Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hey Mikey, I Think He Likes It

So my wife and I took the kids to see The Croods today. If you're not sure what this is it's an animated movie featuring a caveman family who, to this point in the story, has survived by spending as much time as possible huddled in a cave. The father's favourite saying is "Never Not Be Afraid" and he makes a point of showing them over and over (and over) again that anything new is to be feared. Now, I won't spoil the movie for you, but suffice it to say that this notion is to be challenged and the family may or may not experience something new and may or may not live happily ever after.

Fast forward a couple hundred thousand years and here we are. We have evolved quite remarkably in that span of time and yet there are still so many traits, mannerisms, or instincts that we possess that hearken back to those cave dwelling days. Fight or flight immediately springs to mind. The overwhelming need for the male of the species to impress the female is another one. Sadly, men did not evolve in a similar fashion to their feathered friends and become adorned with colourful plumage.

Stolen from Wikipedia

If you're anything like myself you've also hung on to a little bit of the Crood father as well. Things that are the same are safe and things that are different are not. Change is bad. Now, I'm no Luddite by any stretch, but I am most comfortable in my routine and have a healthy appreciation for the way things are. So when it was time to discuss the possibility of an e-reader I was far from comfortable. 

I've tried reading on my iPhone and on my laptop and I'm not a fan. An e-reader is different I am told. An e-reader is just like reading on a book, but better! My father, who probably hasn't been on the Internet for a decade (since I showed him how to use Google to look at boobs find sports scores), switched over to an e-reader more than a year ago and he loves it. He has no idea how to get books onto it (the neighbour does it for him), but he loves it. 

My daughter reads a book about every three or four days. It may take her a week if she has a few of them on the go at once. She's getting an e-reader for her birthday whether she likes it or not. I will soon run out of storage space for all her books and will probably wear out a path to the library as well. My wife figured that a good way to test out this gift would be to get one for me and then I could put it through the paces and we could let our daughter try it out. I did the research and decided that I wanted a more "traditional" e-reader. I would not enjoy reading on something with a shiny screen that also played HD video. I needed something that most resembled an actual book. I settled on the Kobo Glo, and lo and behold my wife gave me one for my birthday.



I loaded up some books I've been meaning to read and picked up a "book maintenance" program that allows me to keep a consolidated library of all my ebooks in all their formats (and convert them to Kobo format too, if I want). I loaded a couple new books for the future on there as well and I started reading Caramel and Magnolias by my friend Tess Thompson. I read in daylight, at night, low light, lots of light, direct sunlight, morning, afternoon, and evening for a week. I used all the features I could think of on the device and I gave it a solid test drive. 

The verdict? It's just like reading a book, but better! 

So there you have it. It is possible for me to embrace and accept something new. Believe me, I am just as surprised as you are. Now, I wonder what's next?

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