I’ve just joined the revolution. I’ve bought my first ereader. It is called the KOBO and I am undergoing nothing short of a cognitive rewind. Once I had worked out how to use the ereader (thank you Wendy at the Help Desk in Toronto, you were SO patient) I became an instant convert if not a completeÂ addict.
I am deeply wired into reading from a traditional text. This provides some interesting situations.
The KOBO is a light flat tablet. There isÂ a soft blue button on the bottom right.Â This button provides access to menu information etc but its main function is to turn the page.Â So far so good. But for the first few weeks, I oftenÂ found myself pressing a non-existent buttonÂ when I was readingÂ magazines and hard copies of books and wonderingÂ why theÂ hell the newÂ page did not appear.
Instead of a left to right turn of the head, I had to learn how to read down one short page and then click the blue button.Â Talk about confusion. I had not realisedÂ how automatic the physical act of reading had become.
The other change was totally unexpected. Each page of the text is much shorter that a traditional paper book. Some readersÂ find this irritating.Â Â But I find it wonderful.
It became clear to me that I had got into bad reading habits over the years; skimming, sneaking a look at the last few pages, folding back single pages to mark a place…
The KOBO has made me slow down.
I feel that my head is being rewired. I am currently reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, a book that has always intimidated me by its size and scope. It is one of the free books that are supplied with theÂ purchase of a KOBO ereader. I am revelling in this novel and I am at page 700.Â Four hundred to go.
Reading the book in short pages fits in with my life style. For example, I leave the ereader on my kitchen sofa and read for ten minutes while the potatoes are boiling. I never did this with a long book. It seemed to require an allotted time, a special reading chair, almost a ceremonial occasion.
The funniest (if not the stupidest) thing I did was to share with my partner my regret over my purchase of yet anotherÂ novel from KOBO when my book shelves are already groaning with books.Â Some of the younger family members find this hilarious. I’ll live it downÂ eventually I hope.
For someone of my generation to get theirÂ head around the mystical aspects of the Web is nothing short of wondrous.Â I hold a slim light tablet in my hand. I hold access to almost two million books. The books areÂ everywhere and nowhere.
Tolstoy would have loved it.