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Reading habits when aboard v ashore


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#1 dylan winter

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:51 PM

Like many blokes my age - 58 -

 

I hardly ever read fiction any more

 

at about 45 I almost completely quit on it

 

I get 100 pages in and then put the book down because it is all pretend

 

 

 

but when on the boat then I will read fiction quite happily

 

- both tosh and high brow

 

anything that comes my way

 

also when ashore I hardly read anything at all during the day apart from the web or newspapers

 

 

 

but on the boat I never read a newspaper and will happily settle down with a book after breakfast or lunch

 

 

On the boat I hardly ever really read books about sailing

 

 

I am beginning to feel a bit split personality on this one

 

 

am I alone?

 

 

 

 

 



#2 bljones

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:51 PM

It's a direct relation to distractions and task management, and//or the ability to do both.

I find I write more productively aboard, and read more productively as well, because there's far fewer tasks pending, and/or annoyances to be addressed.

 

Good god man- giving up fiction?- you just need better fiction.



#3 Steam Flyer

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:01 AM

It's a direct relation to distractions and task management, and//or the ability to do both.

I find I write more productively aboard, and read more productively as well, because there's far fewer tasks pending, and/or annoyances to be addressed.

 

Good god man- giving up fiction?- you just need better fiction.

 

 

Agreed.

 

I tend to read about 25/75 fiction/nonfiction, and I love to re-read favorites. It is easier to find new good fiction than new good nonfiction, partly because more people recommend/loan fiction.

 

I don't read underway these days because all my sailing is racing. But when we do cruise I tend to read about the same amount (2~4 hrs day) but at different times. I go to bed more tired and don't read as long before falling asleep!

 

FB- Doug



#4 dylan winter

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:57 AM

Fiction is all pretend

 

I can read it when aboard - no idea why

 

tend to avoid sailing books when afloat though



#5 bugger

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:29 AM

I have a tablet that works as a book reader. 

 

There are a huge number of books of classic literature (fiction) whose copyright has expired and are widely available legally and free. 

 

I have never before read Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles), etc etc.  These are incredibly well written, accessible books about times and places long gone. 

 

If you suffered through these books in your youth, you may better appreciate them at this time of your life. 

 

Looking for good fiction?  I am amazed at what is available. 



#6 dylan winter

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

I have a tablet that works as a book reader. 

 

There are a huge number of books of classic literature (fiction) whose copyright has expired and are widely available legally and free. 

 

I have never before read Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles), etc etc.  These are incredibly well written, accessible books about times and places long gone. 

 

If you suffered through these books in your youth, you may better appreciate them at this time of your life. 

 

Looking for good fiction?  I am amazed at what is available. 

 

you are correct

 

I should have another go at Dickens

 

I love Twain - but mostly his non-fiction

 

D



#7 boomer

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

Having commuted by ferryboat for the last 40+ years, till my retirement two years ago. I always had a library of books in my work vehicles, in case there was a backup at the ferry line. It was also a good time for doing work paperwork  on the way home as well as finishing required job diaries. My library diminished somewhat in the last ten years, since I also had a computer with me at all times commuting, sailing, and traveling. Much of my writing, composing and what have you was done on a computer as well, since it can be done so much faster, because editing is more streamlined.

 

Since most of our jobs were on the waterfront of the Puget Sound, and on up north to the Straits, the San Juans and Bellingham. Sometimes I would take one of our boats, since I sleep on the boats better then I did on noisy derrick barrages or hotels. I would keep a mini office on board as well as job spec manuals and engineering and tech manuals. I'm not a fiction reader as well, having read very little fiction since the early 70's, with the exception of Tom Clancy novels in the early 90's.

 

Having all the supplies needed for drawing and sketching, I always found invaluable for taking care of as-builts for the job, as well as more artistic bent from landscape, to architectural and portrait work  Also a good time for work, boat, and home project lists.  Letter writing seems to be a lost form these days with the advent of laptops and smart phones. But other forms of writing can be tackled as well, there's a whole spectrum of things to write about.

 

There's always maintenance to be done on the boat, as well as organizing and keeping everything shipshape on board and keeping the galley spic and span. I also like getting up early for a good long walk in the morning, and another in the evening, walks are good for the body and mind, and helps us old timers keep limber.



#8 boomer

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

Throwing out a few more ideas....

