Recently, I was talking to one of my friends and the topic of reading came up. She had been using an e-reader for some time now and the device piqued my interest. I remember when they came out years ago, and were touted as a convenient way to read books. By the time they came out, however, my serious reading days were over. Since I had never used one before, I asked if I could borrow hers for a few days. Days afterwards, I’m the proud owner of my own Kobo e-reader. Between Amazon and Kobo, the decision was rather easy; I have my Canadian pride, after all.
Reading is something that I’ve been trying to re-invest myself into. There’s something fun about becoming captivated by an author’s world in all its complexity and minute detail. As a software developer, reading and writing in both programming languages and plain English are fundamental assets. I’m not sure what preconceptions people have of programming, but I did not expect that communication skills would be extremely – if not the most – important skills that grease the wheel. A lot of the work in programming is simply translating human ideas and conceptual models into labour that computers are capable of handling. The latter is only a matter of technical prowess and analytical thinking. On the other hand, gathering of the former is much trickier. Being able to understand others is a union between building a deeper understanding of how they communicate and one’s own ability. One reason why I bought an e-reader is with the hopes of incorporating reading more into my life, seeing how valuable it is in many facets.
Despite reading quite a bit for my profession, it’s not the same as reading for the sake of reading. One thing that’s fun about reading code versus short articles is that code builds narratives. There could be many moving parts which combines business context, company history, and even the personality of the person writing the software. A lot of throwaway content you can find online ends up being not as enjoyable or mentally stimulating, solely because they were designed to draw attention for very short spurts. Novels are different. The length also creates more opportunity for the story to draw out the style of its author. Plus, there’s a larger amount of investment that needs to be made by both the author and the reader which widens the extent of what you can do with the medium. Although I’m mostly a fantasy / sci-fi type of person myself, I would like to gain exposure into other genres.
Writing fiction would be fun to do. Practically speaking, it’s not that hard to get started – the time I’ve spent writing this post, for example, could have been instead converted into time writing a novel. To me, it’s a matter of motivation. I’ve wanted to do it, but it’s not something that really breathes down my neck; if I don’t end up doing it, that’s okay too. I just don’t want to feel this way forever. There was one time I made an Anime Music Video, when I really wanted to do it. After making it, I uploaded it to YouTube and have never felt the urge to make one since. That’s the destination I want to reach with writing. I want to create something awesome and then be free to worry about other stuff afterwards.
By the way, the e-reader I got was the Kobo Libra H20. The selling points for me were the size, the hardware, and the price. My friend’s tablet is the Amazon Paperwhite. The size is about six inches which is actually pretty comfy. Honestly, if I were going to get a similar sized one, I would have been happy to get the Clara HD which is lighter and smaller. However, I wanted a larger screen in case I end up using it to read manga. The hardware keys are a nice touch, though the trade-off is that it increases the horizontal size by quite a bit. The forma was also an option, but the price point was a little too steep for something that I’m going to use for only reading. With the savings, I can splurge a little with buying books. I should probably thank my friend for letting me use hers for a while by buying her a gift card or something.