Enhancing your Reading Experience

Over the last few years, I’ve come to discover a little trick that helps make reading even more enjoyable and addictive than it already is. The secret? Movies!

Confused? Let me explain…

Reading a book that was made into a movie gives you a much more immersive experience as a reader. Let me elaborate by explaining the 2 main ways to do it:

Reading the book before watching the movie

This format allows you to enjoy the book, and then enjoy it again through the movie. Seeing the characters from the pages of your book come alive on the big screen is a thrilling and delightful experience.  What’s even better, is that having read the book, you can tell if and when the movie has skipped over or abbreviated certain parts of the story, or even changed it. I simply can’t contain my excitement when the Honey Bee and I watch a movie whose book I’ve already read and am able to comment on the story-line, the performance, visual effects, etc.  and whether they match up with what I imagined while reading.

Some of the books I’ve read following this format include: The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, The Lincoln LawyerInferno and The Sphere. The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons were great books, but could have been better adapted to the big screen. Not to say the movies were bad- I probably watched them multiple times. All I’m saying is that they could’ve been better.

The Lincoln Lawyer was a really great book, and I think they did a great job at adapting it to the big screen. The Sphere, on the other hand, was a book that had a lot of unrealized potential, and the movie only made things worse. Even with Dustin Hoffman playing the lead, the movie was unable to improve on the unfulfilled potential of the book.

Watching the movie before reading the book

My favorite part of watching the movie first is that when you later read the book, you can imagine the characters. You see the actors from the movie playing their roles in your mind as you read along.

The most obvious downside to this is that you can’t share your experience with anyone, unless you can convince your friends to watch the movie and read the book with you.

Some of the books I’ve read following this format include The Firm and Freedom at Midnight (book reading in progressmovie is called Viceroy’s House). Both books were excellent, and the movies were great too. Hopefully one of my next books on this list will be Jurassic Park (obviously I’ve already seen the movie).

Regardless of the reading format, what really hits home for me is being able to visit the city the book is based in. For example, I was living in France and able to visit Paris while I read The Da Vinci Code, something that really blew my mind and endeared the book to me. Similarly, I was able to visit Florence, Italy right after reading Inferno. In both cases, walking the same streets where the primary character, Robert Langdon, ran through trying to save the world and seeing the monuments and buildings he talked about really helps develop a personal connection with the character and the book.

Undoubtedly, both styles have their advantages and disadvantages and it is hard to choose one over the other. Nonetheless, what is undebatable is the extent of your immersion in the storyline and the deeper connection you develop with a book when a movie is based on it. That’s my little secret and the reason I now always try to read books that have a movie based on them. Try it, there are plenty!

Happy reading, and watching (or vice-versa)!

 

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My First Experience with Contact Lenses

I have been wearing glasses for close to 11 years now. While I will admit that they bothered me initially, they slowly become a part of everyday life. So much so, that I now barely notice them. They are always there sitting on the bridge of my nose while I drive, at work, and even while working out.

Nonetheless, I have been slightly tempted on occasion by the thought of clear vision without glasses. Twice over the last 11 years I’ve tried contact lenses, but never really managed to get them into my eye. Earlier this week, for some unexplained reason, I decided to try again. Lo and behold, I managed to get them in. The feeling was incredible. For the first time in 11 years, I could see without my glasses. I swear I felt like Toby Maguire in the 2002 Spider-Man movie. Like him, I put on my glasses to blurred vision, and took them off to make it clear again. It was a good, but strange sensation. All day, my fingers would go up to my face to adjust my non-existent glasses.

Unfortunately as the day progressed, I found out I had been issued bad instructions by someone who worked at the optical store (something my optician later apologized for). I was simply told to put the lenses on the next day, and come back after having worn them for a minimum of about 4 hours. This was so the optician could check to see whether my eyes had taken well to the lenses and to ensure that there had not been any adverse reaction.

There are a number of issues here. Firstly, I was told to wear them myself, without any assistance or instructions. Thank God the Honey Bee has experience with lenses, because if not I could have seriously scratched/damaged my eyes. Secondly, it is recommended to initially only wear the lenses for a 1 hour period. If all goes well, it is then upped to 4 hours. Due to improper instructions, I wore them all day- a full 11 hours. By the time I visited the optician my eyes were red and irritated. I couldn’t wait to get them out. Words can’t describe the relief I felt once the optician removed the lenses from my eyes. Later he told me that wearing lenses for such a long period the first time was equivalent to running a marathon without any preparation-an overall bad idea.