 

I used to find reading biographies to be quite interesting, on on wide range of individuals from explorers like Cook to statesmen to whatever might peek your interest. Historical books on flight including commercial and historical war campaigns in different theaters and squadrons can be quite compelling as well. I used to be a war buff, with my favotites being the War of 1812, as well as the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Also liked books about the history of nations, including the US, such as expeditions, the Ohio Territory, back woodsmen and mountain men, as well as the old west. Books on epic journeys, climbs, and exploratory expeditions wordwide can be another source of for interesting and inspiring stories.

 

The edible wild is always been a source of curiosity, and make a point of getting books identifying edible plant life, where ever I might live or visiting....preferably books with recipes or methods of preparation and cooking.

 

Never thought I'd become a birder, but also like having wildlife books and identification manuals close at hand the past couple of years.

 

The internet is a source of much valuable information, as well as a resource for finding literature at bargain prices. By being patient some of the higher end hard bound books, can be found for dimes on the dollar. Recently picked up a mint hardbound copy of  Ticonderoga: Tales of an Enchanted Yacht, by Jack A. Somer for one tenth the original price.



#9 Py26129

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:36 PM

My reading habots on board vs. ashore are pretty much the same, I just read more while on the boat.  I will read just about anything that strikes my fancy but will draw the line at "nautical disaster" type books.  

 

25 years ago I read abook about a couple on a pacific cruise where the wife wakes up for her watch to find the boat empty because her husband went over the side sometime during his watch. She inmmediately starts a search for her husband which in the end is unuccesful.  The story is told from both the point of view of the wife as well as the husband who is swimming. 

 

Shortly after reading that book, during a night sail the mast borke on my boat and I went over the side myself  and sent 5 hours swimming to shore on our puny lake. 



#10 ronin

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

Wow, I can see why you decided to forgo nautical tales of disaster after that little tale of foreboding! :o

 

I've always been a voracious reader no matter the setting. Interestingly, my appetite for reading on board is much higher for the same reasons bljones mentioned. There are fewer distractions and the setting is just more relaxed all around.

 

I have a hunger to learn about almost anything that comes across my path and therefore have eschewed fiction for decades (after all, there's only so much time in the day). But I'm making a turnaround. I started reading Patrick O'Brian's work due to my interest in square riggers. That led me to rethink my reading list and have added more fiction to my diet. Being a writer I also noticed that reading more fiction has enhanced my creative thinking as well.



#11 Mung Breath

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:27 PM

Definitely in the non-fiction camp, afloat or ahard.

Last summer, I re-read the late Dodge Morgan's 'American Promise' while hooked to his personal mooring off Chebeague Island, Maine. Coincidentally, alone, I happened to be reading the chapter about American Promise disconnecting from this same mooring during a hurricane while I myself read this during a near gale and wondered about the same odds. Surreal.

#12 B.J. Porter

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:10 PM

Ashore?

 

I've never been a huge non-fiction reader.  When I would read NF it was generally something exceptional or compelling; I think Six Frigates (which if you haven't read it...you should.  Maybe not you Dylan, you have your own Navy to read about...) was the last NF I read.  Maybe 2-3 non fiction max in a year.

 

I'd always just take whatever I was reading along with me when we headed to the boat, plus an extra book or two in the days before I got a Kindle since it was the rare book that woould make it more than a weekend.  We all read a LOT on board.



#13 Cruisin Loser

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:19 PM

My son and I are reading junkies, historical fiction, sci fi, NF, you name it. Classics and modern. I read the WSJ every day (except Sunday).

 

To avoid the giant bag of books, we both have kindles.  Mine stays as close as the wallet and cell phone.

 

On the boat I'm usually pretty busy, but still knock off 2-3 books a week plus the Journal.



#14 Elegua

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

I'm trying a kindle, but I'm not yet fully sold - more things to remember to plug in.

I'm a big Sci-fi junkie and history buff. Alastair Reynolds, Iain M Banks, Charles Stross, Paolo Baciagalupi ...there's been some good stuff in past decade. Adrian Goldsworthy does a neat series on Rome....N.A.M Rodgers is usually a safe bet and I've always had a soft pot fo Len Deihton's history books, as opposed to his novels.

Th issues is when cruising I generally fall asleep after a page or two, so progress is slow...

Backgammon and cards after dinner have become very popular recently.

#15 Ishmael

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:19 PM

Two books suitable for long cruises are The Discoverers and The Creators by Daniel J. Boorstin. Unsurprisingly, they are about explorers and artists respectively, and their roles in shaping our world and our cultures.

