But this blog post is about reading. I have not done much reading in the past 20 years. I'm not sure why. I read sometimes on airplanes and on vacations, when I don't have my usual infrastructure around me. I buy books, and I love books, but I don't really read that much. I think it's because I'm so interested in so many things that I do things, instead of reading. I have a huge stack of books I'm going to read really soon. Except, of course, I don't.
So I bought an iPad but didn't think I would read books on it. But I've done a lot of work in electronic publishing and I was curious to see how the experience was. I bought a copy of The Tipping Point, partly so Malcolm Gladwell would get a little more money—he's awesome. It's worth pointing out that I have a paperback copy of The Tipping Point sitting on my desk, as I intend to re-read it, since I only got about halfway through the last time I tried, many years ago.
So here's why the Kindle will lose, and the iPad will win....
I have the iPad with me because of all the things it does. I can read my email, do my online banking, or whatever I think needs doing. But I found myself clicking over to read a few pages of The Tipping Point now and then, when facebook was boring and I had no new email. And I've read about 100 pages of The Tipping Point now, to my surprise.
The crux of it is this: if you have to bring something extra with you in case you want to read, you just won't. Maybe you will for a while, but have you ever brought a book on an airplane, in your carry-on, and gotten back home having not even cracked it open, and wondered why you lugged all that weight around the whole trip? You tend not to do it the next time—you leave the book at home.
And that's precisely the point: the book is always with you, because it's not an extra thing to bring, it's just built right into something you'll probably have with you anyway—and it's just a click or two away, if you already have that device in your hand. Or 100 books, for that matter.
This is a game changer for reading, in my opinion. It is working on me, and I'm a tough audience.