Tablets and e-Readers: A Followup

Hi all, I thought some people might be interested in a followup regarding the poll I created on how people read. The post was ‘Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?’ and you can find the poll there; I’d still love for you to vote! I’ve had fourteen votes now, and not many more are coming in, so I thought it high time to reveal all and make a few comments. Obviously it’s an open poll and anybody can read the results, but I expect chances are if you voted you haven’t looked back at it since.

So, here are the results.

Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?
Yes! A dedicated e-Reader. (eg Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo etc) 6 votes, 42.86
Yes! A tablet on which I read. (eg iPad, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire 5 votes, 35.71%
Yes! I have both of these things. 2 votes, 14.29%
No! I read solid books and don’t own (or don’t read from) a tablet or e-Reader.
1 vote, 7.14%

So, what I can see from this is as follows; the vast majority of people who voted read on e-Platforms, be that tablet or dedicated device. Currently it seems that it is the dedicated e-Readers that’re taking the cake on this, but it’s very close and the votes seemed to see-saw on this (last time I looked, most people were using their tablets), so to me that’s fairly equal.
A couple lucky fellows have both of these devices, and so assumingly read on the dedicated e-Reader (though not definitely, perhaps I should have split this question into a ‘Yes, both, but I read on X/Y.’. And then there’s that one person whom reads only solid paper books. You know what I say to that? Good for you, dear Sir or Ma’am! If that’s how you like it, don’t feel pressured into making the swap.

On a final note, a shout out of thanks to the two people who tweeted the poll and probably helped garner a few more votes.

Okay, a second final note: The poll is not closed! You can still vote, and I’d really really love for you to do so! Please, tweet, facebook, post links to and share that poll. If there’s a surge of votes I’ll be able to write a more detailed analysis of it, which I’d love to do, but I can’t on only fourteen votes.

Let me just say that this poll is not necessarily wholly reliable. It is a very valid point that people who use the internet and frequent blogs like this may be more in tune with the e-Reading side of life and that those that read normal books may not be in a position to use the poll. Thus, I’ll say this – if you know somebody who only reads solid books, or know somebody that does any of the options, throw in a vote for their sake, will you?

If you’ve got any thoughts on the matter, please comment! I’d love to chat to you.

Advertisements

Do you own an e-Reader or Tablet?

Okay, quite recently I mentioned the fact that I’d invested in a tablet, for both productivity and entertainment reasons. Something that’s been huge in recent years is the rise of the e-Reader. Lots and lots of people now have Kindles or Tablets or similar products on which they read their books (dubbed e-Books and e-Readers, ‘e’ being ‘electronic’). However, there’s also that group of people that have set themselves against this change to reading, and stick with the tradition of going to the bookstore, buying a book made of paper and reading it that way.

For me, there’s a lot to be said about reading ‘real’ books. It’s not something you can replicate on a screen – the feel of the pages, the smell of the new book and so on. I think that I’ll always prefer reading a physical book. However, I’ve realised that for new and upcoming authors, it’s far easier to get published to an online ‘e-Marketplace’ like the Amazon Kindle store. So when I’ve been reviewing books for people, they’ve been sent to me in electronic formats. You see, I didn’t have an e-Reader, so this posed me a problem and I was reading all these books on my brother’s Kindle. I’d been interested in getting a Tablet for a while, and eventually I did a little research and bought myself a Google Nexus 7 for £200. I’ve enjoyed the ease of being able to put the book onto my tablet and read it wherever I go, essentially taking a library of books with me that I’d never fit into my bag or pockets! At home though, I much rather read in book that I can hold. Something that’s been peeving me since the sun started coming out was that I’ve discovered I don’t like sitting in the sun and reading from my tablet like I can read from a book. The screen’s too dark and it just all-round feels wrong.

So, I guess I’m mainly in the camp of people that prefer their books to be real. I’ve got no aversions to, and enjoy using my tablet e-Reader though (I use the Kindle app for Android as opposed to Google’s own ‘Play Books’ app, because you can’t import your own books into Play – boo Google!). However, we bought my Nan a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, and she’s taken to it really well. She loves how light it is, as she tells me she finds it difficult to hold heavy books like hardbacks when she’s reading in bed. Another thing she enjoys is that on the Kindle marketplace, lots and lots of the classics she read as a child are free, so she’s working through lot’s of nostalgia there. So whilst you might stereotype the elder generation into standing staunchly by their books, I can see that this isn’t always the case.

So, what do you think? Please, comment and I’ll get back to you because I’d love to hear everybody’s thoughts on the whole thing. Also, and if you don’t have time to comment, please click the box on the poll below!

