Customized reading

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seussclimbing higherOnce upon a time, stories were meant to be passed down orally from generation to generation, with some help from drawings in the cave…

Then scripts were invented, and people started putting their thoughts on paper/papyrus/leaves/cloth…

Then came the printing press, and books as we know them today came in to existence….

When I was growing up, reading a book meant curling up with one in your hand…

Welcome to  e-books in the 21st century…. These  can be downloaded not only to your kindle devices, but also to kindle apps on smart phones and tablets.

You can do that with one click and download a book immediately!

Most classics are available free of cost, while other books are available for about a third of the cost of a print edition. I love the freedom of getting a book anywhere there is a wireless internet connection….it is liberating for an avid reader like me.

Not only do I read fiction in this format, I have also bought course books. In fact, once I bought a Q&A format review book for my exams, and downloaded it to 2 devices. I would sit with the page set to questions on one device, and answers on the other. This eliminated some annoying page-turning!

Among the most popular websites for free classics is Project Gutenberg, the largest collection of books that are out of copyright and available for everyone for any purpose. This site has over 20000 books now, and you can download these books to your computer.

If reading is too trying for you, welcome to the world of audiobooks. You can listen to these audiobooks while driving and exercising. I prefer to read, but my husband swears by his audiobooks for long drives.

I recently discovered that my library has online links to borrow e-books too. Though I have not used this feature yet, it is perfect for when it is impossible for me to make a run to the library!

Not everything is available in the e-book format though. A few months back, shortly after Gabriel Garcia Marquez died, I was really hunting for his epic saga “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. It was unavailable in the library (authors get more famous posthumously, I guess), and I could not find a kindle edition. Then I stumbled upon an article which stated that the English translation of this book was unavailable as a kindle edition (though the Spanish version was). Unwilling to give up, I scoured the internet and found a pdf file free of cost that I downloaded. I started reading it on my laptop, but soon found a print edition in the local library.

So what’ s your excuse for not reading then? Pick your medium and immerse yourself in the illuminating world of books today!

Happy reading (or listening)!

P.S.:   Image: Comcast Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US- the tallest building in the city

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