As I have said elsewhere, I haven't read fiction for decades. Why read about someone's made-up life when there are so many real, fascinating lives to explore?

I actually read very little on the boat, I spend a lot of time just enjoying the world around me. If it's raining, I'll rebuild the engine or something.



#16 dionski

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:11 PM

Fiction is all pretend

 

I can read it when aboard - no idea why

 

tend to avoid sailing books when afloat though

.There is actually no pretend at all in good fiction. It conveys aspects of reality, aspects of being human, which are largely unavailable through the mere reporting of "facts". The closer you get to what's real, the less you can say about it in any direct way. The truth has to be sidled up to. 



#17 B.J. Porter

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

I'm trying a kindle, but I'm not yet fully sold - more things to remember to plug in.

I'm a big Sci-fi junkie and history buff. Alastair Reynolds, Iain M Banks, Charles Stross, Paolo Baciagalupi ...there's been some good stuff in past decade. Adrian Goldsworthy does a neat series on Rome....N.A.M Rodgers is usually a safe bet and I've always had a soft pot fo Len Deihton's history books, as opposed to his novels.

Th issues is when cruising I generally fall asleep after a page or two, so progress is slow...

Backgammon and cards after dinner have become very popular recently.

 

I've had a kindle for several years now.  I HATE reading paper books now, after being spoiled.  They're heavy, they lose your page if you aren't careful, it takes two hands to operate, when you are done with that book you have to go find another.  This isn't helped by the fact that I frequently read books of the longish variety.  You can't compare reading a monster like George R.R. Martin's "Dances with Dragons" in a 12 pound 1,000+ page book to a nice slim Kindle.

 

The only thing that is unfortunate is that we'd updated everyone to Kindle Keyboards with the international 3G network, very handy living abroad - we are a four Kindle family.  Great on the boat, a lot fewer books to trip over.  Except the screen cracked on mine; for the first time in years of owning Kindles Amazon declined to replace it.  So I'm back to using the Kindle 2 my wife used to have (that I was supposed to sell on EBay but never got around to) which is domestic U.S. only 3G and no Wifi.  So I'm relegated to downloading books and copying them to it via USB which is a small nuisance.  The screnn is a little smaller too, but I can live with that.  On a day like today when I'm going to take a bus to run some errands I'll copy my book to my iPhone and carry that.

 

In our newer, cheaper lifestyle we've also gotten very good about using our library to check out books which works very nicely, though we do need an internet connection for that to work it's generally not a problem.  When we've got good internet we'll check out a bunch of books at once.



#18 Elegua

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:02 PM

I'm trying a kindle, but I'm not yet fully sold - more things to remember to plug in.

I'm a big Sci-fi junkie and history buff. Alastair Reynolds, Iain M Banks, Charles Stross, Paolo Baciagalupi ...there's been some good stuff in past decade. Adrian Goldsworthy does a neat series on Rome....N.A.M Rodgers is usually a safe bet and I've always had a soft pot fo Len Deihton's history books, as opposed to his novels.

Th issues is when cruising I generally fall asleep after a page or two, so progress is slow...

Backgammon and cards after dinner have become very popular recently.

 

I've had a kindle for several years now.  I HATE reading paper books now, after being spoiled.  They're heavy, they lose your page if you aren't careful, it takes two hands to operate, when you are done with that book you have to go find another.  This isn't helped by the fact that I frequently read books of the longish variety.  You can't compare reading a monster like George R.R. Martin's "Dances with Dragons" in a 12 pound 1,000+ page book to a nice slim Kindle.

 

The only thing that is unfortunate is that we'd updated everyone to Kindle Keyboards with the international 3G network, very handy living abroad - we are a four Kindle family.  Great on the boat, a lot fewer books to trip over.  Except the screen cracked on mine; for the first time in years of owning Kindles Amazon declined to replace it.  So I'm back to using the Kindle 2 my wife used to have (that I was supposed to sell on EBay but never got around to) which is domestic U.S. only 3G and no Wifi.  So I'm relegated to downloading books and copying them to it via USB which is a small nuisance.  The screnn is a little smaller too, but I can live with that.  On a day like today when I'm going to take a bus to run some errands I'll copy my book to my iPhone and carry that.

 

In our newer, cheaper lifestyle we've also gotten very good about using our library to check out books which works very nicely, though we do need an internet connection for that to work it's generally not a problem.  When we've got good internet we'll check out a bunch of books at once.

