To my personal shock, I’m thinking about e-readers these days. Like getting one. I’m a huge fan of books, actual pages, the smell, the heft, the shelves full of them that surround me. Why would I think of getting an e-reader? Sigh. Research.
Really???? I hear you thinking, or, possibly even saying loudly to your computer screen. How can an e-reader be helpful for research?????
It’s like this. I use my computer for lots and lots of research activities like looking up facts, finding bibliography information, locating resources, and others I can’t even name right now. Some of the resources I find are pdf files containing scans of old books. Remember, I’ve been working on 19th-century women who published about the Bible. I HATE sitting at my desk and trying to read these pdf files on my laptop screen. Hate. I do it, but when I read on the laptop, with the keyboard in the way, I don’t read carefully. I read for the next snippet of info, for the next quote, for the page number for a footnote. And I can’t read the pdf files on the bus on the way to work. I’ve seen people haul laptops out and read stuff on the subway (at least I think they are reading stuff, they usually aren’t typing) but that is just a pain. I can take my laptop over to my reading chair and read there, but it is still clunky and the keyboard is lurking, waiting for me to type something. It doesn’t feel right.
Of course, what I’d really like is book copies of all those 19th-century books. I’ve got some. The ones I want are usually quite expensive. Go look up Sarah Trimmer on ebay. Anyhow, it seems that an e-reader would solve some of the issues I’ve got with reading old books. And journal articles. Maybe.
Do you have an e-reader? What do you think of it? How is the reading experience? Do tell.