Monday, March 30, 2009
Charging ahead on the iPod Touch
About noon today I finished reading the Kindle version of Michael Connelly's 1999 whodunit Angels Flight on my iPod Touch. Yes, I read an entire book on a 3 1/2-inch screen and didn't suffer eyestrain. What's more, I've just recently had cataract surgery -- that has to be the ultimate test for small-scale e-book reading. And, let me tell you, the experience was a satisfying one.
The next thing I did was go to Kindle Books online and download Connelly's most recent cop novel, The Brass Verdict, published late last fall.
Why another cop novel? Why another Connelly? Am I going to pig out on his Harry Bosch novels the way I did on Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels last year until I'd read them all?
Not really. When one works in the same genre, it helps to absorb how other writers -- especially best-selling as well as first-rate ones -- craft their stories. One picks up good tricks that way. (One has to be careful not to steal, just be inspired.)
And when one reads an e-book on a small screen, it helps if the book is simple, direct and linear -- that is, if it doesn't have a convoluted plot that requires the reader to backtrack frequently to refresh his memory of names or events, such as all those Russians and their relationships in War and Peace. A good mystery keeps the reader rolling along effortlessly. Angels Flight did that.
As I become more and more used to this mode of reading, I might try a literary novel or a a heavy-duty biography on the little iPod Touch.
This doesn't mean I've forsaken print on paper. All this time I've also been reading the tree-book of P. D. James' newest literary mystery, The Private Patient -- one chapter a day, savoring each shapely sentence and each profound observation about human behavior. The end is drawing near; Commander Dalgliesh is about to bust the perp -- a colorful American phrase Lady James would never use.
Posted by HENRY KISOR at 7:03 PM