It has now been a couple of days since this experience, and my eyes are much better, albeit still slightly irritated. In any case, the optician has now asked me to return for a shorter and better instructed trial. However, after such a horrible experience, I am still on the fence over whether or not I want to pursue this any further. One thing is for sure: It’ll be at least a couple of weeks before I go back. And if I do, it’ll be only to be able to do the Spider-Man thing again. 😎

Calçotada-A Local Tradition

Last weekend we celebrated the birthday of a very close friend, at a barbecue with a really fun group of people. However, this was no normal barbecue. This barbecue had a local twist- it was combined with a calçotada.

A calçotada is a social gathering, much like a barbecue, where people hang out with drinks and cook calçots (pronounced cal-sots), which are a variety of scallion or green onion. This is done primarily in the first quarter of the year, and is indigenous to the northeastern Catalonia region of Spain.

Cooked over an open coal fire until charred, these calçots are then wrapped in paper where they slow cook with the retained heat. A couple of minutes later, they are ready to be peeled by hand, which in and of itself is an art. Once peeled, the still- warm calçots are then dipped generously into a delicious romesco sauce and consumed directly, accompanied by grilled meats, bread and wine or cava (the local equivalent of champagne). Eating them warm in crispy cold weather makes the whole experience all the more enjoyable.

The calçots themselves have a distinct non-offensive taste, but most people probably wouldn’t consume them without the accompanying sauce. The entire process is inherently messy, but a lot of fun. So the next time you’re visiting Spain, and particularly Catalonia, during this time of the year, consider hitting up one of the many restaurants that serve this specialty unique to this area of Spain.

 

 

 

The Annual Car Inspection

Yesterday, I had my first experience with the ITV, the mandatory test of the roadworthiness of your vehicle, required by the Spanish government. It is required for all vehicles, and the frequency depends on the age of your vehicle. A new vehicle is exempt for 4 years, after which the test needs to be administered every 2 years until it reaches 10 years of age. All vehicles 10 years or older, need to be tested annually.

In our case, the test cost c. € 40. The price depends on the type of vehicle. Since the test is not exactly cheap, it is in your best interest to ensure that your vehicle is well maintained and up to the mark. If you fail the test, you need to go back to your auto repair store, have the problem fixed, and pay once again to have the ITV test re-administered. Hence, many repair shops now offer pre-ITV inspections to get your car up to standard.

Upon passing the test, an ITV sticker is issued with a validity date. Any vehicle found without a valid sticker is subject to a fine ranging from € 200 – € 500, in addition to disciplinary sanctions.

There are a few select authorized private companies that administer this test. To get an appointment, I simply visited the website, found the closest center, selected a date and time, provided some personal information and confirmed my appointment. On the chosen day, I headed to the center. After checking in at the front office with my paperwork, I waited a few minutes until my name was called. At that time, all of the car’s paperwork was checked and the fee collected. I was then instructed to take my car and join the queue outside. There were 2 parallel queues. After waiting about 15 minutes, we (the car and I) entered the first brightly lit workshop.

Like a perfectly oiled machine, 2 employees worked feverishly and quickly to check everything. The first opened and physically inspected all the doors, locks, seatbelts, internal lights, engine, wipers, horn, and emergency equipment, to ensure they were in proper working condition. The second checked all the external lights while instructing me to turn each on and off. They also connected a hose to the exhaust outlet and ran tests to ensure the car met pollution standards. Less than 5 minutes later, I was done here. I was instructed to drive to a second workshop next door.

We queued up outside the second workshop which seemed to be taking longer. There were 3 parallel queues here. After waiting another 20 minutes, I was asked to drive in. The car was made to park on a sort of rotating barrel that first tested the movement of the front and back tires. Then, I was asked to apply the brakes gradually while the barrels continued to move. This tested the effectiveness and efficiency of the car’s breaking system. They also tested the hand brake.

Next, I was asked to park over a car inspection pit, through which the undercarriage of the car was thoroughly inspected. I was also told to vigorously steer left and right, brake hard, and perform other such maneuvers while the car was parked. This allowed the mechanic underneath the car to physically check all these moving parts. Then, the pads on which the wheels were resting moved vigorously to test the suspension and the steering system.

15 minutes later, I drove out of the second workshop with a fresh ITV sticker valid for Sticker2 years, and a sense of comfort and confidence in knowing that all the essential systems of my car had been physically inspected and tested by professionals in front of my eyes. In exchange, I really didn’t mind having to pay the € 40 fee and take an hour out of my day. In fact, it made me wonder why inspections like this are not mandatory around the world.

