I have made a few changes …


I have made a few changes recently.

I have stopped drinking coffee. I am tired of frequent “nature breaks” interrupting my morning rides. I switched to a polarized training schedule. I needed a change as I transition outside on the road bikes. I switched to body-weight strengthening exercises. I won’t have a fully  equipped gym available while at the cottage for the next 2 months. I grew a beard! I wanted a different look. Something more mature, and sophisticated 😂 And, I was so tired of shaving most days.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I purchased an electronic book to read.

I was largely impressed with the ebook reading experience using the iBooks app. The books are displayed in full color, and the page turns are lifelike and smooth with the swipe of a finger. Books can be read in landscape mode. A link at the top takes you to the table of contents, and you can adjust the brightness or text size as well. – LifeWire

I’m late to this party.

Others have been reading electronic books for years. I resisted because I like the feel, and look of hard cover books. I like the look of them on my bookshelves. It’s a tactile thing.

Well, all that changed this week. I have a new friend at the club. I can call her that. I think. We don’t know each other well, but always speak to one another at the gym. After several months of sharing pleasantries, I learned she is an English Professor at one of the local universities.

She looks too young to be a professor but that is another story.

When I learned the focus of her PhD dissertation was autobiographies, and in particular, the impact social media has on personal narratives, I was intrigued. You see, for the past decade, I have studied the various social media platforms from a different perspective. A business one. I thought to myself what better way to come up with an informed, impartial summer reading list than to ask an English Professor with similar sensibilities.

Several weeks ago, I explained to her that I was spending 2 months alone at the cottage without TV or the internet, and asked if she could recommend a few books to read. I read a lot when I’m there but have difficulty selecting good books. I select books like I pick wine. By their cover. Not such a good idea.

To my surprise, my new friend approached me while I was on the spinning bike yesterday holding a type written list of 7 books. Several she “loved” reading. One that she teaches in her classes. And, 2 she thought I would like. One about an adventurous cyclist, and the other a murder mystery set in Ontario cottage country. How appropriate. When I got home, I Googled reviews of the books, decided I want to read them all, and immediately headed to the local bookstore.

One of the books was in stock. All of the others have to be special ordered. I don’t have time for that. I leave in a week. And, they were expensive. Several $35-40. I didn’t want to spend that much. So, I looked on-line for electronic versions. They were all available. Immediately. And, for a fraction of the cost.

I purchased and downloaded one of the books, and spent last evening reading it with the iBooks app available on my MacPro. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the experience. I could change the contrast, background colour and text size, making the pages easy to read. Easier, in fact, than a hardcover book.

Since I always travel with my MacPro and iPhone, it makes sense. I have all I need – photos, internet, blog, books – in one place. I now do all of the things on-line that I said I would never do. Banking. Shopping. Photography (Who would want a camera in their phone, I once thought). And now, reading.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks 😂

Who knows. I may even try a recreational ride soon 🤔

10 thoughts on “I have made a few changes …

    • I noticed that. The problem I have is that where I’m headed, the library are very small with a limited selection, and I don’t want to fly with a lot of books.

  1. Don’t think I could survive without my morning cafitaire coffee,so until I see definite proof that’s what causes my frequent pee stops I’ll continue..let us know your outcome. Could it possibly be an enlarged prostrate which affects many men over 60? including me I think.

    Your lucky being able to get away from the daily barrage of bad news with no phone or Internet,it sure must give a different perspective on life.
    A fairly well known American psychologist Adam Gopnic recommends it as an antidote for the anxieties of modern life.
    My Mrs has lots of books on her kindle white and loves it usually dropping of to sleep reading.
    It has a good feature in the back light turns itself off after around 10 mins or so.

    • Hi Paul.

      I was the same way. Coffee was the first thing I did after getting out of bed. Caffeine seems to be part of the problem, but I need to experiment further with more prostate friendly saddles as well.

      I think there is great value to not watch TV or have internet access for an extended period. I have done this for a decade or more from anywhere from a week to several months at a time. I return fitter (I cycle a lot), more relaxed, and more in tune with the environment around me.

      I’m not sure about the electronic books but will report back after two months away.

  2. I like ebooks. My library even lends them out (they return automatically but stay on my Kobo for as long as I don’t turn it off).
    My book recommendations would be (Even though you didn’t ask)
    A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
    Waterland by Graham Swift
    Notes from a Small Island
    The Glass Castle
    All Our Numbered Days
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    A Separate Peace

    • Thanks Anthony.

      Persig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is one of my favourites, so I’m going to give your recommendations a try.

      Thank you 😀

  3. Thanks Gail,

    “A sea of change” – I like that !

    I am worried I will miss my books but eBooks are convenient when travelling, and as I have discovered, considerably cheaper. I never thought I would even try them. But then again, I didn’t see the need for camera phones either.

    I’ve always been a trend setter 😀

  4. I still like paper books, perhaps being the son of librarians? I tend to buy books these days from charity shops, so end up with all sorts of strange reading matter. Makes reading a bit of an adventure. I do short online courses so read quite a lot on my iPad for these, must go – a course to catch up on!!!!

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