Monday, 10 January 2011


… and me. Up until very recently I thought I would never own an e-book-reader or think about getting one. I love books, you see, the real ones. I love the feeling, the smell, the whole thing. There’s nothing better for me than curling up on my couch with a good book and some lemonade, tea or hot chocolate (depending on temperature and general weather outside). But now I might also curl up with an e-book-reader.

I have quite some .pdf files on my computer’s hard disks which I created myself. Most of them are either my own stories or fan-fictions I have downloaded and converted from various sites for easier reading. Up until now, I have only been able to read them at my computer, so I was looking for a way to read them somewhere else, too. Most of those files I printed out, though, are A4 format, which is quite big, so not exactly a good idea for reading on your way somewhere. Over the last couple of weeks (two months or so), I therefore researched e-book-reader and realized that all of them can also read .pdf files. So, with the money I got as a present from my parents for Christmas, I went to the nearest electronic market and took a closer look last Friday.

I had set my eyes on a Tekstore model – least expensive and they have colour for graphics, not just electronic ink in black, white and grey. Tekstore was out, though, so I experimented a bit with the cheaper Sony e-book-reader, the PRS-350. Unlike the Oyo, offered in Germany by the chain of Thalia bookstores (which I tested in one, some weeks ago), the Sony reacts rather fast. Flicking through pages is rather easy, too, with the touch-screen. So, to make a long story a bit shorter (and not a bit too early), I bought it.

It has turned out that some of my .pdf files (the ones I found through Forgotten Books) don’t work all too well with my new reader. Most of those I did myself, though, are fine (even though I might recreate some for it). But then I did some internet research and now I’m really loaded on free e-books, as I found some pages where you can legally get old classics (books that have been around for 70 years and more) for free. I have by now loaded a couple of books I always wanted to read (including Varney the Vampire and the Fu Manchu novels by Sax Rohmer), a couple of books I have read before, but will want to read again (like S.S. van Dine’s Bishop Murder Case and Greene Murder Case) and quite some books I had never thought about reading before (like The Mask of Zorro). There’s so many more books waiting for me, once I have made my way through those I already have…

I have also returned to the old custom of reading in bed. The reader is much easier to handle in bed than a normal book. No 50 pages loss when I’m turning a page, rather lightweight and easy enough to hold with one hand. I still need light (e-ink screens have no light of their own, which is good for energy saving), but I can read much easier – especially as I can also set various font sizes, if I find the regular one too small.

I still love real books and will never completely leave them behind, but an e-book-reader also has its merits.