Skip to main content

Ebooks, battery life, and the humble stack of paper. An Historic 2006 Article on Books & Life Before Mobile Tablets Became a Thing

The ebook, or electronic book, has not quite caught on as a cool, mass consumer product largely because of the medium used to deliver it. Namely the computer. Even the smallest of laptop computers don't quite have the convenience of that humble stack of paper, glued or stitched down one side, more commonly referred to as a regular 'book'.

Regular books come in all shapes and sizes, the most convenient of which is known as the 'paperback'. Paperbacks are just the right size to read without straining the eyes and are just small enough to take up hardly any room in a bag, briefcase or maybe even a large coat pocket. Not with standing their use as 'brain food' their durability knows no bounds. They are still readable even after being used to prop up a wobbly table or having been thrown at an annoying colleague's head (not that this happens often but it happens).

Laptops have the annoying habit of being bulky and not very hard wearing at all. Even if your laptop computer is easy to get out on the bus there is still the issues of battery life and finding room to read standing because there are no seats left at rush hour. For those without laptops well, need I mention how non-portable the humble desktop computer is. Has power cord, doesn't travel more than a few feet.

Rumor has it that Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, is banking that people will want to read ebooks on their next generation video ipods. This could make ebooks cool but seriously, even on an ipod with a larger screen size they're missing the point. You can't go too far away from a power source for too long with an ipod. Even with the one or two dedicated ebook readers that do exist you can bet your life the battery will be flat as you struggle to prioritize charging your mobile phone, laptop, ipod, psp or ebook reader.

An ebook can't emulate the satisfaction of completing a lengthy tome like 'War and Peace'. You know that book is heavy going - literally. You can see how much you've read and that you're making real progress if you're still reading a third of the way into it. There is no better feeling than the visual satisfaction of knowing you've read a book that thick from first to last page.

The problem with ebooks is, unlike music and film, words on paper is the one medium that isn't improved by being reproduced in digital format. Granted you can enhance the text with hyperlinks and search functions and even make parts interactive but once you do that...well...it's no longer a book really. It's more like a web site.

The book is the one form of communication that doesn't require any additional hardware to enjoy. You don't need to be shown how to make a book work and you don't need to remember a password to open it. A book isn't limited to one operating system. You can read a book any way you want, at any speed. You can skip words, pages or even start at the end. You can just look at the pictures or flip through the pages to get a general feel for what's inside.

Most importantly...books are affordable. Even if you don't buy new books there are hundreds of interesting books in second hand stores, garage sales and flea markets. Even the homeless can afford to read books. No power points required. No reader device needed.

It's simple and easy to understand how a book works and the content can be as simple or as complex as your tastes desire. Nothing is nearly quite so impressive as a collection of books in your own personal library. Books do not get more impressive when you can fit 50,000 of them onto a machine the size of a matchbox. Books hold fond memories for people. Many people describe their perfect day as settling down with a good book.

Perhaps I'm beginning to ramble but there is a reason why people don't read long tracts of text on a web site. Reading on a screen is not fun or easy on the eye. Screens require movement and colour to hold our attention. That's what we're accustomed to. Ebooks require you to look at a static screen for extended periods. Much longer than it takes to read a web site.

Clearly ebooks have quite a way to go before they catch on.

Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Celtic Festival, Kapunda 2007

My first visit to Kapunda, Australia's oldest mining town, was to experience one day of a three day event, the 32nd Annual Kapunda Celtic Festival. Blonde Rose and I attended the second day which was a Saturday. As far as Celtic Festivals go, this one had a Celtic flavor but my impression overall was that this could have easily have been a Town Festival. Largely because many of the market stalls and some of the performing artists weren't specifically 'Celtic' themed. That said, I didn't get to see all of the Celtic performing artists such as dancers, singers and more. Perhaps if I had I would've been left with more of a Celtic experience. Don't get me wrong, I was not disappointed with the festival at all. Kapunda is an exceptional town with a lot to see. Which is why I didn't see all the entertainment. Too busy looking in local art galleries and exploring the excellent basement Kapunda history display at the Visitor Centre, as well as the basement mu

The Braille Skateboarding App - How it Changed My Mind on Switch Skating

My Profile on the Braille Skateboarding App. Braille Skateboarding launched it's new Skateboarding App worldwide on November 23rd, 2020. About a month prior to that they did a 'soft launch' via email for anyone living in Australia. I'm guessing this was to give the app a final test in the real world before launching it proper. Rather than explain what it is, watch Aaron Kyro, founder of Braille Skateboarding, run you through the app in the launch video below.  In a nutshell the app is virtually everything Braille has to offer accessed right from your phone, from tutorials to the Braille Army Community. The app is free but you can unlock more features if you upgrade to a paid membership. Braille App Trick List. One of the apps unique free features is keeping track of the tricks you've learned and giving you an overall score so you have some way to measure your progression. There is an extensive list of tricks, covering all types of skateboarding, categorized by diff

A Practical History of How The New World Order is a Global Cycle and Where We Are Now According to Ray Dalio

Still from Animation, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order by Ray Dalio When you hear the term 'The New World Order' which is somewhat interchangeable these days with 'The Great Reset' your mind may tend to wander to global conspiracy theories and The World Economic Forum (who I've previously established as so evil they don't even hide what they're doing). While I don't put much stock in what people think the WEF is doing (as opposed to what it actually is doing) there is such a thing as 'The New World Order' that can be demonstrated as a reoccurring construct of change throughout history. Ray Dalio , the founder, co-Chief Investment Officer and co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates , which is a global macro investment firm and is the world’s largest hedge fund, is also  connected to the WEF (so must be up to no good), has written a book,  Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order  (Amazon Affiliate Link), in which he

How to Start From Nothing - a Video by Sorelle Amore Finance About Starting Any Kind of Business

Sorelle Amore. It's the million dollar question for many people wanting to start a business who feel they don't have the knowledge, money, skills, time, or all four, "How do I start from nothing?" If that's something you want to know too then the video below by  Sorelle Amore , an Australian photographer and social media entrepreneur success story, who is most known for literally writing the book on how to take an #AdvancedSelfie, has an answer well worth considering. Just in case you feel advice from a professional selfie photographer couldn't possibly be meaningful Sorelle's journey to financial freedom in just two years is well worth looking into. One takeaway for me is that at age 28 she was broke, but turned things around and was a millionaire by age 30. While that's an exceptional result of quite a lot of hard work, writing books, building courses, and more, what it says to me is, it's possible to be financially secure in less than two years

Discussion Retrospective.

One of the oddities of internet forums is that discussions can be preserved long after the interest of the participants is over. My partner and I met up with some online forum friends recently at a local restaurant. Most of them we've known for years but hadn't met in person until now. At this event I was reminded by two people about a forum discussion that I remember having but couldn't for the life of me remember the actual details of what I'd said. However, it must have been profound and informative because three people recalled it and at least one had thought it interesting enough to copy the discussion and show it to people not involved with the forum. I still couldn't remember the exact details despite the subject being a pet topic of mine. Afterwards I went home and looked up this discussion on the forum. It took a little bit of finding because it was buried in the archives. Turns out this was a discussion that took place nearly two years ago. No wonder I