Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Enhanced Reading

Reading has always been a passion of mine, but recently  I've discovered a way to really enhance the experience.

I was reading a book called Inferno by Dan Brown.  His main  character in his books, Robert Langdon, is a specialist in symbolism and the story took place in several European cities.  Mr. Brown often mentions such things as artwork, architecture, and city streets without boring you with long descriptive detail.  That's where my tablet came in handy.  I simply Googled whatever he was talking about and got to see the settings, or the art he was interpreting for myself.

 The next book I picked up was The Perseid Collapse, by Steven Konkoly.  This is a near future apocalyptic story, realistic enough to get you thinking about storing things to help you survive.  It's set on the east coast, and the characters travel around a lot, getting to safety.  While Mr. Konkoly is more prone to long winded descriptions than Mr. Brown, his references to towns and highways also had me opening up the tablet to check where he was taking his characters, and where rivers were, so I'd understand how far a wave of water might travel inland.  For this I used Google maps.

Actually, at the beginning of the digital version of The Perseid Collapse, there was a link to download the Report of the Commission to assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.  I did that, as it was free from within the book. I found it fascinating to discover all ways our lives would be affected by an EMP.  The way we live would be disrupted in so may ways, there would be complete chaos.

I always knew reading could take you to another world, but now I can get a good look at it, if I want to, and maybe even learn something about these places along the way. I have no idea why I've seldom thought to consult the computer about what I have been reading in the past.  Maybe it was just too much trouble to walk to another room and turn the darn thing on.  But a tablet is different.  You can pick it up along with your book, or maybe even download the book and read it on the machine in the first place.   It's now so easy to  take a moment to see what is in the author's mind that reading will never be the same for me ever again.  It might take me longer to read a book in the future, if I keep looking things up.  I don't see that as a problem with that, other than, as I've mentioned before, my stack of books grows faster than I work my way through them. 

It is said that in life we should stop and smell the roses.  While reading, I will now stop and at least take a look at some of them.

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