I know for a fact that there is annual pollution check (Pollution Under Control-P.U.C.) required in India, but that’s really more of a joke than anything else. It isn’t uncommon to see people walk up, pay a bribe, and walk away with the sticker without so much as even showing the car. To be fair, the government has taken a number of initiatives to boost the program, but for a country whose capital is currently suffocating under a thick blanket of smog, a lot still remains to be accomplished. Annual inspections in the US vary by state, but a number of states don’t require any kind of test, and of the ones that do, few require such an in-depth inspection.

Before I wrap up, I would also like to mention something else I really liked about the process. A number of precautions are taken to avoid any kind of fraud or corruption. For one thing, upon passing the test, the sticker is not handed to you, but directly pasted onto your windshield. Also, the vehicle’s VIN number, which is inscribed on the chassis, is checked against its registration. Lastly, the entire process is also video recorded to ensure there is a trail and that there is no fraud.

Happy Driving!

The Continuing Education Dilemma

By the age of 26, I had spent over 70% of my life studying and had grown comfortable with it and even enjoyed the world of academia. Comfortable with not having to generally deal with all the stresses a student takes on once he leaves academia and enters the working world. Comfortable with having a predictable timetable that allowed me to prepare in advance for exams; a luxury that is unavailable at most jobs because work can hit you just about any time. Comfortable in the fact that I only had to deal with the relatively manageable task of being in the good books of my few professors, as opposed to pleasing multiple overzealous managers. No wonder then that people used to tell me to enjoy my school days and not be in a hurry to join the workforce.

Over the last few years, since I finished my masters degree and entered the work force, I have flirted on and off with the idea of pursuing further education. The reason for this was mainly personal and professional growth, but I have to confess that a small part of me longed for the familiar academic environment that I had grown accustomed to and comfortable with.

For a while, I considered resuming the CFA certification I had left unfinished a few years back. But given my professional trajectory, that certification no longer really added much value to my résumé. In fact, that was the very reason I had abandoned it in the first place. Having completed the first level, and studied for the second, I can attest to the fact that preparing for it consumes all the free time you have, and this is while you are working a full-time job. That didn’t really appeal to me, or the Honey Bee, anymore.

Next, I seriously considered going back to school for a PhD. I did some serious research here, looking into areas of study that interested me as well as schools. I spoke to current and former students, read a number of relevant blogs, forums, etc.
A PhD has numerous benefits compared to other courses of study including free education & stipends to substitute your lost income during that period, full-time dedication that does not require you to juggle your time between your income generating job and your education, etc. However, despite all this, I finally decided against it because 5-6 years of a relatively unstructured course of study didn’t really appeal to me. In fact, it generally takes longer; something I was definitely not okay with.
In terms of post PhD employment, one of the primary avenues is academics which involves research and teaching. Research I’m all for, but teaching is an idea I wasn’t totally in love with. It was hard for me imagine my impatient self, trying to teach a class of students and spend my whole life doing that. The Honey Bee agreed, with the impatient part at least 😛 . Additionally, during my research I found out that getting employment as a PhD is getting harder by the day and there is intense competition for very few spots. Armed with all these conclusions, this option was axed.

Then, I looked online searching for courses that might be interesting to me including Microsoft Office certifications. However, given that I am very comfortable with the Office suite of products, and my work is testimony to my abilities in this area, a silly certification doesn’t really add that much value. Now, it might have added some degree of credibility if I was a newbie fresh out of college, but since that is not the case, I dropped the idea.

Then a couple of months ago, my wonderful little brother who holds a CFA asked for my opinion on a 60+ hour online financial modeling course that he was considering. I looked into it, and turns out it is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to help boost my professional skill set and add to my résumé, all without eating up all of my free time. A secondary benefit also emerged- for the first time in our lives my younger brother and I are going to be studying “together”, something I’m pretty stoked about.

Happy Studying!

Madrid Getaway: Part 2-Wedding Fun

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we visited Madrid and loved it. The principal reason behind visiting Madrid was to attend a close friend’s wedding. I’ve written before about how marriages in Spain are declining in popularity. You might want to read that to get some background before proceeding.

