Friday, March 11, 2011

My First iBook Experience

As I've noted on this blog, I am a major bibliophile. I purchase old hardcovers that represent lovingly produced editions of my favorite pieces of literature. I love the feel of a good hardcover book, the silk ribbon stitched into the binding, the smell of the book pages when you first open it, and the way it looks sitting on the shelf. Someday, I fantasize about becoming a real book collector (first editions, rare books, etc.).

I have always been wary of iBooks and Kindles, but this has all ended. My company gave every employee an iPad for Christmas. Very nice! And it came loaded with iBooks. I found loads of literature I'm interested in for free: James Fenimore Cooper, Richard Henry Dana, Rafael Sabatini, etc. A lot of this stuff is out of print in any reasonable edition, so to be able to download these obscure literary pieces for free on iBooks is wonderful!

The book I reviewed a few days ago - Working With Koans - is the first book I downloaded and read on iBooks. It was a wonderful experience. iBooks has a bookmark to save your place, a function for highlighting text, another for saving notes in the 'margin' of the text, and the ability to click on any word and get a definition complete with etymology. The text is crisp and easy to read, and the iPad is so light that it's no more cumbersome than a real book...only it can hold dozens of books.

I can definitely see myself migrating to iBooks, although this means that when I purchase actual books it will be the editions that I hope to collect and keep as treasures. So one can be a bibliophile and still drink the iPad/iBooks Kool-Ade. Gotta love technology!

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