Why I Like Reading on my iPad


I wasn’t sure if I would like reading on my iPad, but after consuming half a dozen or so books over the past month, I have to admit this digital reading thing seems to be working for me!

After most recently enjoying the Stieg Larsson trilogy of Lisbeth Salander adventures, and then what I thought was a very entertaining story set in Dublin called Faithful Place by Tana French, I have now moved on to the Hemmingway classic “For Whom The Bell Tolls” – recommended by Sam.

Speaking of Sam, the artwork above was created by him when he was in 2nd grade, and it is now proudly displayed as my iPad home screen image.

Anyway, here’s what I like most about reading on my iPad:

1. In addition to carrying my photos, my music, my movies, my games, my email, and providing access to the Internet, my iPad also now stores my books. This means that at just about any time, I have a book at my fingertips. For someone who wasn’t normally a prolific reader, this is a big deal.

2. Using the Kindle for Mac app (or the iBook store), I can browse, buy and download in seconds just about any book I want – usually cheaper than either a paperback or hardcover edition. Oops… to prove that point I rather easily just spent ten bucks on “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffenegger – follow up to “The Time Traveler’s Wife” – which was awesome.

3. I can adjust the size of the font, the brightness of the screen, and the style of pages to make reading easier on my tired old eyes.

4. Simply by touching the screen, I can select any word I don’t know the meaning of and instantly get a definition. I can also highlight any part of the book to add my own notes, and I can easily search for any word or phrase.

5. I can download and read PDF e-books authored by my favorite landscape photographers such as Michael Frye, David duChemin, and Guy Tal. I love how the reach of the Internet has made publishing so accessible.

6. I can read in bed without having to fight with one of those scrawny book clip-on night lights.

7. I love how “right” it feels as I swipe my finger to turn a page – unlike most people probably, I don’t miss the tactile feel of a book in my hands.

8. If I choose to do so, at any time I can conveniently pause when reading to check email, twitter etc. without even setting the device down. Hmmm… does that make me more efficient or more unproductive?

Just about the only thing I don’t like about reading on my iPad is how when I finish a good book that I would like to share with a friend, I can’t just pass it along to them – although in a somewhat limited fashion you can now “loan” Kindle books. I find this whole notion kind of ironic in a reverse sort of way considering how slow much of the music industry was to adapt to the digital age.