Why I hate reading eBooks on my Ipad 3

Reading books on my Ipad 3 (with Retina display) is a most frustrating experience.

Why is that you may ask?

Surely, the larger screen size, and the superior screen resolution, and the great ‘Kindle for Ipad’ software with its ability to tweak and change font styles, font sizes, page colours and margins makes reading a pleasurable experience?

Surely, the ability to minutely adjust and tinker the brightness on the Ipad allows one to read for longer periods of time without straining the eyes?

Surely, the user interface, the ability to flip through pages so quickly, the built-in dictionary, the ability to highlight words and make notes makes reading a lovely and comfortable experience?

Why would anybody hate reading with the Ipad 3?

Let me tell you.

I hate reading with the Ipad 3, because…I constantly find myself doing other things on it, besides reading!

Let me give you an example. I sit down with the Ipad 3, and proceed to read ‘Hilary Mantel’s – Bring Up the Bodies’. A dense historical tale set in Elizabethan England with plots and machinations to satisfy the most ardent fans of this genre. So – I sit down comfortably on my sofa, with the Ipad 3 on my lap, and start reading…

5 mins into my reading, I am disturbed by a little message on the top of the page, that tells me, with a little cute noise, that I have received an email and it is sitting in my Inbox waiting for me. I proceed to ignore the message and continue reading. But then a thought keeps nagging at me: who is the message from? Perhaps it is important? The message sitting in my Inbox from god knows who or where – starts bothering me. My concentration on the book flounders..

So, I come out of the Kindle Reader, check my inbox, respond to the message and continue reading…

Five minutes into my reading, I stumble across a reference to Oliver Cromwell in the book – so to investigate further, I look him up on Google and proceed to read about him on Wikipedia…

Back into the book again…five mins later, I’m suddenly interested to know what is showing in my local cinema – so I visit the Hackney Picture House website and find out that there is nothing of interest on today, but I might catch a movie tomorrow. I make a mental note of the time and the name of the movie.

Back to reading…another email so…check email. Respond if urgent…back to reading…

Now been reading for 10 whole minutes when suddenly I read a brilliant paragraph and am left stunned by the sheer brilliance of what I have just read! Wow! I reflect on the paragraph and the words, and it inspires me so much, that I wish to tell someone about it…

…so what do I do?

I blog about it of course!

So… open WordPress blogger, write my piece – after 15 mins I have written it – a short lucid piece, and post it, and then return to my reading…

10 more minutes of reading, and then I am attacked by an uncontrollable urge to check the photography website ‘DPReview.com’ followed by the ‘Guardian Newspaper’ site, followed by 15 mins trawling through Amazon.co.uk – after which I end up buying 5 1960’s sci-fi DVD’s on alien invasions of earth – and one obscure DVD by a relatively unknown Polish director.

Reading on the Ipad 3?

What reading?!

p.s: oh, and there’s another problem. I spend at least 10 mins deciding – from the list of books downloaded on my Ipad 3 – which book to read! Choice can be a double-edged sword. It can stifle and leave you in a state of limbo. Having too many options is a curse. Better to have that one tattered and crinkly paper-back and read it thoroughly through and through – then have a veritable library at your fingertips.

Having an excess of choice, can sometimes be equivalent to, having too little. What complex webs we weave.

Lighten the load. Simplify your life. Expunge the excess fat. Breathe easily. Wander freely. Have only 5 books on your Ipad 3 and disconnect the wi-fi…


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