iPad Summer Challenge #1: Read a Book on your iPad!

iBook

The year is winding down and so is this blog. I will be taking a couple of months off from posting as of next week and thought it would be a fitting end to this year of iPad exploration by throwing out a couple of “get to know your iPad” challenges to the staff. The Grade 7s will all be using them next year, and most of the future grade eights are now experts with the device, so it behooves us (yes, behooves) to keep up with the little rascals.

I will start the challenges out slow: read a book!

I was shockingly late in the year to actually try this myself, as documented in this post, but I think it is important to understand how it feels to read on the device. In the older grades they used the devices to read Shakespeare and Jane Austen. The possibility of getting eBook class sets is on the horizon (be it only a pin prick right now). Try several different apps- ibook, kindle, bluefire. Which one do you like best? What is their added value? (note taking, note sharing, dictionary, highlighting passages, etc).

Where can you find ebooks for free?

Bluefire

The Library!

Where can you purchase them? (Watch out though- this is way too easy. Way too easy, as my credit card bill will attest)

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Thoughts on the iPad as an Ereader

For all my iPad puttering, I had yet to read a whole book on it. So when a coveted YA title from net galley tantalizingly appeared in my inbox, I though I would give it a try.

Now, the reason I haven’t tried it  is not because I am against Ereaders. I just spend my days with thousands of print books I haven’t read yet. Oh, and I also like to read in the bath.

Bluefire

But I finally pushed my print pile of to-reads aside and read an ARC from Netgalley (it took me so long to get to it, it is no longer an advanced reading copy- it is out in stores). Netgalley works only on Bluefire Reader on the iPad so I used that app instead of ibooks.

So. Did I enjoy it?

To be honest, reading was never about the physical page for me. Once a story grips me, it could be written on a napkin with ketchup ink and I wouldn’t notice. Once I got the hang of how the pages turn and how to lock the screen orientation (it was really annoying how it kept switching from portrait to landscape whenever I switched positions) it was fine:

I liked how you could take notes with it- I review a lot of books and will review this one, and never take notes because I am not organized enough to keep a pen and paper handy whenever I flip open a book:

The big issue for me personally though, is the amount of screen time I already log in a day. I spend at least seven hours a day, five days a week in front of the computer. The last thing I want to do when I am relaxing is stare at another screen. I also found the iPad a little awkward to take to bed with me (not in a dirty way, sheesh) and that is about the only time I get to read these days – five minutes before I fall asleep, iPad dangling precariously over the side of my bed.

Still, I like the option. And I think there are many perks in terms of reading for class. Taking notes, not being able to forget your book because it is in the same place as your, well everything- these are very useful things.

What is your opinion? Do you like reading on the iPad?