Tuesday, 12 April 2011

E-readers for Writers

I recently - after a lot of thought -  bought an e-reader to make travelling with books a lot easier. The Ryan Air luggage allowance doesn’t give you space for reading matter and I’m tired of sneaking through security with a paper-back crushed into every pocket, as well as wearing my entire wardrobe!


In the end I bought a Kindle (sorry!) because they’ve got the 3G capability anywhere in the world where there’s a satellite - it works here, where other internet technologies don’t and I’m hoping it will work in Cuba and Cambodia. They now come with the new ink screen technology that handles graphics and is very easy to read. It doesn’t hurt your eyes like a computer screen and is perfectly visible in sunlight. I’ve also discovered that I can use the reader to check my email, and download newspapers, magazines and blogs that I regularly follow.  I had distinct reservations about E-books, but I'm completely won over now.
What I didn’t realise was that the e-reader could be such a useful tool for a writer. I can load my Work In Progress onto it from my computer, as a text file, and then sit out in the sun and edit it. The Kindle allows me to highlight sections I want to change and to add notes of text I want to insert. Then, when I go indoors to my computer, it will show me the list of edits I’ve made so that I can alter the text on my hard-drive. I’ve never been able to work out of doors like this before. It has a built-in dictionary - and I could also download a Thesaurus to look up words instantly while I’m writing.

I can see a lot of possibilities here. The machine has an audio capability so that you can be read to if you feel lazy, and it handles the new ‘enhanced’ E-books. Apparently you can get editions of books that include music and pictures to accompany the text - a whole new reading experience. This technology is going to change things - I wonder how long it will be before we’re all writing with the E-reader in mind?

6 comments:

  1. i think you're right, i think it's only a matter of tiem before we all switch over, even though i think books will always be with us too. It's just too convenient.
    mood
    Moody Writing

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  2. I have an E-reader for flying and hospitals - both miserable times which perhaps influence my enjoyment of it. It is practical and useful but I miss the haptics of a book between my fingers. I didn't know you could also use it for editing, which sounds very convenient.

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  3. Kathleen - thank you! the thought of being able to casually edit work outside in the sun is rather lovely. And downloading blogs etc... far more than I realised. For reading a book, the single page bothers me as I'm a fast reader and like to be able to fly across the pages with my eye. The little single lit page seems restrictive - but may be I'd get used to that...

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  4. I love mine. In answer to your question - not long!

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  5. I am not impressed by the iPad.
    But from the little I have seen of the ereaders they seem a possibility.

    At the moment I take a netbook everywhere with me. It is miraculous how good I am getting at tuning out and writing on the train. It is useless in the sun though.
    Maybe an ereader when I get to editing stage?

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  6. I'm still finding it very useful and a good companion to the netbook. It's so much lighter, so I can edit while travelling as well as outside. And it's great for reading in bed! Like you Mary, I was worried about not being able to 'block' read the pages, but it seems to work just as well as a book once you get used to it. So far so good!

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