Reading in a digital world


Reading for me is a deeply ingrained need and not having a book immediately to hand is like having a part of me missing. Even so, carrying a heavy paperback in a Mary Poppins size bag doesn’t create that glamorous image I aspire to when going into central London on a date or night out. However, the thought of sitting on the noisy, crowded Central line train for an hour with nothing to do but people watch or listen to the thud, thud of bass notes leaking from someone’s headphones fills me with dread and anticipated boredom. Pokemon Go doesn’t work underground and I’ve never got into candy crush (I’d far rather read). Luckily, I always have books downloaded, both on my phone and mini iPad, so I can disappear into the parallel universe of a novel whenever I’m travelling.

It is also very useful to have when the date I’ve arranged to meet in a particular coffee shop at a certain time turns up somewhat late. There’s nothing worse than sitting like Billy-no-mates at a table on your own, staring into the bottom of a cup of lukewarm tea.

Sadly, I’m not as young as I used to be (who is?), so have to make more of an effort to fight old age. Exercise is good for you – so they say. Hence my membership at Fullwell Cross gym. The only problem (apart from aching muscles and exhaustion) is that I find pedalling on a bike or working on the cross trainer deadly dull. Time drags watching the seconds click by. I’ve tried reading paperbacks but my ability to multi-task doesn’t stretch to cycling, reading and holding pages open with one hand at the same time. But with my iPad it’s easy. It sits happily propped in front of me and I just need to tap it to turn to the next page. I have the same book downloaded as on my phone and other devices (okay, I admit I’m a geek) and joy of joy it automatically asks me if I want to sync to the latest point read. The screen even tolerates the odd drop of sweat that proves I’ve had a good workout or that the air-con in the gym isn’t working.

So, while I still love reading physical books, I wouldn’t be without eBooks on my phone, iPad and computer. The only place where I would never read an eBook is in the bath. Water and devices are to be avoided at all costs as I know too well from experience – and expense.

Post Author: Nina Simon

On Friday 16 September readers around the world are celebrating eBook Day! Redbridge Libraries offer a free eBook download service via Overdrive. For more information on how to download free eBooks please visit our website.

Join in on our celebrations and tell us how you’ll be enjoying eBook Day by using the hashtag #eBookLove across Social Media!


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