When I was around 9 years old I was your average bookworm with an unaverage amount of pride about it. I knew I could read well and liked to show off and receive admiration for my talents (I’m not actually sure I ever outgrew that; but anyways). I have a very vivid memory of my Aunt and Uncle visiting our family and giving me a book – one of Janette Oke’s, but I can’t remember if it was Roses for Mama or Bride for Donnigan (both are still much-loved favorites). I was bragging about how fast I’d be able to finish it, and how quickly I could read, when my Uncle Scott challenged me. He opened the book to a random chapter and asked me to read the entire first page while he timed me. I remember reading over those words as fast as my little eye would go, to finish just a few seconds later. He then took the book from me and proceeded to question me about very simple things concerning the words I had read. What is the characters name? Is the person in this scene talking to a male or a female? What room are they in?
I couldn’t answer any of the questions. Sure, I had read the page, but I hadn’t comprehended any of it. My ego bruised, I slumped away.
I’d love to tell you that I learned my lesson and slowed down to absorb more, but I never really have. When I read books that I consider “easy reading” – books by people like Janette Oke, Neta Jackson or even Dean Koontz, I scan read. I get the entire story, don’t get me wrong, but my mind scans the page and absorbs the story, but not the particular words. This would be in comparison to books like Tom Clancy’s books or anything by J.R.R. Tolkien, where I really have to focus to comprehend. In both cases though I usually walk away from a book having thoroughly enjoyed the story but not being able to remember particular character names or locations. I know the story – but if I was to retell it I would say something like, “There’s this guy named Odd and he sees dead people and he runs around having all these adventures, and I remember at some point he walked around this abandoned hotel, or casino I think? And there was a mystery revolving around his girlfriend, and it had a happy ending.” See? That’s utter rubbish. Or, Tom Clancy’s novels, so much happens that I can’t really give you much other than an overview of the basic plot – “There’s Russians, they’re bad, and the main character has a thing against them and he goes undercover and rescues some good guys.”
So, how does this tie into my Sony E-Reader?
I read, for the first time ever, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And I read every. single. word. I have tried to read that book several times, but I kept scanning over boring parts to the point that I would get lost and then frustrated and then throw the book away in disgust.
But with my Sony E-Reader, I didn’t scan read. I could have, of course. But it’s not as easy to skip ahead 20 pages just for the fun of it. You’d actually have to key in a page number, or scroll forward 20 times, and who wants to bother with that when I can just pay attention to the story? I completely credit my E-Reader with having forced me to read through that book – which was an alright read, all things considered.
I have the newest Sony E-Reader, the Sony Touch edition, which is their mid-sized reader. I got it for Christmas and I have since read 4 books. That’s pretty awesome, considering I hadn’t managed to pick up a book since Benjamin was born and finish it. Four books! Including The Name of the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, a kid’s book (for Benjamin) and a Harry Potter book.
The Sony Touch is sleek and beautiful (I got the red one) easy to hold and one of my favorite things to do now is curl up in bed with it. I used to not be able to lay down and read because of my love for huge, 500+ page novels, but with this reader it doesn’t matter how big the novel is, I am good to go. I plan on re-reading the LOTR series next. Imagine! That many pages, that little weight. I had looked into all the readers, but Sony’s product is by far (in my opinion) the superior reader. I’m not tied down to their store, either. Sony accepts .epub format, so even if I buy a book from google or directly from a publisher, I can read it on my Sony. Unlike some of the other readers *coughKINDLEcough*. But what really sets my Sony apart from other readers is that it is beautiful to look at. And I know that might not matter to some people, but if I’m going to be staring at something for several hours a week I’d like to be able to appreciate the aesthetic appeal if at all possible. Sony delivers that beautifully. And I read and read and read and I went down to a single bar out of 3 power bars, but in the amount of time it took me to re hook in to my computer to upload a few more books (about 15 minutes, total) it had recharged itself.
The only drawback to the Sony is the somewhat antiquated software on the computer interface, but I’ve seen enough complaints about it that I’m hoping for Sony to pay some attention to that sometime soon. In the meantime it works, it’s just a bit cumbersome. And who wants cumbersome software with such a beautiful piece of technology?
In conclusion, I’m reading more and comprehending more (I can actually give you a pretty good overview of what occurs in P&P) and enjoying the process of reading again. I specifically didn’t buy one with internet so I wouldn’t have that temptation and I’m quite glad I did.. it’s just this simple, compact, amazing library that weighs less than a pound. I can carry 10,000 books with me.
I love living in the future. It’s not a flying car, but for now, it will do.