 

 

I have to confess, I'm only using the app, which might explain the questionable user experience. Do kindles change the orientation when you tip them? I'm always reading at strange angles and I hate it when the screen keeps flipping. I've certainly enjoyed being on long haul flights and not having to worry about running out of books to read. How do you keep them powered up...as in how fast do they charge? 



#19 B.J. Porter

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:37 PM

 

I'm trying a kindle, but I'm not yet fully sold - more things to remember to plug in.

I'm a big Sci-fi junkie and history buff. Alastair Reynolds, Iain M Banks, Charles Stross, Paolo Baciagalupi ...there's been some good stuff in past decade. Adrian Goldsworthy does a neat series on Rome....N.A.M Rodgers is usually a safe bet and I've always had a soft pot fo Len Deihton's history books, as opposed to his novels.

Th issues is when cruising I generally fall asleep after a page or two, so progress is slow...

Backgammon and cards after dinner have become very popular recently.

 

I've had a kindle for several years now.  I HATE reading paper books now, after being spoiled.  They're heavy, they lose your page if you aren't careful, it takes two hands to operate, when you are done with that book you have to go find another.  This isn't helped by the fact that I frequently read books of the longish variety.  You can't compare reading a monster like George R.R. Martin's "Dances with Dragons" in a 12 pound 1,000+ page book to a nice slim Kindle.

 

The only thing that is unfortunate is that we'd updated everyone to Kindle Keyboards with the international 3G network, very handy living abroad - we are a four Kindle family.  Great on the boat, a lot fewer books to trip over.  Except the screen cracked on mine; for the first time in years of owning Kindles Amazon declined to replace it.  So I'm back to using the Kindle 2 my wife used to have (that I was supposed to sell on EBay but never got around to) which is domestic U.S. only 3G and no Wifi.  So I'm relegated to downloading books and copying them to it via USB which is a small nuisance.  The screnn is a little smaller too, but I can live with that.  On a day like today when I'm going to take a bus to run some errands I'll copy my book to my iPhone and carry that.

 

In our newer, cheaper lifestyle we've also gotten very good about using our library to check out books which works very nicely, though we do need an internet connection for that to work it's generally not a problem.  When we've got good internet we'll check out a bunch of books at once.

 

 

I have to confess, I'm only using the app, which might explain the questionable user experience. Do kindles change the orientation when you tip them? I'm always reading at strange angles and I hate it when the screen keeps flipping. I've certainly enjoyed being on long haul flights and not having to worry about running out of books to read. How do you keep them powered up...as in how fast do they charge? 

 

The latest kindles, if you leave the wireless off, can get up to two weeks.  Charge time is a few hours. Depends on your usage...my wife plays a lot of word games on hers which I think kills the battery quicker.  Leaving wireless on you can still get a good number of days.

 

Check the App, there is a little lock symbol that will keep your orientation from flipping.  Drives me nuts too, can't stand the App in portrait mode but you can lock it.

 

The Kindle can switch rotation, but it does not do so automatically - at the versions I've used. 

 

I've found the Kindle experience to be better than the App by a lot.  The App is really useful if you leave your wireless on all the time.  That way your current page on your kindle is saved on online, and when you open the App on say, your iPhone while you are standing in line or waiting for something, it picks right up where you left off on the Kindle.  And the reverse - the Kindle will jump back to whatever you read on the phone.  Very handy if you have a combination of devices that can do that.

 

I think the non-backlit E-Ink is very good on the eyes compared to a backlit screen.  It is very much like reading a book, except you can change the font size which is nice.  You can also do things like highlight a word you don't know and it will usually come up with a dictionary for you, something I miss a lot when reading paper.



#20 Elegua

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:46 PM

Cool, thanks! That kind of battery life I can live with. I think I'll try an e-ink one this Summer. A lock you say in the app? Hmmm I must have missed it. I'm usually one of those annoying people that has to mess with each custom setting on any gizmo....let me look.

#21 Ishmael

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:17 AM

I got my wife a Kobo for Christmas, she likes it a lot. I don't know if it has any app interface, but it will read almost any format out there, which opens up a lot of free stuff.



#22 Py26129

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:13 AM

Here is another vote for a simple reader.  Load it up with books before your trip and maybe bring the charger.  It's the equivalent of bringing an Ipod onboard vs. a box full of CDs.



#23 B.J. Porter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:40 PM

Cool, thanks! That kind of battery life I can live with. I think I'll try an e-ink one this Summer. A lock you say in the app? Hmmm I must have missed it. I'm usually one of those annoying people that has to mess with each custom setting on any gizmo....let me look.

