23 September 2011

To Times or not to Times

As I kid I spent most of my pocket money on books.  Each week, Scrooge-like, I tipped my coins out and counted, until I had the magic amount.  Most of my books were purchased from the local newsagents shop, so I didn’t have a huge choice.  I would hotfoot it to the shop, pick up each book from the whirly stand, read the back cover, check out the first few pages, and then spend long minutes agonising over which to buy.
Around this time my parents introduced me to the delights of the library.  It didn’t take me long to finish the books they had for my age, and so I moved onto the next set of shelves, which happened to be C in the adult section.  I picked up an Agatha Christie, and after reading it I was delighted to see there were plenty more with her name on the spine.  Moving surreptitiously along the shelves I came across Victoria Holt, and on reaching P - Jean Plaidy, only later discovering they were the same person.  I dabbled with Ellery Queen and a few other American crime writers in-between forays into the Brontes and Jane Austen.  If nothing else was around I’d read the cereal packet!
I still enjoy browsing the shelves of my local library, only now I have a little more discretionary budget I also browse the shelves of local independent bookshops, as well as Borders in the mall, and because of the difficulties sometimes of getting books by smaller publishers, The Book Depository.
I love the feel and smell of books, and many are like old friends, but I also love the new interloper, my Kindle.  
I’ve looked at a number of forums and blogs discussing the positives and negatives of print books compared to ebooks.  Personally I love reading, whether it be the e- or print variety.  They both have their virtues.
One of the things I love most about my Kindle is the choice of font.  My pet hate is Times New Roman.  In fact I dislike a lot of serif fonts.  I know studies suggest that serif fonts are more readable in print material, but I don’t like them.  I find sans-serif fonts much cleaner and easier to read.  In print material I don’t get a choice, although many magazines now use sans-serif fonts, but on my Kindle I choose.
The print verses e-book discussion is an interesting one, but I’m just happy to keep on reading, and use both mediums.

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