From the moment we reached Madrid, we spent quite a few hours shopping. This was because the Honey Bee and I were unsure about what to wear, especially given that this was going to be our first Spanish wedding. After chatting with friends, I had pretty much narrowed down what I would wear- basically a nice suit and a tie. However, for women it is a little more complicated. And because of this, I learned a lot about women’s clothing on this trip.

The Honey Bee spoke to her friends and figured out she’d need to wear a nice dress, with matching shoes (heels for the ceremony, flats for the dancing), a number of accessories, and lots of make-up. Apparently, women go all out at Spanish weddings, spending hours on their hair and make-up, often hiring someone to do it for them. Also, women can’t wear white because to do so would overshadow the bride. Another issue is the length of the dress- long vs. short. Apparently the protocol is long dresses for day weddings and short for evening weddings. However, from what I’ve read it depends heavily on each bride and also the part of the country.

So we spent over 4 hours shopping for a wedding dress and shoes. We tried every store we had heard of, and then some that we hadn’t. These included Primark, H&M, Zara, pretty much all the standard stores. We had a number of false positives- my term for when she thought she found a dress she liked, but then didn’t. After hours and hours of queuing up outside trial rooms we found something that might work.

So, the evening of the wedding, we headed all dressed up to the church. A beautiful edifice with stained glass windows and high arched ceilings. After everyone was done with introductions and chit-chatting and had taken a seat, the music started and the bride entered. She was dressed in a gorgeous long white dress. What followed were a number of beautiful short speeches and prayers by members of the family and the priest. Since it was really hot (around 38º Celsius) everyone was trying to cool themselves with hand fans, which was actually a really pretty sight. You don’t often get to see so many well-dressed people using old-school hand fans.

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After the couple said their vows, they exchanged rings. I was surprised to see that there was no “you may now kiss the bride” nor any applause after the rings were exchanged. I later found out that was more the case with American weddings, which tend to be a little less formal.

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After the ceremony, we all waited for the bride and groom to come down the stairs outside the church. As they did, we showered them with flower petals and cheered. After some small talk, we headed into air-conditioned buses (a welcome respite from the heat) that consequently made their way to the dinner location. It was a beautiful rustic farmhouse with domed brick ceilings and a quaint garden. We hung out in the garden drinking wines, champagnes, ciders, etc. and munching on finger food while the bride and groom mingled with their guests. The wedding also gave me a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends from school and introduce them to the Honey Bee.

Later, we headed in for dinner. The dining room was large and filled with close to 20 circular tables. The bride and groom pre-decide the seating arrangement for all the guests to try and ensure everyone is with their respective group and no one feels left out. We looked up our table number, and took a seat at our table. The bride and groom entered almost dancing to music and took their seats with their families at the presidential table at the head of the room.

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What followed was a wonderfully orchestrated symphony of waiters. 20 waiters, all dressed identically, paraded into the room and took a spot behind each table. Then, they all waited until the waiter serving the presidential table signaled and then proceeded to begin serving their respective tables. The women at each table were served first, then the men. Everything was rehearsed and well-coordinated. The same routine was repeated for every course of the meal.

After a wonderful 3 course dinner and lots of drinks the couple went around the room doing a little dance with the bouquet. As most of us know, as per American tradition the bride throws the bouquet into the air to see who catches it. It is believed that the one who catches it will be the next to get married.  In Spain, the bride delivers the bouquet, but does so in a roundabout fashion dancing and moving from table to table to keep everyone guessing. Finally, over the next few minutes the couple visited each table to talk and have pictures taken with their guests.

At the end of it, we all filed into a smaller room where an open bar prepared everyone to hit the dance floor to the latest Spanish and English hits. Some couples danced fancy, while others like us simply did the best they could and had a great time. At around 2 am, we were all tired and headed back out into the garden. The weather was considerably cooler so it was nice being outdoors.

At 2 am, the first bus arrived to take us back into the city. The second was scheduled for 5 am. Since we were all very tired, it was critical to ensure we were on that first bus or else we might have to spend the rest of the night there. A short sprint later, we and the rest of our group were snuggly in our seats. I, for one, could barely keep my eyes open and feel asleep no sooner than the bus started. Others talked about the evening. 45 minutes later we bid adieu to our friends as we disembarked and headed to our hotel for a good night’s shuteye.

The next day we would head back home and said good-bye to this marvelous city.
Thank you Madrid for such a great time, and Congratulations to our dear friend!

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

A couple of weeks ago, we asked some friends out for dinner. After some back and forth as to the date and time, we all finally agreed. I should mention here that these are close friends who we hadn’t seen in a while, so we were really looking forward to catching up with them over a good long meal.

