Technology Changes Everything, Including How You Read

UPDATE: This article has now been officially re-published by the Lifeboat Foundation.

Each new technology revolutionizes how we approach life and what we do in it. Take my new Kindle Fire HD for example. Before, I simply picked up a book – whether it be hardback or paperback – and start reading. Usually if there was a busy day ahead of me, each time I picked up a book I’d simply read a chapter, bookmark it – a lot of the cases being “dog ears,” unfortunately – and place it to the side, ready for another chapter to be read for another time.

This was a relatively comfortable motion of life that I adhered to. I read a lot. Though of course there were the slight annoyances that could be made known, but were fortunately tolerable. For example, if you don’t have a real bookmark, you then have to ruin the pages by flapping down a top corner of the page you were last reading from. That was a slight nuisance. Another example being, given I had a busy day and thus in need of scheduling, the fact that I had no clue as to how long it would take me to read the chapter, then placed me in a unfortunate position of not knowing how my day will be handled. At times, though rare, I couldn’t even finish a chapter because it was taking too long and I had to get things done.

So back to my Kindle Fire, these slight annoyances as an avid reader have been completely expropriated! Most MOBI-formatted books are well organized and easily readable. So when I’m reading, the Kindle Fire allows me to simply tap the top right corner and instantly bookmarks the page I’m reading. No “dog ears,” no unnecessary pieces of paper needing to be bought to be used as one. If I’m curious as to how long the chapter I’m reading will take, I simply tap the bottom left corner and it not only gives me the # of minutes left in reading the chapter, but the number of hours it’ll take for me to read the entire book. It detects my reading pattern via its sensors and calculates an estimation of how long each page is read, each chapter, the entire book. I also quite enjoy the fact that it provides a % of how much the book I’ve read so far.

This changes a lot for me as a reader. And really, while I’ve labeled them as slight annoyances, thinking back, I’m not sure how I could’ve tolerated such things. Then again, my love for reading always dominated my desire for perfection. But before the Kindle, there were still such a thing as digital books, which were formatted as PDFs (Portable Document Format). I’ve got a LOT of PDFs on my laptop! But then PDFs are incapable of creating bookmarks, and they weren’t exactly mobile-oriented like a normal hardback/paperback book was. That was an even greater nuisance to reading than normal books provided.

Kindle, however, destroyed those annoyances. Completely. It’s really easy to carry around. It doesn’t take up much space at all. It carries thousands of books, and much more when accessing its cloud server. Its battery life is top notch. It detects and learns your reading pattern. It connects to your online accounts. It integrates itself into your life in mere minutes!

When it comes to a reader, it changes everything. And that is revolutionary!

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