Good News!

Good news everybody! I’ve bought myself a tablet, for productivity reasons! It’s a Nexus 7, if you’re interested, but I’ve installed the Kindle app onto it, so I can now use it as an e-reader when I’m out and about. You see, up until now I have been bound to reading at home on my brother’s Kindle, so I should be able to read and review more quickly now. I’ve also hooked it up to WordPress, so I can write my reviews on here as well!

Something I’ve been interested in for a while is whether a tablet is a useful accessory to a writer; be it a blogger or an author (I am beginning to write a novel of my own). Once I’ve decided whether or not it war worth it, I’ll write a blog post to that effect!

Thanks,
Tom!

Dark Rift – The Grey Tower (Alesha Escobar) Book Review

Yay, my second free book review, again from the wonderful Ms. Escobar. Dark Rift is the sequel to The Tower’s Alchemist in the Grey Tower trilogy, you can see the previous review here. I hope you went and bought it, as this really is an awesome series, gripping and thrilling. You can probably tell from my buoyancy that I enjoyed this book; and you bet I did! Let’s get going, then.


In Dark Rift, Agent Isabella George knows that she is The Drifter – the time travelling wizard seeking the Akashik Records. Except she isn’t looking to infiltrate and steal the records. However, the Grey Tower law states that all Drifters must be hunted down and killed for the threat they post. Isabella’s father, a master Philsopher has them believing that he is the Drifter, and the seven trackers hunt him without pause. The war still rages through Europe, and Octavian’s forces are still pushing at the Allies. Isabella knows that she must prove to the Tower that she will use her powers as the Drifter to help them, whilst keeping them secret all the while. Octavian, however, is planning his move.


The plot of this book is not quite as fast as the previous book. There is a reason for this, however – it all adds to the sense that Isabella is treading on eggshells. She is trying to figure out the secret of her powers, and waiting for her father to contact her. She knows that time is limited, but she cannot expose herself for fear of becoming a fugitive of the Tower. There are a lot more subtleties to this plot, and it makes for a very rich read. It’s not quite as action packed as Tower’s Alchemist, but this serves to highlight the fun when it really starts blazing; and there are a few scenes where things get pretty intense. It’s a very believable plot line, and Isabella does not overstep her bounds. You see, I saw one comment on the net regarding these books which claimed that whenever Isabella gets into trouble, she just uses a new power to fix things again. This is definitely not true, the author stays within the bounds of the restrictions she has placed on her character and doesn’t use a deus ex machina! This plotline will grip you relentlessly, and I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it. Going back to the romantic subplot I discussed in the previous review, it has refined a little. Let me just say this; one of the two blokes gets knocked off, so the choice becomes pretty clear. However, Ms. Escobar doesn’t move on to begin creating a relationship there. Will we see this in the third book? I don’t know for certain, but I can’t wait to find out!


If you remember (or have read the books) you’ll know that the characters of the books are of a really good quality. They are incredibly deep, and believable. Not much is done to advance Isabella’s character, though we do see new elements of it. There aren’t too many new characters brought in, though we meet Isabella’s family. I’ve found it quite hard to tell which (if any) of the new characters will become a major plot element. We learn the names of a few of the seven trackers, most specifically Hotaru. However, I get the feeling that his part is played by the end of the novel, as you’ll be able to tell when you read it.We meet Octavian, but there aren’t any forays as to exposing him as a character, although I’d love to find out more about him in the third book. He’s been built up as an almost godlike figure, incredibly powerful and nigh on impossible to destroy. I doubt we’ll see it, but I think it would be amazing if there were a few chapters from his point of view in the third book, so as to show just how twisted and insane he is. Isabella’s first person thought-stream is also still vivid and very enjoyable to be a part of. The characters are much in the vein of the first book, so there isn’t a huge need for adaptation.


Again, I have tried for a balanced review, and I feel that I have given it. It’s a very positive review as I really loved the book, but I hope the author can take the few pieces of advice I’ve imparted on-board. Thinking about it, it’d be really nice to think I’ve given a little bit into the final book, but that’d be indulgent of me. I really think you should purchase this book (and the first). They’re wonderful examples of modern literature, and anybody into fiction-fantasy is in for a wonderful ride! It’s only $4 on the Kindle, as it’s a very recently published novel (only a few months off of the press). Please, please download, and take a look at Alesha’s site (that’s free).

9/10. I really loved this book, and I’d recommend it highly. Congratulations, Ms. Escobar, another successful novel!