 

On the iPhone App it's in the lower right corner, it seems to only show up when the screen orientation changes for a few seconds, then it goes way.



#24 B.J. Porter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

Here is another vote for a simple reader.  Load it up with books before your trip and maybe bring the charger.  It's the equivalent of bringing an Ipod onboard vs. a box full of CDs.

 

We got to the point with chargers where we got a couple of extra car chargers for the key devices and just left them on the boat permanently.  No risk of leaving with a low battery for the weekend, or having to go back to the boat midweek for a forgotten charger.



#25 Steam Flyer

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

I got my wife a Kobo for Christmas, she likes it a lot. I don't know if it has any app interface, but it will read almost any format out there, which opens up a lot of free stuff.

 

There certainly is a lot, but of the books I would like to get for my father (who does all his reading on a Kindle nowadays) there are very very few that are available in any kind of electronic format. Out of a list of about 60 books that were either old favorites of his I know about, or ones we've discussed and he wants, there were 2.

 

FB- Doug



#26 Ishmael

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:08 PM

I got my wife a Kobo for Christmas, she likes it a lot. I don't know if it has any app interface, but it will read almost any format out there, which opens up a lot of free stuff.

 

There certainly is a lot, but of the books I would like to get for my father (who does all his reading on a Kindle nowadays) there are very very few that are available in any kind of electronic format. Out of a list of about 60 books that were either old favorites of his I know about, or ones we've discussed and he wants, there were 2.

 

FB- Doug

 

I found a lot of older books for free, many at the Gutenberg Project. http://www.gutenberg.org/. So far I have found every book my wife wanted somewhere online for free.



#27 jimma

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

Like many blokes my age - 58 -

 

I hardly ever read fiction any more

 

at about 45 I almost completely quit on it

 

I get 100 pages in and then put the book down because it is all pretend

 

 

 

but when on the boat then I will read fiction quite happily

 

- both tosh and high brow

 

anything that comes my way

 

also when ashore I hardly read anything at all during the day apart from the web or newspapers

 

 

 

but on the boat I never read a newspaper and will happily settle down with a book after breakfast or lunch

 

 

On the boat I hardly ever really read books about sailing

 

 

I am beginning to feel a bit split personality on this one

 

This could have been mostly written by me. I seldom read fiction anymore, even when aboard .I have a boatload of cruising books but, with the exception of two of Nigel Calder's maintenance gems, they were not cracked once during a three-year cruise.

 

My wife reads a book a day. Happy as a clam with her Sony Reader, which reads most any format.



#28 Steam Flyer

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:13 PM

 

I got my wife a Kobo for Christmas, she likes it a lot. I don't know if it has any app interface, but it will read almost any format out there, which opens up a lot of free stuff.

 

There certainly is a lot, but of the books I would like to get for my father (who does all his reading on a Kindle nowadays) there are very very few that are available in any kind of electronic format. Out of a list of about 60 books that were either old favorites of his I know about, or ones we've discussed and he wants, there were 2.

 

FB- Doug

 

I found a lot of older books for free, many at the Gutenberg Project. http://www.gutenberg.org/. So far I have found every book my wife wanted somewhere online for free.

 

 

Lots of good stuff there.

I guess it is a question of which approach do you take... "I want book XYZ. Is it available for Kindle (or in electronic format)?" Or do you say "I am going to browse e-books and see what I might like." If you take the latter approach, there is a lot of good stuff. Lots and lots, keep you busy for a long time, but it's still a tiny minority of all books ever published.

 

If you take the first approach then you might decide that between availability and the charger issue that you'd just as soon stick with old-fashioned paper books for a while yet.

 

FB- Doug



#29 toddster

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:54 PM

Hmm... not much difference any more really.  In the deep long-ago before eBooks (what, like three or four years?) I used to save up a few thick dense tomes for traveling.  Literary and technical stuff that would last me for a while.  I remember packing about four linear shelf-feet of books for an eight week trip not too long ago. 

 

But now of course, the whole library is in my pocket.  I have gotten so used to whipping out my phone to read a chapter or a journal article while I eat my sandwich or stand in line, that it throws me when (like this week) I'm reading a paper book.  Gee, the phone doesn't synch back to the book on my nightstand!  :unsure:   And besides, I can read eBooks without fishing out the darned cheaters.   ;)






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