Second Impressions: Ebooks

See my first impressions of my ebook reader here.

Well, I gave it a try, but I’m back to traditional ink and paper for my reading needs. Summer’s coming up and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable leaving a $200+ device in my car during the sweltering, Oklahoma heat. (Fuck Oklahoma weather, by the way.) Actually, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with it at all. You have to pamper the fucking thing and you can’t just leave it lying around next to your bed or on the bathroom floor. In fact, it’s scary taking it into the bathroom altogether, what with the close proximity of all that water.

Complaint #1: The digital clock in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 

Why would I need this? I’ve got GPS navigators, phones, and everything else that takes a battery telling me what time it is. When I read a book, I’m trying to leave the real world. Is there a way to turn the clock off? I don’t know. Maybe it’s in the manual, but the manual’s on my ebook reader, which brings me to…

Complaint #2: Reading reference books is a PAIN IN THE ASS.

You want to flip to the things you need. You sometimes want to flip back and forth. You can’t do that on an ebook reader, not if you want to keep your sanity. You have to use the gruelingly unresponsive touchpad screen to search for the information you want. You have to wait for it to load. And that reminds me of yet another complaint…

Complaint #3: Loading times.

A traditional book accesses the page you want in the time it takes you to turn to it. Ebook readers get hung up frequently. They freeze. Mine isn’t the only one… I Googled the problem and discovered a significant portion of the population who was also duped into buying such a gadget had the same issues. I also got the feeling that they hated their devices as much as I did.

Complaint #4: It’s infant technology.

If you buy a reader as they’re made today, IT WILL EVENTUALLY CRASH ON YOU. I like to open a book and immediately escape. Sometimes I only get a few minutes of reading time, which I sometimes desperately need on a bad day. On one such day, I turned on my ebook reader and it froze. I had to take the battery out and put it back in, wait for it to boot up, and by then I didn’t have the time to read anymore.

Complaint #5: People have to ask what you’re reading… and they usually won’t.

It doesn’t happen often, but a world in which complete strangers can’t see the book I’m reading, and therefor can’t strike up a conversation because they read the same book, is a world I don’t want to live in. Then again, depending on what you read, maybe that’s a plus. Hey, I ain’t judgin’.

There are some pros to the cons. For one, you can turn the page with one hand, left or right. That comes in handy when you’re eating, cooking, or driving (okay, kidding about that last one). Another advantage is traveling. Whenever I leave the house for for an extended period of time, I tend to take three or four books with me at a minimum. With an ebook reader, you can take something like 1,500 if you want. You can also… well no, that’s about it. Ebook readers suck right now.

So… anyone want to buy my ebook reader?