Thursday, November 24, 2011

The first change.

For as long as I can remember, what I am reading has influenced what I eat.

I don't mean the subject of the book; I mean the very form factor of the book influences my choice of dining establishment and what I order from the menu when I get there.

If I was reading a magazine, or a hardback or softcover book that could lie flat by itself, perhaps with the aid of a teaspoon or butter knife or some other unused piece of silverware across the pages, then I could go to a steakhouse, or order something off the menu that required two hands, either to operate silverware or hold a big sandwich or a slice of thick-crust pizza with lots of toppings...

However, were I reading a paperback or a thick softcover that required being held open in one hand to read, then it was finger food time, or soups & salads, or pasta dishes, or small sandwiches; things that could be eaten with one paw while the other operated the book.

Yesterday I broke my fast at Good Morning Mama's with their delicious corned beef hash (they even corn their own beef!), with the Kindle Fire propped like a little easel, allowing me to read the further and continuing adventures of Otto Prohaska with ease, occasionally setting down my knife to reach over and poke the screen in order to "turn the page".

(Interesting how, in our shiny modern world of touch screens and the occasional archaic membrane switch or button, we voice "dial" people on smartphones and "turn the page" on ereaders and the man on the radio still says "don't touch that dial!"....)

At any rate, with the magic Kindle thingie, I can now eat whatever I want, wherever I want, independent of what I'm currently reading. That may not sound like much to you but, hey, it's pretty spiffy from where I'm sitting.

26 comments:

Heroditus Huxley said...

If anything convinces me to get an e-book reader, it'll be that.

After I don't have to worry about a toddler demolishing it. They're hard enough on my laptop.

Sevesteen said...

I now prefer to read on my phone rather than a real book, and that is one of the reasons. I suppose a dedicated reader would be a bit better for just reading, but with the phone, there's only one thing to inventory, and I've got a book in a slow line at the grocery.

Carteach0 said...

Agreed. I prop up my Nook on the table often, as I two hand a steak or wrastle a difficult sandwich.

One thing though... I hunted up a high quality leather cover for my Nook, as I simply love the feel. I can now, in my own tiny mind, say I have a 267 volume library, all bound in leather.

The truckload of books I own which are not nook-itized... have lowly cellulose based covers. I sneer in their general direction.

Jim said...

>>...a paperback or a thick softcover that required being held open in one hand to read...<<

I'm not ready for Kindle, but you nail my greatest objecton to "Atlas Shrugged." Not to mention Bernard DeVoto and most everything Michener wrote. :)

Jay G said...

We also have to "tape" our programs and "film" our kids' school plays, even though we haven't used actual cellulose in well over a decade...

Tam said...

Jay,

Yup. And, hey, did you hear that Some Rock Group has a new record out? I just downloaded it...

Katherine said...

Tam,

I thought I was the only person who based her menu on the size/shape of her current read. :D

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bubblehead Les. said...

I have memories of my Mother saying "Put that Book down! We're eating Dinner!"

Now the Wife says "Put that Kindle down! We're eating Dinner! Besides, it's MY turn to use it!!

Guess who's getting a Kindle for Christmas?

Happy Turkey Day!

og said...

IN about a week, you will be able to "turn the page" with your mind, and everyone's everything will be obsolete. I've already seen an android app that will let you use your voice to turn the page in kindle for android, though I can't find it in the Android market (Knowing the individual, it's likely he wrote it himself)

WV: Tobverph. THe voice comand that lets you skip chapters in a James Clavell novel.

the pawnbroker said...

While we all proclaim our love of, devotion to, and formative memories of our dead tree collection, it's facts like these and posts like this that portend the real future of the "written" word. Sigh.

So, $199 you say, huh? Hmmm.

Brad K. said...

So, how is the Kindle at reading while you walk?

(I once had security at Falcon AFS, Colorado Springs, CO, ask me not to park so far out in the lot .. it gave me more reading time to and from the car.)

nbc said...

I'd suggest something like this to hold your Kindle up whilst you eat. Otherwise you're gambling on the cruet set to do a job it wasn't really designed for.

Homer said...

To continue Og's thought, I'm a little surprised that some techie hasn't figured out how to use the front camera on the iPad2 to monitor the reader's eyes and generate automatic pages turns when the last on-screen word has been reached.

Not to mention a simple, add-on folding stand (or retractable/foldable feet), the lack of which on the Kindles actually does surprise me.

Tam said...

Homer,

I bought a slick looking faux carbon fiber cover that doubles as a very efficient stand and also gives the thing a more book-like heft and feel in the hand.

Homer said...

Where did you find the faux carbon fiber cover?

Tam said...

At Target. The chick in the electronics department successfully upsold me because:
A) She was really enthused about the cover for her Kindle and...
B) Duh! Carbon fiber!

staghounds said...

1. And this is news?

2. There are Prohaska sequels!!!!!?????!!!!!

Divemedic said...

The only think that makes me unhappy about my Kindle is the cost of books. I think the publishing industry is holding on to an anachronistic system, and in the days of internet ebook sales, there is no need for the massive bureaucracy whose overhead adds to the cost of every book.

I submit that the train of author-editor-online ebook distributor should make an e-version of a "paperback" book cost no more than $3 or $4, not $10.

the pawnbroker said...

og said,

"IN about a week, you will be able to "turn the page" with your mind..."

Model of '11, 2nd Change? Full circle in a century from devices to protect personal freedoms to ones that sacrifice it to the gods of convenience.

Couple weeks back, we were crying here about plans for a biometric prole database, but with some pooh-poohing that the cost would be prohibitive.

But here we are falling all over ourselves to *pay* money to have our touch, and voice, and eye prints synthesized as keys to our entire lives that are stored in our phones and cars and even our "books"!

I said then that the thing I love about the digital age is also what I fear most...what is to become of all of that information, and of ourselves as private individuals?

Hard to say, but there ain't no turning back.

So, lemmee see...iOS or Android?

Tam said...

Perhaps if you can't tell the difference between gestural recognition and biometric recognition, you should recuse yourself from commenting on the topic?

the pawnbroker said...

Some gestures and their effects are easy to recognize, ain't they? :D

The point that the distinction between external/internal controls and identifiers is fading fast, with our eager help and with unknown consequences, was obvious enough, so I won't be recusing.

Of course you have the option of doing it for me, if you please.

Brad K. said...

Og,

I am waiting for the Bluetooth attachment with an option to read the book to you, in a full cast of appropriate voices, or to internalize the text and display continuously, non-paging and smoothly scrolling, directly onto the retina in a heads-up display format.

That may take a couple of months.

But then we already have the documented suggestion for implementing as a necklace that generates a holographic display and operable controls. Waiting. .

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you ate a lot of sausage and hot dogs when you read romance novels as a kid

Brad K. said...

Anon 2:02,

Now, that just doesn't make sense.

You cannot love to read books, and risk marring the pages while eating.

Tam said...

PB,

I'm sorry for sounding so snippy.

the pawnbroker said...

Forgiven.