I recently made the jump into e-reading and Tokyo Vice is the first full book I have read (in this format). Originally the idea of reading a book not on paper made me feel weird, I’d always sided with the argument of “It’s the feel of the book that makes it” etc but when I was on holiday my opinion changed.
Every time I go away I always seem to underestimate how much I actually read, when I went traveling for 2 months I took 4 books with me and ended up reading 13. Luckily we stayed in hostels and hotels that offered book swapping services, again another excellent argument for paper books.
However, when I went to Japan for 3 weeks last September I completely underestimated/ forgot to buy any books. I thought borrowing Jeff Stelling’s ‘Jellyman’s Thrown A Wobbly’ (JTAW) the night I left would tide me over along with a pretty decent sized ‘Lonely Planet Guide to Japan’. I was wrong.
I realised that I’d actually read pretty much the entire Lonely Planet when deciding on my itinerary, and lets just say although an excellent read not being able to put down JTAW’s 346 pages was its downfall. I finished it before I’d even left Paris.
Luckily the 15 hour flight ahead of me didn’t require much literature, a couple of films, a few episodes of The Simpsons and an entire eight pack of Heineken did the trick. The first few days in the land of the rising sun followed suit with premium lagers everywhere.
After a couple of days however I was getting bored of late night/early morning Japanese game shows and needed something to fill the time between getting in and going out. After a day of finding all the English pamphlets,free magazines and English language newspapers that I could I made a discovery.
Sat in the Wired Cafe (Shinagawa) nursing a goblet of premium malt, I found iBooks on my phone. Now I’d already tried reading things for Uni on my phone and it hurt my eyes so wasn’t too excited at the prospect but I gave it a go. Obviously being the tight man that I am I downloaded free samples of book whenever possible, including:
Stephen Fry – The Fry Chronicles
Andrew Marr – My Trade
Frankie Boyle – My Shit Life So Far
Karl Pilkington – Karlology
Graham Poll –
Keith Richards – Life
And the legendary ‘Taking Le Tiss’ by the even more legendary Matt Le Tissier.
The clarity on the screen was excellent and after turning down the brightness I found them really easy to read. The ability to highlight sections was a godsend especially in the Karl Pilkington book as it allowed me to copy and paste extracts to email to people. I was converted.
Since writing this blog I read my first ebook – Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein, the full review will be my next blog. I’ve also just bought an Amazon Kindle which I will be reviewing separately in a video blog.