Monday, 8 April 2013

I'm not really a great shopper.

But it was nice to receive a couple of things in the post today from Amazon: a ball & socket head for a monopod to let me take steadier pictures, and the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna to maybe help me see churchy things a little more clearly. I'm sure neither are perfect - the B&S head is cheap and gritty, and it's likely that the book isn't necessarily the accurate historical account I'd really like - yet at the same time they should both help anchor things a little more.

@Marc V - I seem to have developed your habit of reading multiple books. Currently on the go I have Reimagining Church by Frank Viola, War and Peace (yup, the door stop size classic - Kobo reader) A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition To The Zambesi by David and Christopher Livingstone (Kobo app on the phone), the Confessions of Saint Augustine (kindle app on the phone), and I've just finished a biography of General Ulysses Grant (Kobo app on the phone).

And that is an interesting observation, that I'm reading multiple copies of electronic books, not on a single device, but spread across multiple devices and applications, just as if they were hardcopy books. To be honest, e-readers are OK for linear reading only, and seem particularly useless for any kind of reference reading. No-one seems to have found a way to let you 'flick through' an e-book effectively yet, and as such that makes them of very limited use. That said, I AM consuming books through them more than if they were not available, but certainly less so than if I did not have the internet and instead were to visit a library on a weekly basis. There's something about separate books being SEPARATE, rather than living in a kind of information soup that seems right, and having multiple works active on the same device tends to blend things together. I guess reading has always been a tactile and olfactory experience as well as one of the mind, and I miss the smells of an old or a new book.

Anyway, we're mostly set for Zim. Maybe need a little clothes shopping still: I've thrown away worn-out underwear since the last time we had a holiday and I'm still wearing many of the tee shirts, now with small holes, that we bought before our trip to Canada in 2006, and while they aren't exactly in rags they have also become more than a little tired.

And that's another thing: where to go next year. But that will have to wait for another blog post.


  1. On ereaders and reference reading: I've heard others with a similar opinion but I do think they have some benefits. You've got the ability to search the work - not just an index but an exhaustive concordance for every work on your reader and all of them put together. You also have the ability to add highlights and notes without defacing the book and with the feature of being able to jump between them.

    Granted, it is harder to replicate the approach of flicking through a book (I miss this in fiction, too, where I often want to glance ahead and see how long until the next convenient breakpoint) but, given that you can tote around a whole library in something no bigger than a small paperback, they have plenty of value for keeping information available.

  2. Interesting thoughts Wulf. I'd not considered using an ebook reader like that, although the Kobo works a little differently to the kindle (and chapter length is displayed, so you know how far to the next breakpoint).


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