However, as an anti-climax they also mentioned they would invite some additional friends who we might get along with. Initially, it felt like a little bit of a let down because we thought we wouldn’t really be able to catch up with new people around. But the real reason I think, and this is me being completely honest, is that we hadn’t really hung out with people in a large group outside of work in a long time. We had gotten so used to hanging out one-on-one with friends, we weren’t sure if we’d really enjoy it.

Nonetheless, we went into it with a positive attitude, and as you can imagine things turned out pretty well. Everyone was really nice and we got along great. We also ended up making a whole bunch of new friends. We even hung out after dinner chit-chatting and making plans to hang out together again.

So, all in all, I’m really glad we pushed ourselves outside our comfort zone. As for the catching up, well, we have another dinner lined up soon. 🙂

Take-aways from our Moving Experience

We recently moved to a new apartment and are very happy with the new place. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the right way would be to make this post. It’s a long and convoluted story and I wanted to do it without boring the readers, but at the same time not leaving out the juicy bits. I think I finally figured out how.

There is a saying often attributed to Warren Buffer that goes something like this: “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” In that vein, I’ve prepared a short list of takeaways from our moving experience, each accompanied by a short story. That way, you can indulge in a little bit of harmless schadenfreude, while learning something useful that might come in handy in the future.

1. Always overestimate the amount of stuff you think you have.

When we started planning the move, we figured we probably had enough to stuff to fill 10-15 boxes. However, as we made headway, we realized we were waaaay off and the situation turned stressful. There is always stuff you forget to account for, not to mention the whole bunch of little stuff spread around the house that becomes a lot when you put it together.

Take-away: Estimate double. If you don’t, you will end up super-stressed when you find out that after hours of packing, you’ve barely made a dent. On the other hand, if you overestimate, you avoid the feeling of disappointment and futility, and probably feel good once (if) you realize you have lesser stuff than you estimated.

2. Don’t pinch pennies. You’ll regret it later.

To prepare for the move, we took a friend’s recommendation and decided to buy a whole bunch of moving boxes from the local discount store. During the move, those boxes started tearing and falling apart. We ended up having to buy a number of extra boxes from Ikea and spending more than anticipated. Not to mention the constant worry of the cheap boxes tearing open in the middle of the street.

Take-away: Buy your moving boxes at Ikea. They are really good quality, well designed, have a high weight tolerance and are completely worth the couple of extra cents.

3. Murphy was a wise man. Pay him heed: When something can go wrong, it will. 

We had visited the new apartment multiple times before the move. However, we didn’t on the day of the move. Over the course of a couple of hours, we unloaded multiple car trips worth of boxes in the common area of the building. We figured it’d be more efficient to accumulate a whole bunch of stuff there and then move it all up to the apartment together in the elevator.

Turns out, the elevator was out-of-order. Now, we had a whole bunch of stuff just sitting in the common area with nowhere to go. We called the elevator company and they sent a technician. However, since it was the weekend, he was the only guy on call. All in all, we lost a good 8-12 hours between him arriving, figuring out the problem and fixing it.

Take-away: Don’t take anything for granted. Double-check your moving infrastructure before you begin. This includes keys to both apartments, your car, the road (no road closures), elevators, etc.

4. Spend the extra money to make your move less stressful.

The last time we moved, we did it ourselves. But, that was before we amassed so much “stuff.” This time, as the boxes started to accumulate, the trepidation built-up. We realized there was no way to humanly move so many boxes even with multiple trips in our little car.

Thanks to some quick thinking on the Honey Bee’s part, we were able to find and hire some movers. Since it was last-minute and they had other commitments, they couldn’t help us with the entire move, but they helped us with the vast majority of our boxes, especially the heavy stuff.

Take-away: If you have more boxes than your age, hire a mover. Your back will thank you.

5. Label all your boxes

Label all your boxes, tagging them on the top and any 2 opposite facing sides. That way no matter how the boxes are stacked or arranged, you will almost always be able to see the tags and know what is where. It will be especially useful while unpacking.

We did this for most of the boxes, but got a little lazy towards the end. It was the unlabeled boxes that were the hardest to unpack and organize in the new apartment.

Take-away: Don’t get lazy. Tag all your boxes. It will make unpacking and settling-in a whole lot easier.

