I’ve always been a big fan of reading, I couldn’t have got my degrees or survived the first year of my PhD without a love of the written word. Back in April 2010 I wasn’t sure how well the iPad would function as a device to read extended works on. E-Ink was all the rage, and the Kindle was thought to be the potential saviour of the publishing world, albeit a bulky beige saviour with very slow refresh rate. It was also thought at the time that no one would prefer to read books on a digital device, and especially not a colour LCD display, and that the kindle ver1.0 was just for business men and power-readers. A monochrome display is near useless for reading biological journals on so I skipped the kindle and eventually got an iPad when I started my PhD.
It has been used primarily for reading comics in full colour (nur-nur kindle fans), and for saving me having to carry round a stack of papers, getting crumpled and dog-eared in my bag just in case I fancied reading up on some biology during a commute. I hardly had time for reading non-fiction, until I watched the HBO TV adaptation of A Game of Thones by George RR Martin. WOW was it such a good series.
After the finale concluded I hit the iBooks store, desperate to learn more about the world and the characters that populated it in the most colourful of ways. After seeing the book available for just £4 it was an insta-buy, and I started reading it on my commutes and before bed times like a good lad. This afternoon I have finally reached the end of it and thought I’d share my feelings about the world of eBooks.
The biggest benefit I found of using the iPad versus a physical book is the size difference, and lack of fear of damaging it. I can just chuck my iPad inside my bag and not worry about it getting crumpled by my laptop or camera, or it getting bent and dog-eared. I find holding a thin slab of aluminium a lot more comfortable than dealing with a book in two halves as I try not to bend the spine too much for fear of breaking it. The next big benefit I found with using iBooks was the syncing between devices such that in the morning I could read on my iPad, and in the evening, when I got a packed meat wagon home, I could just pull out my little iPhone and carryon reading it form where I had left off. I found the page animations to be very satisfying and that it made iBooks more enjoyable to use. Eye-strain hasn’t been an issue really, no more than reading in general anyway. And I’ve found the back-lit iPad display extremely useful, where the Kindle would have failed me.
In summary, I enjoyed reading the book so much I now have the rest of the series sitting on my iBooks bookshelf just urging me to hurry through and devour them whole, and where as if I had the physical copy I’d be struggling to bring the book with me let alone hold while standing on the tube, I have no fears with iBooks allowing me even more opportunity to read. I can also carry round the whole series with me without a worry that I may have to carry two large books for a few days incase I finished the first book. I love my iPad, and while at first I wasn’t sure of its potential as a reading device, today I’m sold and I’m making time to enjoy reading once more.