Rebuilding My Filipiniana Library on a Piece of Gadget

I’m a few books away from completing the classic history series “The Philippine Islands” by Blair and Robertson. Standard reading for history students – young and old. I now have 40 + volumes compiled in this little piece of gadget called kindle.

Life’s more bearable now that I can read books I enjoy. Lately, I’ve been reading like a wild man. With all these free downloadable public domain titles and the cheap ones you could muster for less than a buck, man, you’ll never run out of books to read.

This is book heaven son!

Two months ago I visited my parents and saw my books fast deteriorating, some discolored, while others, literally, crumbling apart. I decided to put them in sealed boxes. I realized that if you don’t have someone looking after your library, the books wouldn’t be in the best shape when you get back.

Before I left, I had my room repainted. After the paint job was completed I had the painter put the shelves back in its place. Seeing them empty made me feel a bit melancholic. I’m used to seeing my books organized on those shelves for decades. Now that I’m away for the most part of the year I just had to temporarily put them away.

Before I started living abroad I use to read a lot – and I mean a LOT – before going to bed, on the toilet, while listening to my favorite podcasts, while eating, while commuting and even at work (and yes, I got reprimanded for this). In short, when I have time to read I take it! I rarely watch TV. I get my news from independent online sites. I still watch movies but on the average once every month. So it was tough to move around without the books.

Around February this year, two months I’ve been away from home, I started feeling a little depressed that I can’t run to my books. I started downloading PDF book files from online sources but man, I can’t stand reading 2-3 hours on a computer. The strain it puts in my eye drives me crazy. I always ends up with a nasty headache. So while I have tons of books sitting on my desktop, I hardly read any.

Unboxing the new toy…

The other thing is that I don’t take my three year old laptop with me when I travel. I pack light, bringing just the essentials in my backpack. I thought maybe an iPad or a nexus will do the trick but I realized these tablets are basically computers that would just end up hurting my eyes. Also, the last thing I want is getting bit by the bug playing games on these gadgets. That would be a total waste of time when there are tons of bios, memoirs, history, economics, physics, political books I’m dying to read.

I can’t help but think about our young people these days not reading books. They waste time playing games, updating their facebook and doing stuff on the net and watching TV – this is no good. Not that its bad to entertain your self with these things. When you’re in control, that’s fine, but when it starts taking time away from the other important activities it becomes a bad distraction. It literally can dumbed you down.

When I decided to come to America this November, I decided to give these hyped e-readers a chance – I couldn’t be more happier that I did. Now I’m building my Filipiniana library inside this thing, backed by the free cloud service Amazon provides. The real book feel is irreplaceable but e-readers are far superior and convenient if you’re just after the content.

I know I’ve been banging the drums for these e-readers but I see it as a creative and innovative technology that bookworms can really use.

Damn, we’re really going ones and zeros here!

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5 responses to “Rebuilding My Filipiniana Library on a Piece of Gadget

  • Del

    yeah, I’m might go for the $69 kindle at amazon and have it shipped via Johnny Air. Have you tried the paperwhite version? I miss reading books. I’ve been reading a lot of books as well since grade 1. Got a question for you, have you tried reading from an MS PowerPoint document?

    • De AnDA

      Only docs and pdf’s so far. Haven’t tried powerpoint but why the hell would you want to convert that to an e-book? LOL Lately, I’ve been transferring pdf manuals also to my kindle.

      The paperwhite is quite new. Tried it and like it also. Its uses the ink technology as Kindle 4 ($69) with the addition of an illuminated background. But there 80-100USD value difference I think. I like Kindle 4 better.

  • Del

    good thing you bought a kindle and not from their competitor like Nook. Amazon has a lot of books from the Philippines.

    • De AnDA

      Not only that. They can convert your documents (.pdf, doc etc etc) to their format. They give you an email then you send your documents there and it goes straight to your kindle.

      BTW, I was checking on line and there are stores there that sells it for 4K +. That’s not a bad deal. Get the e-reader that’s a touch version.

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