Eating My Words With an E-Reader
Tammy Setzer Denton - Writer
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Eating My Words With an E-Reader

Unbridled Books ran a sale last week offering 25 of their books in e-form for $0.25 each. I like Unbridled Books so I bought them all, making my purchase from Subterranean Books, one of my favorite Indie book stores in St. Louis.

While I'm not a fan of the e-book format, for 25 cents, I thought I could tough if out in front of the computer to read them. I was wrong. After an hour or two, I was in pain from reading through bifocals at my desktop.

I really wanted to read these books, but not in front of my computer. This brought me to the proposition of getting an e-reader. I have an MP3 player that includes an e-reader albeit the screen is approximately 1" x 1.5". I was at least going to give it a try. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to load even one book, much less the 25 I had purchased.

Then, I got my Big Lots ad. There it was-a 7" Slick e-Reader on sale for nearly 45% off. I've always sworn I wouldn't get one. I like actual books, the feel of the cover, the paper, the bindings, the end pages. Okay, you get the picture. I'm a major book nerd. But, I really wanted to read my new books from Unbridled so I swallowed my words and purchased the e-Reader.

I charged it up, downloaded two of the 25 books and started reading. So far, I was impressed. The backlit screen made a reading light unnecessary. I still caught myself touching the upper right hand corner in an attempt to turn pages, but I liked the bookmark feature and the ability to change font size.

For my first e-book, I chose Panopticon by David Bajo. 313 pages of literary intrigue with Spanish thrown in here and there. I was in heaven................until the battery died. I was on page 287 with only 26 pages to go. I know I could have plugged in to finish it, but I didn't. I put it on the charger and picked up a real book instead. I had to turn the light on to read it, but Sand & Foam by Kahlil Gibran rested in my hands with a soothing weight and feel. The words glowed from the page fueled by wisdom, not electricity. I finished Sand & Foam and fell into pleasant dreams .

This morning, my e-Reader was recharged. I finished the last 26 pages of Panopticon. It was a good read that left me thinking of Big Brother and whoever else might be watching, but got to say that my earlier power failure took away from the suspenseful end.

I'm not giving up on the reader. I have 30 days to try it out and return it if I don't like it. I'm still undecided, but plan to use my Unbridled Books for the challenge.

Overall, I would recommend reading Panopticon by David Bajo. 

This Overview Is From Amazon:As the California borderland newspaper where they work prepares to close, three reporters are oddly given assignments to return to stories they ve covered before each one surprisingly personal. The first assignment takes reporter Aaron Klinsman and photographer Rita Valdez to an abandoned motel room where the mirrors are draped with towels, bits of black tape cover the doorknobs, and the perfect trace of a woman s body is imprinted on the bed sheets. From this sexually charged beginning on land his family used to own Klinsman, Rita, and their colleague, Oscar Medem understand that they are supposed to uncover something. They just don t know what. Following the moonlit paths their assignments reveal through the bars, factories and complex streets of Tijuana and Otay, haunted by the femicides that have spread westward from Juarez, the reporters become more intimately entwined. Tracing the images they uncover, and those they cause and leave behind, they soon realize that every move they make is under surveillance. Beyond this, it seems their private lives and even their memories are being reconstructed by others. Panopticon is a novel of dreamlike appearances and almost supernatural memories, a world of hidden watchers that evokes the dark recognition of just how little we can protect even our most private moments. It is a shadowy, erotic novel only slightly speculative that opens into the world we all now occupy.

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