Pages for pixels

Commuting dreams (Photo by Tseen Khoo)
Commuting dreams (Photo by Tseen Khoo)

I haven’t read a hardcopy book for close on two and a half years now.

My most common reading window is on my work commute. Given the rarity of seats on the train at peak hour, the likelihood that I’ll be swinging around in an aisle or central section is high. I’m not coordinated enough to hold a book + turn pages + balance… hence, the domination of e-reading. Single hand, one-finger swiping. I can read even if I’m being totally sardined by too many people in suits and with hefty bags. Pressed in on all sides + with nothing to hold on to, I can easily disappear into a book with no bag juggling or trying to gain more space.

Diving into a book on the commute works for me. Others have been shocked that I can read so much on the small screen of the phone, but text size is comparable to what they’d be reading on a Kindle or iPad. There’s just more swiping involved.

On my phone, I think I’ve read over 100 books, including all the “Song of Ice and Fire” series (George R. R. Martin – Game of Thrones), most of Lee Child’s Reacher series (up to book 11), just about all the Rizzoli & Isles series (Tess Gerritsen), + many of the AWW 2012 books.

Only the occasional loud + inane conversation breaks my reading bubble. I hope that Melbourne’s Metro Trains will have quiet carriages soon, though I suspect they’ll be constantly over-subscribed. I used them when I was in Queensland and, even though they are by no means a guarantee that you’ll be insulated from inanity, at least your chances of it will be cut down.

I see people on public transport sporting all manner of devices, and behaviours with their devices. Some have specific e-readers, laptops and phones. I don’t want to have to lug around so many items + their accessories.

At the  moment, with a shiny new laptop, I often travel with 2 out of those 3. But I don’t whip out the laptop on a commute – as mentioned before, seats are a rarity, and the commute isn’t quite long enough (25-35 mins) to get any real work done on a computer.

Checking in on Twitter + email on my phone, reading + occasionally having text conversations is what I do on the train. Particularly now that I look after four Twitter accounts, the commute ‘browse’n favourite’ routine is a handy way to ease the buffering load later on. I need to cultivate some better habits with feeding the Twitter-streams. They’re insatiable.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to take care of social media channels as a full-time job. That is, have the building up of an organisation or event/activity, and the engagement aspects as core parts of my everyday rather than as rushed + interstitial ones. Would I enjoy it less? I sometimes also wonder whether I would benefit from taking some formal training in media engagement, or similar.

Everything I do with the Twitter streams is instinctual, and I keep doing what seems to work. This is probably not optimal.

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2 thoughts on “Pages for pixels

  1. oanh 25/03/2013 / 8:16 pm

    I’m so impressed with how much you can read on your phone! If I do catch the tram, m y ride is short enough and crowded enough that I just use it to zone out. The few times I’ve read (a book book or an ebook on the I pad), I’ve, um, missed my stop.

  2. Tseen Khoo 26/03/2013 / 11:51 am

    That has almost happened to me a few times, partic when the train is steamed up from a rainy afternoon!

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