We now have a library of around a thousand eBooks, growing daily, stored on a notebook computer and managed with a great program called Calibre. These days, we read eBooks on our iPod Touches. Leslie was the pioneer again. Her handheld PC died two years ago, and we replaced it with an iPod Touch. It's an amazing device. Although reading eBooks on the older device was convenient, switching to reading on an iPod Touch meant that she could read a book using one hand. Once she got the iPod, she quit reading paper books. I couldn’t understand it.
When I got involved in planning to replace Play Actor's engine, I borrowed the iPod and downloaded a project-planning application, which really opened my eyes. At the first chance, I got my own iPod Touch, and I’ve never looked back. I have an entire reference library on it. It now holds everything from novels to dictionaries of several languages to the entire Wikipedia database, offline, plus the workshop and parts manuals for everything on the boat, including our new diesel engine. It also handles spreadsheet files for our budget, and stores all of our recipes and shopping information, as well as serving such mundane functions as a clock and calendar. But, I digress. I was writing about eBooks and their impact on our life under sail. Perhaps I'll do another post about how computers and related technology have affected us in recent years.
The contribution of the iPod to my efficiency as a writer is tremendous. Some of my best ideas pop into my mind while I'm reading, often when I'm reading something unrelated to my current writing project. It's easy to capture those thoughts on the fly, without completely losing track of what I'm reading, but that's a topic for my writer's blog.
The other major impact of eBooks on our life afloat has been in the area of boat speed. We've taken a few hundred pounds of reference books off the boat in the past year, not to mention drastically reducing the number of paperback novels aboard. We've come up a bit on our waterline. We used to plan our cruising to some extent based on stopping in places where we knew we could find good book swaps. That's no longer an issue. We have internet service available almost everywhere, so we can add to our library anywhere we wish, without worrying about where we'll put the books.
There are other benefits, as well, such as the freedom to read anywhere we're comfortable, without worrying about lighting.
in bed is possible without disturbing your bedmate. Some of the benefits are specific to the platform we've chosen, but a dedicated eBook reader, such as a Kindle or a Nook, would offer the freedom from bookstores and the space savings, at a minimum. Some of our cruising acquaintances like the screens of the dedicated readers better, too. Reading
What's your experience with eBooks aboard?