This past summer, I got in the habit of reading Victorian classics on my HD2 phone1 But this is not a story about ebook readers being wonderful2. It’s about how one of the books I read tricked me. Or maybe I’m just really dense or ridiculous or …. what does the following story say about me?
I got free copies of a number of Trollope books from Oxford World Classics this past spring, but when it came time to read one, I ended up reading all of Can You Forgive Her? on my handheld. Before I began reading, I flipped through the hard copy to see how many pages. I always do that. I often read the entire last page first. I like it. I don’t believe in spoilers. Don’t get mad at me: I’m not the only one.
At any rate, Can You Forgive Her? was 420 pages, which is much less than a few other novels I read this summer. Wow, that must be really thick paper! I thought.I didn’t reference the hard copy again. (Sorry, Oxford World Classics. It’s a very pretty book on my shelf!)
I read the book on my handheld. It took forever. I didn’t really like it. (Read my rambling afterthoughts.) I was very frustrated. But I persevered! I was not going to be conquered by a book that was less than 500 pages! The “percent completed” on the bottom of the Freda screen got higher and finally, finally, finally. I was finished.
I wrote up my thoughts on it and moved on. Then I started thinking about reading another Trollope book for the upcoming Trollope Classics Circuit tour (Sign up before November 3!) and did some page count comparisons online (i.e., I look at how many pages each book was in the product descriptions). The next one in the Palliser series is 700+ pages according to Amazon! But it looks smaller than Can You Forgive Her? on my shelf? I was confused.
That’s when I realized: Can You Forgive Her? was more than 900 page. In the Oxford edition, the volumes restarted the page numbering. Are you serious? Did I really read a 900-page novel?!
I didn’t notice because it was an ebook.
I have a new appreciation for ebooks. I have a new appreciation for not reading the number of pages first. I think I would have been scared off from it. True, I didn’t like that particular book, but it wasn’t one to be intimidated by at all! It makes me wish I had a particular huge book in digital format so I wouldn’t be quite so intimated. Before I began book blogging, I didn’t notice page numbers! I kind of wish I could go back to the blissful ignorance of how few books I’ll get read in a lifetime if every book is over 900 pages.
So what does this tell about me? Has anyone else been “tricked” into reading a very very long book? Or am I just a weird reader?
- As it is a Windows Mobile operating system, I use a free ereader called Freda to access .pub files. I’m very satisfied with it, but I wouldn’t mind trying a Kindle app if they ever choose to make one! The Barnes and Noble nook app that came installed on the phone did not allow me to import my own free ebooks from Project Gutenberg; a nook account and B&N purchase were required to use it, and I was not interested in that. It also was very annoying to use and I could not sort books into folders. ↩
- Although it is wonderful! I really enjoyed the flexibility. Since I always have my phone with me, I could read anywhere I went, from walks to the park to the doctor’s office, to the library where my son did puzzles and I read. I also enjoyed being able to read after my husband was asleep: I didn’t need a light since it is backlit! ↩