giving me a complex.

    We went to Borders the other day, and as depressing as it was, I managed to walk out of there with upwards of twenty books. They would have been cheaper and taken up far less space were I to download them, but, well, I love books. Period. There I said it. The feel, the flexibility, the page flipping, the photographic memory associated with knowing exactly where a phrase was on a page approximately thirty pages back. I am a constant flipper.

    1. Teri Post author

      Lyra, I like to flip back to a phrase or scene that struck me. This e-reading all feels so sterile. I like books that someone else has read — when I was a kid and got books at the library, it made me feel less alone somehow.

  4. amyg

    the iPad is like a super expensive purse, flirting with me, tempting me, telling me how much more fulfilled i will be with it under my arm.

    but then i think-NO, no iPad, just a Kindle (i actually already have a hand-me-down kindle that i have used yet, i’m waiting to buy averil’s book as my honorary first buy).

    more instant gratification may be the last thing i need. i’m sure i’ll change my mind.

  5. Downith

    I got a Kindle for Christmas. There are pros and cons and mine are similar to yours. I hate not having a book cover and when I read Blood River on it – pro – I got it and started reading right away while still in PJs – the hand drawn maps in the book were illegible (con).

    The Kindle is much lighter than the Ipad (but if you drop it on your face while reading in bed it still hurts)

    I am looking forward to a holiday where I pack the pre-loaded Kindle…

  6. MacDougal Street Baby

    I have this reflex when I’m reading. After I’m done with the page or the paragraph or the chapter, I close the book and then look from an aerial view where my bookmark is in relation to the end of the book. I need to have that visual. Without it, I think the angst would consume me.

    An E reader
    I don’t think I’ll B.

  7. Laura

    I am not e-reading and currently do not have an e-reader. I’m sure I’ll get one someday in the future but I’m in no hurry at all right now. I have thought about Averil’s book, though — is there still a way I can read it if I don’t have an e-reader? hmmm.

  8. Deb

    I have an IPad too. Read a 30 page book excerpt on it and went to the store to buy the book. I do love the freebies. My one daughter gets carsick if she reads so the audio books are great for her. And I love she’s being exposed to The Secret Garden, White Fang and others like it. One of the things that seems bothersome is the disappearance of books from the device. My husband had downloaded some onto his IPhone and they are gone. Someone told me that happens sometimes with E rights?

    1. Teri Post author

      I actually started out with Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function? in my head before the Interjections came …

  9. Averil Dean

    Awww, thank you, thank you, chickadees!

    That percentage feature drives me nuts too, Teri. (Stop pressuring me, Kindle!)And I’m one of those people who will read the first couple of chapters, then skip to the end to see what’s coming. I sort of miss cheating that way.

    (You can purchase e-books and read them on a computer, Laura. Not much fun, though, I’m sure.)

  10. lisahgolden

    I opened this post up and remembered what I was going to do today. I just downloaded the free kindle app for my computer. It’s an old laptop so it’s portable, but I won’t be forsaking books (I can flick the pages on my laptop and drive my husband insane). I got this app with the same freebies you got, Teri so I’m really happy about that and so that I can buy Averil’s book and read it. I was fretting up a storm because I didn’t have a kindle so problem solved.

    That’s two favors you’ve done for me today. Thanks!

    P.S. Stephen Elliott’s book is no longer pristine. My blue felt tip couldn’t resist underlining some passages.

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