Out of Hanwell

May 8, 2009

Computers Aren’t Books!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Matthias Miller @ 5:42 pm

I’ve never liked the idea of reading e-books on a computer. I tried it once five years ago. I downloaded a classic novel from the Gutenberg Project and tried reading it on my computer. It was an awful experience.

Things haven’t gotten better. Right now I’m trying to read a PDF e-book on my computer. It’s miserable.

The computer is the worst imaginable device to read books on. My Eee’s screen is way too small, exaggerated by the PDF’s strange two-column format. I have to scroll down, then up, then down, then jump to the next page, then down, then up, then down, until I’m quite dizzy.

But worst of all, the computer’s much too powerful. When I read, I like to completely change my atmosphere, get far away from the computer, and get into a fresh state of mind. Computers make me very ADD. I read a little bit, then get something to drink. I read a litttle more, then get something to snack on. I read a little more, then check my e-mail. I read a little more, then get caught up in an article about human psychology. I read a little more, then realize how much I dislike reading e-books on my computer, so I blog about it, as if anyone cared.

Trust me, this is no idealistic scientific experiment about the usability and readability of e-books on computers. I need to read this book, but I can’t get a print copy right now. I’ve tried to convert this PDF into a more readable format with a superbly clever Python script, but I’ve wasted too much time trying that already, and it’s not worth it.

Bother.

I guess there’s nothing to do except to go back and keep reading.

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