Today in the Chicago Tribune one of their columnist wrote about reading his first e-book on his Blackberry. If I remember correctly the columnist, Steve Johnson, covers television and the Internet, so I think we’re safe to call him a techie. And what did this techie choose as his first e-book? A recent bestseller, such as "The DaVinci Code" or a Grisham novel? Something TV focused such as a re-printing of Minow’s "The Vast Wasteland." He could have chosen something related to current affairs…is there a presidential candidate that isn’t hawking a book too? Nope, to easy.

Instead, he chose a classic as his first e-book. He chose the classic — Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. He writes about discovering the joy of e-books and the joy of Austen (he doesn’t say if this is the first Austen he’s read). In fact he writes: "I liked it all so much, I’ve moved on to Austen’s
"Persuasion" and am, frankly, halfway annoyed at having to take time
away from that to write this. What comeuppance will the vain
spendthrift Sir Walter receive, and will his deserving daughter Anne
find satisfaction?" I so agree that work can seriously get in the way of good reading!

I’ve tried a few e-books on my old Palm device and enjoyed it for the most part, but got tired of the constant page turning, i.e., clicking a button. (That might be a reflection more of the Palm and the reader I was using than e-books in general.) Now that Apple has agreed to let other vendors develop applications for the iPhone and iPod touch, I’m hoping there will be some excellent e-readers for these devices. Scrolling through the pages would be an improvement. The idea of taking notes or highlighting favorite passages, as discussed by Johnson, is also appealing. Not that I’ll ever give up my beloved paper-filled books, but anything that will create more reading opportunities and doesn’t have to be dusted is welcome.

You can read all of Johnson’s column here. And since he probably didn’t write his column as late at night as I’m writing this blog (and for numerous other reasons)…trust me, it’s a better read than this.

2 comments to E-books

  • I have a Palm T/X and do the vast majority of my reading from it.
    I’ve just purchased a paper book on fish oil, and two of my friends have published printed books that are in line to be read but, aside from those, it’s mostly e-books.
    No Jane Austen though. Did she write any cheesy crime drama? I might be interested then.

  • Delmer, I’m going to ignore that last statement for now. Ha-ha. So, what reader do you use on your Palm? I have a Palm Tungsten E that I rarely use and, as usually happens these days, the battery is dead right now so I can’t check what readers I have on it.

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