My mobile

The e-book reader.

For about a year or so now I’ve been thinking that it’d be handy to have some sort of portable pdf reader because I’ve got quite a collection which is limited to my brick of a laptop. For some reason, this matter popped back into my mind a couple of days ago[1] along with the question whether my mobile could display text files. I tried copying a file to the phone, but there’s really nothing on the phone which appears to recognise text files (or pdf files for that matter).

I did a search online, intending to find a phone which came with the facility to read a range of standard text types (out of curiosity; I’m not planning to replace my phone sooner than I have to), but found a program by tequilacat which converts text files to a .jar file which you can then copy to your phone via bluetooth. It includes some useful options such as the ability to include a Windows font in which the text will be displayed (I have to press the #-key a couple of times first), which is much more pleasant to read than the phone’s ghastly native sans serif “font”; altering the page and font colours; and sundry other options which I haven’t tried yet.

On my mobile, a 16pt font seems to be a reasonable size and I’ve set the page colour to a pallid yellow in a rough imitation of the colour of the paper found in a paperback. My first book was Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard which I can redo now that I have a better idea of what I’m doing. I’ve also put on Trent’s Last Case by E.C. