Slow readers, fast readers

I’ll be honest, the Reader felt like another cool gadget at first, but right now it really shows how easy it is to bring with me a number of books, without needing bookmarks, and without the physical constrain of book size — might sound very puny, but think about going around with a couple of volumes of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and thank call me back.

Now this added with the ability to buy just-released books that aren’t available in Europe just yet, and the fact that I don’t pay any shipping on them, also meant I started getting hooked more and more to some book series, more than I would have before. Unfortunately, book series are expensive; not excessively expensive by themselves, but when you read through an instalment in less than a week, at the end of the month you’ll feel again the weight of the books on your credit card statement.

So I’m now thinking simply of dividing books in “fast readers” and “slow readers”, and get myself a rule so that I don’t spend a lot of money in fast readers one after the other. The obvious separation between the two would be “stuff I enjoy enthusiastically” and “stuff I really read just for the kicks”… but given I’m no longer in school, I have near to nothing within that set — there has been a few technical books I endured more than enjoyed, before, but that’s part of my job anyway.

It’s not a matter of taste, it’s even less a matter of page count; some books might be short, like Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, but while they are interesting, they take me the longest time to read through them. Others might look “fatter”, like the Dresden Files series, but they capture me to a point I have difficulty turning away from the book.

But the first rule I have to get myself to respect is “Finish the dead-tree versions first!” — No point in getting new stuff as long as I haven’t finished all the technical books I have here. Well, it’s mostly alright for me given that I try to stay away from technical books during the summer so I can relax; not that it worked out pretty well this summer (no vacation, no break), but what I read was nothing I had before, nor something I had in dead tree form so it didn’t count.

So anyway, I’ll be back for a while to read stuff that makes a difference for what I do daily (packaging and coding), in dead-tree form for the most part. And a note here is worth it. I’m not sure whether the problem is with DocBook itself, but as good as O’Reilly’s content is, the ePub versions of their books tend to be .. difficult to read on the Reader itself; I’ll have to see if converting them with Calibre makes a difference, that would be interesting… but as it is I feel like reading them in PDF form would be probably easier; I just wish there will be some iPad-like tablet running Android sometime soon, that would definitely help — even more because CJKV Information Processing is exclusively available in PDF form, d’oh!

2 thoughts on “Slow readers, fast readers

  1. Archos has a _wonderful_ tablet in production and probably I’ll get one as soon it’s available =)

    Like

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