6. During the move, forget cooking.

We got this part right. Over the 2-3 day moving period, we didn’t even try to cook. We ordered out every time. We were so drained from all the moving, neither of us could muster up the strength to cook, or even wait for the food to be cooked. Not to mention the fact that all the kitchen stuff was spread out across various boxes.

Take-away: Treat yourself to good food after a hard day of moving.

7. After you’re done with the move, get a recovery massage.

I’m glad to say we got this last part right too. After all the trials and tribulations of the move, my back was completely out. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t lift a heavy grocery bag from the floor. After our massages, we emerged from the spa healed and feeling much better, ready to enjoy the new apartment.

Take-away: After a stressful move, treat yourself. You deserve it!

Happy Moving!

 

Taste Memories

Isn’t it amazing how we have memories tied to certain a taste, or smell or song? And isn’t it funny how you don’t realize you had that memory until something triggers it?

Yesterday, after enjoying a nice evening walk the Honey Bee and I were headed home for dinner. We happened to cross a new Mexican restaurant that we’ve been meaning to visit, but never have. On an impulse, we decided to dine there.

I ordered a burrito and on the very first bite, as soon as it hit my tongue, I was immediately transported back some 10 years to when I was a student in the US. The university cafeteria had a burrito that tasted just like it.

The burrito was good, but nothing I’d write home about. However, the memory it triggered made me relish the burrito. With every bite I took, I was re-living my care free university days. I was enjoying it so much that the Honey Bee had to ask me to keep the noises from my foodgasm down. 😛

While writing this post, I did some quick desktop research on the subject and was pleasantly surprised to find research on the subject. Here’s an extract of a summary of one of the findings:

A functional link between the brain region responsible for taste memory and the area responsible for encoding the time and place we experienced the taste had been found. The findings expose the complexity and richness of the simple sensory experiences that are engraved in our brains and that in most cases we aren’t even aware of.

Suffice it to say, I liked the memory it triggered that I was unaware I had and that we will definitely be going back to that restaurant.

My 2 cents on e-book readers

Today, I’d like to take a minute to focus on a much debated topic. No, I’m not talking about Trump, or his immigration policies. Today’s post is about something far more interesting: e-book readers.

Let me get started with a little bit of background. For the first 12-14 years of my life, I hated books with a vengeance and would do what I could to avoid them in my free time. Dad literally had to force me to read. This included resorting to bribery, guilt trips and oftentimes, a good old-fashioned scolding. He made me start with newspapers and then moved me on to books.

Because of all the forcing, I now really enjoy reading (Thanks dad!) and consider it a source of growth and personal development. I consider myself a news junkie (the text kind, not the TV/radio kind). While I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a book-worm, I am certainly never against the idea of plopping myself onto the bean bag and devouring a good book. While I certainly don’t get as much time to read as I used to, I enjoy getting in a few hours of reading during the weekends, and maybe an hour or two during the week.

My first transition away from paper books and to e-books was with an old tablet that I repurposed to use as an e-book reader. While it worked all right, it always did cause some strain to the eyes. I wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but I’d often find myself reading at an angle to avoid the full glare of the tablet from hurting my eyes, especially at night. I had looked into e-readers a number of times in the past, but was never quite convinced that the € 100 or so investment was worth it. The Honey Bee has also tried to convince me on multiple occasions, but her efforts were in vain.

Finally, up about 2 weeks ago, I took the plunge. After looking around for a bit I settled on the Amazon Kindle. Now, there are a number of other pprwt
brands out there that have hardware that is just as good. The most popular one I found was the Kobo. However, I decided to go with Amazon simply for the size of its book store. You see, when you buy an e-book, you are more or less permanently tied to that device maker’s online bookstore. And since Amazon had its beginnings selling books, and is now a global giant, I figured they’d probably have one of the largest collections. Plus, I figure the chances of Amazon going bust in the foreseeable future are significantly lower than those of the other manufacturers.

My first book on the Kindle Paperwhite is a classic: A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Burton Malkiel). I must say, the difference in the reading experience is stark. The technology makes it feel like I’m reading a real book on paper with little to no strain associated with the screen. This is a welcome change that I feel will allow me to read more, especially after days when my eyes are fatigued from staring at a screen at work all day.

To sum up, I’d highly recommend you consider getting an e-reader, especially if you’ve already made the transition to e-books and are reading on a tablet/ phone/ phablet/ computer. My recommendation is the Kindle for the above-mentioned reasons. I chose the Paperwhite ‘coz it’s fairly well priced at c. €120 and offers backlighting which allows me to read in low light conditions or at night.

Happy reading!