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Thursday, December 02, 2010

I'm a Thwarted Book Cheater

Today, I was talking ebooks with a couple of my friends. I love my Kindle, I can't say that enough, but there's a limitation to reading electronically that makes me nuts--I can't skip ahead. Not conveniently.

I cheat when I read. When I'm reading a paperback, I'll skip ahead and skim a few pages farther on. I'll jump a few chapters forward and do the same. And my favorite thing of all, I'll jump to the end and read the last scene. Sure you can do this kind of in a Kindle, but not as easily as in paper.

Maybe I shouldn't cheat as I read. I know readers who are appalled that I do this, but I also know there are other readers who do the same thing I do. We discussed it and the numbers seemed pretty evenly split, not that I kept a tally of any sort.

I'm not sure why I cheat ahead when I read or when it started, but I do know it's a very ingrained habit and my biggest frustration reading ebooks. If only I could skip ahead without messing up my place in the book. If only I could skip ahead without having to hit page forward repeatedly until I get far enough ahead from where I'm at to do my skim reading.

If there's a Table of Contents, it makes it slightly easier, but not by much. Then I have to open the menu, click on go to TOC, and then hit the hyperlink to take me forward. If there is a clickable TOC. :-(

When I talked to my friends, I also expressed my dissatisfaction with the rereading experience in electronic format. You see, usually when I reread, I don't go through the entire book. I just hit the scenes or parts of the scenes that I really enjoyed and want to revisit. Sure, I can bookmark the spot in the Kindle, but while I'm reading, I'm either too enthralled by the story to think of bookmarking or I don't realize that this particular scene is going to end up being a favorite. Sometimes that only makes itself known after I'm finished.

All this said, I still buy the bulk of my fiction now in electronic format. I love the instant gratification. I love having multiple choices on what to read when I have my Kindle with me. I love not having to build more bookshelves. LOL! My dad was getting a little crabby when I asked him to make me one toward the end.