Are ebook readers worth it?

Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

Perhaps it’s just the direction society is headed, but everything seems to be going digital these few years: be it electronic camera pens, butter warmers, or LCD sunglasses. Even the tradition of reading from paper did not escape this revolutionary conversion as the e-book reader fascinated people everywhere in 2008.

A decade ago, an e-book reader might have seemed out of place. Today, it’s the perfect solution to huge bookcase worries. Keeping a thousand or so books in your backpack isn’t a bad idea, is it? Why didn’t we think of this earlier?

So should one make it a member of the household?

PROS
1. Convenient: saves time and space
I love the e-book reader for the convenience it brings: how you can buy a book and read it right away, right in bed, and how you can carry an entire library around with you. First, time is precious. Time saved on buying books in physical stores can be used to do other (fun) stuff, like BLOGGING! Second, I’m lazy. I don’t like walking the full (half?) kilometer or so to the bookstore to buy a book: I’d rather stay at home.

2. Dictionary function (optional)
Some readers come with this program: when you move the cursor to a word in the text, its definition will appear at the bottom of the screen. For those who don’t usually look up unknown creatures in paperbacks, it’s time saved and knowledge gained.

3. Searchable
Sometimes you just want to read a particular section in a book, but you’re unsure of which page it’s on. E-book readers allow you to search books with much more efficiency – no more of those lengthy flicking bores!

4. Promotes reading?
It’s questionable whether e-book readers promote reading: one might say that the added convenience is an incentive, but e-book or not, when you decide to read a book you still have to commit time to reading it. The main reason people don’t read is because they feel they have no time to read the book. Can e-book readers really solve this problem?

5. Others
It’s better for the tree community. (Amazon, rejoice!) Some readers also come with lighted displays, so lighting conditions become irrelevant to whether you can read your book or not.

CONS
1. Battery life
It can be extremely irritating when you’re in the middle of an exciting novel and your reader goes flat. Preventive measures? Remember to charge it every night. Which brings us to another possible con – increased electricity consumption.

2. Less variety
Most readers are provided by platforms, and only read books from that platform. Which will you choose? Plus, not all printed books provided by [company name] will be available in e-book format, significantly reducing the number of books you can access.

3. Liquid disasters
Common tragedy regarding electronic products. Need I say more?

4. Software bugs
Another common problem with electronic devices, though I doubt they occur frequently with e-book readers: I haven’t heard of any cases of reader bugs so far.

The verdict? If you like reading books, then go for it. I would. If you’re a passive book-reader (if you read less than a book a month) and you won’t use the reader for magazines / newspapers, I suggest you invest your money somewhere else. Christmas trees, perhaps?

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On Choosing Charities.

charity |ˈtʃarɪti|

noun ( pl. -ties)

1 the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.

2 an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.

 

Big Heart of Art – 1000 Visual Mashups

Charities are all about voluntary giving to those that need our help and support. But what makes you choose to support that particular charity when there are so many charities out there waiting for your contributions? How do you decide which charity to support, and how much to give to that charity? Do you contribute greatly to one, or distribute your funds among a variety of organizations?

As I haven’t much to give, I concentrate my donations on a few organizations: World Vision, UNICEF, and WWF, each with an average donation of around 20-30HKD a month. But these questions bug me more with each passing day: should I or should I not contribute to the smaller organizations that are pleading for donations? If I do, what about UNICEF etc.? Does World Vision or a charity for the deaf need my money more?

Wait. Does this matter? As long as we’re helping people, that’s fine, right? Who cares about which organization you contribute to? Unless it cheats people of their cash, that is.

The problem is, there are difficulties arising from uneven distribution of funds among charities. People in a certain region will get more help, while those in another may suffer dearly because of insufficient funding.

Can we be fair to everyone? Should we try to label some people as ‘more in need’ than others so as to better allocate our resources? How can we do this fairly?

Life is not simple.

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In defense of my extreme addiction to procrastination.

I’m addicted to a lot of stuff: stapling piles of paper together, listening to songs on Youtube, eating chocolate, emptying my trash on my Dock, you name it. But one of the tops on my list is PROCRASTINATING.

 

I’m sure many people share this vice. In fact, sorry guys, but I think over 90% of the human population have had, or have this quality now. If you don’t know what procrastinating is, congratulations! You’re officially incredibly serious about your work. And I’m not kidding.

I don’t know when I started: when I was six or seven, perhaps? I just didn’t find my homework remotely interesting, so I left it alone for the while. For the night. For a few days – sometimes even after it was due. Oops!

I have to admit this habit got me into a few holes as I grew older, with teachers no longer taking ‘Aww, she’s still young’ as an excuse. Things started to get serious when I was ten and my teachers started yelling at me. Oh well. Nothing like a bit of motivation to get the brain going, eh? It must have paid off – four years later, I only hand in compulsory homework late around once a term! Yippee!

As for my defense: there’s nothing wrong with it. It just…gives one more time to do something. And many people do it. It’s not like they get into heaps of trouble if they do. At first, anyway. (Okay there’re obviously a whole bunch of flaws here but I’m not going to bother to fix them.)

But will I ever actually quit? Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

(Picture from http://visualambassador.com/wp-content/uploads/procrastination.png It says ‘I’ll find a picture for it later.’ )

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