Friday, December 16, 2011

Reading hour and the new world

I spend so much time looking at my phone anyway, between reading email, texting, facebooking, googling, and playing games, that I decided I might as well try out reading books as well. To my surprise, a Kindle book is downloadable to an iPhone as well as an iPad, and the text is very readable. I already read poetry on my phone from such sites as Poetry Foundation and poets.org. It seemed to me that for 99 cents or even $9 I could test-drive my idea. And I'm still driving.

One of the things I discovered is the instant gratification of buying an eBook. Last night I had a wish to read a new novel that's a contemporary version of Midsummer Night's Dream, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I debated: the library? the book's too new -- Amazon, too slow -- B&N, too expensive. Kindle's price was cheaper than print and the delivery time was RIGHT NOW!

That's when I realized I wasn't just in the reading hour, I was in a whole new publishing world whose rules aren't just about carrying your library around with you. It's about much more ... changing font sizes, getting a book ASAP, copying quotations, searching for names or specific phrases or words. It's much more than reading words on a page, it can be using them for research purposes. I'm getting quickly hooked and also hooked on seeing how different is the experience of reading a book this way than the other way. I wonder if there will be a tiered publishing format, similar to the straight-to-DVD movie, maybe there will be straight-to-Kindle books. I guess some self-published books already are.

Which makes me wonder about the need for eBook review magazines. How do you sort it all out and find what you want to read in this new world? We need review zines to help. Maybe I'll start one!