By Greg Illes
By now, most folks know about e-books (electronic books), those microscopic packets of electrons that blossom magically into entire books in full color. E-books are sometimes embraced, sometimes hated, and nearly universally misunderstood to some extent.
For RV life, electronic books are a huge blessing, virtually eliminating any space or weight taken up by conventional tomes. So it’s worth looking at some features and details, and getting a full understanding of the virtues of this technology.
• E-books are cheaper — On Amazon, a typical e-book may sell for $5-$10, whereas a paperback, and especially a hardcover, will be more costly.
• E-books don’t require a special reader — You don’t need another piece of electronicsbecause you can read an e-book on a computer, a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop.
• E-books can be easily shared — If you share an Amazon account, you can download the same e-book to all of your shared devices. The same book can be read simultaneously on two or more devices. (However, you might not get it to open exactly where you left off.) Non-copyrighted e-books can be copied and shared by email or thumb-drive.
• There are thousands of free e-books — On Amazon, Gutenberg, and hundreds of other sites, there are far more choices of really good books than you could absorb in a lifetime, all free for the download.
• It’s super easy to share a book — If you have a free book, you can email it to a friend; if it’s a pay-for book, you can send them the link to purchase it (or send them a gift by email). It’s no longer necessary to hand over a two-pound printed copy for a friend to share your reading experience.
• E-books don’t need a reading light — No lamp required. Want to read in the dark? Not a problem. Poor light in a waiting room, or wishing not to disturb your sleeping partner, don’t impact your ability to keep on reading.
It’s pretty easy to see how the benefits of e-books fit nicely into the RV life. And so far we’ve only talked about printed-matter books. There are also extensive choices for audio books, which also take no more than a bit of disk or USB thumb-drive space. Imagine being able to “read” a new book as easily as listening to the radio while you’re driving down the road.
True, some folks just love the feel of flipping the pages of a paper book, and this merit can’t be argued. But you do get quickly accustomed to the convenience and flexibility of the electronic style, and most of us can give up a little nostalgia for the sake of carrying our entire reading library along on every trip — in our pocket or purse.
photo: Pousha sh at wikipedia
Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at www.divver-city.com/blog.