The Simpsons Movie is the reason I’m writing this blog post. Other than that fact it will actually have barely anything to do with The Simpsons, sorry. It’s just that I was going to watch the movie on television, then realised it’s a pretty poor film and Matt Groening should have been tarred and feathered for engineering or allowing to be engineered such a tragic symbol of the television series’ decline. Is that harsh? I guess being tarred and feathered might hurt. It would probably have to be hot or pretty bloody warm tar for it to liquefy. In that case, he should have been punished somehow. Anyway, There’s Something About Mary is on right after it and I really want to watch that; which gives me plenty of time to write this post. Or I’ll finish it later. I’m not being paid for this.
On topic: during November 2011 I started blogging. I was working full time at the, erm, time, but am not really patting myself on the back for maintaining a successful and productive blog while also working as a journalist. That’s because, at the time and still now, really, the blog was neither successful nor particularly productive. Since then I’ve posted 71 times, including this one, about all sorts of things. There have been ups and downs and rounds and rounds and trouble with the law and romance and surfing and a lot more. And that’s just the content and not the reactions to it. I’ve enjoyed it. I am a little inclined to think I in the process of blogging might have offended and alienated myself further from many people and elements of society; but chances are anyone I did offend never liked me in the first place or made out of context, prejudiced or downright biased analyses about me and what I wrote. In that assumed case, no big loss really. Thing is, the first blog post I ever created was about eReaders and eBooks and such: https://wordjourneyer.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/scrolling-the-page/ And, as my blog has over that almost two years attracted exactly 1498 views at the time of typing this sentence, I feel like writing a follow up to that original post as a way of marking the milestone. Maybe it’s time I sought advertising payments for it. Then again, maybe not (yet).
The really apt and kind of belated factor behind writing another post on the topic of eReading is the fact that, since writing the original post, I have bought an eReader. Quite soon afterward, actually. I’m not going to bother fastidiously addressing the things I wrote about eReading in the original post. Instead, I prefer to just write its follow up in exactly the same manner as I did it: from the heart. What? That’s genuine. I love reading. Books were my best friends during and before primary school, and they still bless me with more intellectual stimulation than some people I’m forced to speak to, or perhaps read about. How ironic. Where was I? Oh, yes: eReading. I have one now. An eReader. I’m not even sure what brand it is. Kebo, or Bobo, or something. There’s no brand on it and I threw out the box it came in (and probably the manual too). A former colleague of mine wrote a news/feature (as in one newsy story and one featurey story, on the same page) story about eReading in the newspaper we both once wrote for. She’s also, not terribly coincidentally, the first person who ever commented on my blog. Used to have (a WordPress.com) one herself. Not anymore. She works hard and has a boyfriend and is probably busy with the interesting social life a publishing company publicist would have. Point is: I don’t think I took eBooks seriously until I skimmed over her article. So as a birthday present that year mum gave me $100 and I bought one over ebay. It was exciting. Like waiting for a traditional book bought over ebay but amplified beyond count by the fact that, eventually, an eReader has the potential to contain many thousands of eBooks.
Back to the colleague’s stories about eReading. I can’t remember the specifics, but she went into considerable detail (as her job required) about different types of eReaders and their different functions (actually, I’m sure the articles didn’t just owe their detail to the fact it was her job; she was and is a passionate consumer of books). I mention detail because, as I got a small chance to discuss with her, she seemed to take things just as seriously when it came time to buy herself an eReader. A Kindle, I’m pretty sure. It is the most popular one as far as I know. Pretty ignorant about why, though, I’ll admit. I took a different yet characteristic approach to the abovementioned her and simply bought the (or close to the) cheapest one. And it’s fine, really. Great, even. I must admit I’ve only read one book on it (The War of the Worlds – awesome! Tom Cruise should be tarred and feathered for the modern film adaptation too, by the way. And for a bunch of other reasons) and made a start on James Joyce’s Ulysses. The latter was probably the reason why I have been reading traditional books since. Ulysses is a difficult read if you had not heard. But of course I certainly haven’t thrown it in the bin and it now has between 10 and 20 books on it. Plus I haven’t spent a cent in the process. Let me explain: I’d heard a while back that most classic novels’ copyrights had expired due to their authors being dead for more than . . . I believe it’s 70 years, if I remember my media law correctly. Boom: free eBooks. I didn’t know exactly where to download them, however, so I think I just Facebook questioned my friends en masse and was suggested a few different sites by a few different people. The best one in my opinion is: http://archive.org/details/texts Would be great to hear of any others. Pretty keen to download Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for free and read it again. It was a borrowed read the first time. Though HS Thompson’s only been dead for about 10 years. Oh well. There are some problems due mainly to my inexperience with the technology and the fact it’s still in its infancy. For example I bought a book through Amazon, which is the creator of the Kindle, but it could only be put on and read from a Kindle. I think the only way I could read a bought eBook on my eReader would be if it was downloadable as a Word or Notepad file. I’ll worry about that later.
Other than that it’s a pretty simple and low maintenance device. If only nature made women the way Asia made technology, right (hetero) men? Actually, that wouldn’t be much good to anyone. Ahem. Moving on. There’s an attractive but utilitarian little eBookshelf on the eReader’s desktop that houses eight eBooks (the rest are in a folder). Its desktop also has a calendar, but you can’t save events or set reminders in it or anything. You can also put photos, music and videos on it, though I’m not sure about its data storage capacity. Plus it features WiFi connectivity. That’s pretty much it. I certainly got what I paid for, and that’s without an intention to put photos, music or movies on it or connect it to WiFi. Unfortunately it’s already almost a little bit redundant because my smart phone (one of which I didn’t yet have when I bought the eReader) has a screen that’s almost as big. But I’d still prefer to read an eBook on the eReader over my phone, and I have no real intention, inclination or need to buy a tablet anytime soon. Unlike so much other technology with a deliberately built in expiration of only a couple of years these days, it may just be something that I own and increasingly treasure for years to come. Unless, as is probable in such a situation, I drop it in the bath. Borrowed that unlikely feared tragedy from my colleague. Just like traditional books, and despite the fact that I’ve barely used it, it already has a small place in my heart. That I and other book lovers are around to enjoy the greatest revolution in publishing since the invention of the Gutenberg printing press is a pure source of joy and wonder. With the advent and proliferation of electronic writing of so many types these days, it sure can be a little overwhelming when figuring out what to spend one’s time reading. The amount of eReading choice on its own is not necessarily revolutionary in its implications but is without a doubt revolutionary in its potential. As someone who enjoys writing whether for enjoyment, payment or both, the one question I’ll surely be asking myself for the rest of my life is: where do I fit in to this increasingly grand picture? Two things are certain: I could write a better modern Simpsons episode than the bunch of blind, drunken monkeys typing on smart phones who currently do; and Tom Cruise will act in the adaptation of my (eventual) novel over my dead and non-zombified body. I’ve missed the start (otherwise infamously known as the “zipper incident”) of There’s Something About Mary. Bugger.