Thursday, June 27, 2013

The second best reason to own a smartphone - reading eBooks!

Recently I've been using to read eBooks on my tablet and smartphone. It brought back the reading habit in me! It sure is fun browsing an online bookstore with thousands of titles. I love the feeling of being able to get books online which are impossible to find in the local bookstores.


Never mind that it's not a physical book! Now I can have a whole library of best-sellers in the palm of my hand as I commute in a Light Rail Transit.

As for Moodle books, here are the Moodle books available on Kobo:

So, are you a reader of eBooks? Or are you a reader of the printed page instead?

Here's my take on which is better - eBooks or the printed book?

Pros of eBooks compared to a physical book
  • An eBook costs less than a physical book. eBook = RM30, new book can be anywhere between RM49 to RM120
  • I have access to thousands of books at my fingertips, many of which are not available in the local bookstores.
  • I don't have to carry so many books. All books exist electronically on my mobile device
  • I can install the same copy of the book on multiple devices. I own a smartphone and a tablet. By purchasing an eBook, I can download the same copy on two different devices
  • Less trees get cut down! 
Cons of eBooks compared to a physical book
  • How to you share an eBook with another human being if that person does not own a mobile device? With a physical book, you just hand it over to the borrower.
  • A simulated scrolling page is not the same as the feel of paper on my fingers.
  • Once I dropped a paper book into a swimming pool. Drying the book rendered it barely usable, the pges were badly warped, but readable nevertheless. Try dropping your mobile device into water and then using it. Good luck with that!
  • Buying eBooks is addictive. Upon making an online purchase, I get a nice, warm and fuzzy feeling of owning a new book to read. However if I am not careful, I'll soon rack up a sizeable credit card bill. US10 = RM31.55! 
  • What about more carbon being released into the air due to my constant charging of my device's battery pack?

So what have I learnt from reading eBooks lately? I've learnt about the Doolittle raid on Tokyo in 1942, that not all Germans during World War II were Nazis - some like, Wilhelm Hosenfeld and Franz Stigler, were compassionate and were men who valued lives. I've learnt how the British boffin and engineer, Barnes Wallis , worked under extreme time pressures to create and perfect the skipping bomb, and how pilots like Guy Gibson braved enemy flak and fighter planes to breach the German dams in 1943. As you can see, I am a fan of non-fiction books and biographies. I've learnt about the creative, genius and dark side of Steve Jobs. About how he joined the dots in his life. Reading does expand the mind and gets you travelling to far-off places without leaving the comfort of your chair. I highly recommend this activity.

By the way, if reading eBooks is the second best reason to own a smartphone, then what's the absolute best reason to own a smartphone? Here it is. :-)

I hope this post has whetted your appetite for reading. Perhaps it has even rekindled your love for reading.

Frankie Kam

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