Friday, April 13, 2012


This post actually has been be-bopping around in my head for a couple of days.  I just didn't have time to write it yesterday.

Anyhow, I've had my nook simple touch since Christmas and I'm really amazed at how it has changed my reading.

Somehow, I seem to read more and faster on the nook.  Don't ask me, Gak's made the same observation with his as well.  Maybe it's because the pages are "smaller" in that they only show about half of a normal print page so the page turns go quicker, but somehow that's not all of it.  Maybe it's because I don't have to juggle a whole book and my hand doesn't get tired from it.  Maybe it's just all psychological.  It doesn't really matter in the long run other than the fact that I do seem to read faster on it.  (And about half speed when I try and read a long article on the computer screen... so go figure...)

And yes, when I was reading the Hunger Games trilogy I was thrilled that when I finished one I could just download the next in about a minute (including the search for the title and purchase...) and be on my merry way.  That and if I want to read something new, I just have to push a few buttons.  Yes, it is so much easier if I already know what I want to read, but still, it's pretty easy to get a new book.

Right now I'm finishing up the Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson.  It's pretty interesting if long reading.  It's not very difficult reading, but you've got to be in a right mindset to slog through parts of it.  I really am enjoying it, but sometimes the going gets a bit rough.
Every English teacher I've ever had, well, maybe not one really awesome one in high school, has imparted the impression that unless you read with a dictionary by your side to look up every word you're not 100% sure of, you're not really a reader and not getting everything out of it.  Personally, I can usually gather the meaning of words I'm not familiar with from the context.  Yes, sometimes I get it wrong, but I usually figure that out in a sentence or two and life is good.  I've always hated the interruption of putting my book down, flipping through a dictionary to find a word, read the deffinition and then figure out where you were in your originally book. (And who has room for a good dictionary in bed with them when they're reading?  What?  I'm supposed to do all my reading at a desk?  Please!  How can you get into and enjoy a book if you're not comfortable?  Oh, I'm not supposed to enjoy it?  Oh, my mistake...)  Sorry about that little side rant... it just escaped.
But back to the beginning of this section, I'm reading the Baroque Cycle.  And Neil Stephenson is an excellent writer and captures the feel of the 1660's through 1680s quite well.  Unfortunately, he tends to use big words.  I like big words, don't get me wrong.  Or he uses old words is a better way of stating it.  In the past I would have just read right past them and done my usual guessing.  Well, with my handy, dandy little nook simple touch, I just press on a word long enough for it to highlight and it'll look up the word for me without loosing my place or having extra books in my bed.  All in the blink of an eye and I'm back to my story.  The funny thing is, I find myself actually looking up lots of words, even if I think I know them.  Because, in a way, it's kinda fun.  And it doesn't really take away from the reading.

So, maybe those English teachers were on to something after all... but I still prefer reading straight through and gathering meaning from context.  Or aren't I supposed to be able to do that?  I thought I was. Must have missed the memo because my nose was stuck in a book...

So, I'm really loving this little toy of mine.  And it's changed how and in some ways what I read.  I wonder what further adventures lie ahead?

Don't get me wrong, I will always love the print version of books.  There's something about curling up with a favorite dog-eared copy on a cold evening and disappearing for a while.  But, I really do love my nook.

So, I bid you peace and may you enjoy your reading no matter what the words are printed on.


Becky said...

Really enjoyed your review of Nook reading. I read on. my iPad and love it for many of the same reasons you list. I also get books from my library, which saves a ton of mullah, since my husband has a kindle and is always buying books. I am able to sync my iPad to his kindle so that library is available too! I'm at that age where large font is appealing and eases reading, so am glad that iPad apps allow me to increase font.
Let's fins a way to share book lists. I am on and if you are too we could share that way. Becky Bianco

Chelsea said...

I look up words all the time on my Kindle, words I can get from context and all, but want a deeper understanding, or to follow the etymology...I use that feature so often, that I caught myself reaching up to highlight a word in a paper book a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing how fast things are changing.