03 December 2013

William Richards' e-books

"These devices together represent about one hundred books—so far. My library ranges from Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo to Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy to Walter Hunt’s A Song in Stone. (Forgive the shameless self-promotion as they are all open to my own book…).

Bit by bit—literally as well as figuratively—I am converting my library over to digital. My paper books have become worn out. Most of them are paperbacks. Many of them are so old, the paper has become brittle to the point where pages can crumple away when being turned. It is not uncommon for me to open a book and end up with half a book in each hand. Also, I tend to travel quite a bit and slogging across a city with ten pounds of books in my backpack is not pleasant. Gone are the days of trying to decide between underwear or one more book in the suitcases.  My physical library is spread among several boxes and crates, rather than on bookshelves, due to the lack of space.

Switching to digital books is not easy. It is very uncomfortable at first, much like switching from one computer operating system to another. I spent over forty-five years holding books in a certain way; getting used to holding an ebook reader took time before I found a comfortable position. Presentation of your library on an ebook reader is not as nice as looking at a bunch of books on a shelf and selecting one; you have to flip through a list of titles before you get to the one you are looking for. All that aside, reading on an ebook reader is just as enjoyable as reading a paper book.

It really isn’t necessary to have more than one ebook reader. The reason I have so many is I use them as guinea pigs to test out the layout of a book before releasing it for sale. While an ebook should ideally render the same on one device or another, invariably the differences in how each device renders the text makes it necessary to test an ebook on each device to ensure that it is really working correctly. The devices pictured are the Nook Simple Touch, Kindle Paperwhite, iPhone 5, and the Kobo Glo. (Note: the Kindle is showing the cover image of my book, not the text. That’s why it looks hazy compared to the others.)"


  1. I have also switched to ebooks as well as keeping some physical books. I got an original Nook in 2010 in order to be able to borrow ebooks from my library and I love being able to get books at any time of day. I have a Nook cover that is an easel stand flip cover so it's easy to read while eating and I don't worry about getting spaghetti sauce on my books. :)

    Like you, I really like being able to take a library of hundreds of books while traveling and not worry about size and weight.

  2. Bill's book is the only e-book I own. I'm still a physical book aficionado, but my rationale for not making the change is quickly dissolving as more and more titles in my primary field (theology/pastoral ministry) are coming out in both electronic formats and physical formats. Maybe if I get enough B&N gift cards, I'll make my brother the B&N Nook specialist happy and buy one!


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