Thursday, March 19, 2009

The e-books saga continues

I don’t own an iPhone but I do own a Touch, which is exactly like the iPhone without the phone. Which means that I can, for free, download the application that Amazon uses on its Kindle 2 “Wireless Reading Device.” In other words, I’ve had a smaller version of the Kindle in my pocket all this time, and I just didn’t know it.

To be honest, though, I do have some book material on my Touch already. I have an application called Stanza, for which I acquired some classics (they have a lot of free public domain books available). The one I actually tried to read was Leaves of Grass because for some reason looking at poetry seemed more likely than attempting to read a novel. And I will admit that Walt Whitman is one of those mountains I have never climbed, despite being an English major and a pretty inveterate reader.

The verdict? It’s hard to say. I’ve tried it a number of times, and made some progress, but I haven’t gotten very far. The question is, is it because I just don’t care much for Leaves of Grass—I’ve tried to read it in the past, on paper, and I’ve always failed there too—or I haven’t enjoyed the Touch reading experience? It is 2 inches by 3 inches, after all. That’s smaller than a basic paperback book. A lot smaller.

I have some weighty tomes in addition to the Whitman. For instance, for reasons that elude me now I also downloaded Plato’s Republic at some point. There’s a page-turner to keep you reading into the wee hours. What I need to do is find a regular book and give that a shot. Maybe Dickens for instance (I love Dickens). If something guaranteed to satisfy doesn’t satisfy, then the problem probably is the medium and not the message.

I’ll let you know.

Monday, March 9, 2009

See the video, read the book.

We've just published a new volume, and I was thinking that I'd been remiss in posting to the blog lately, so I thought, well, maybe I could have someone else do the job for me. How about a made-for-the-web video promoting Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict? Sounds good to me!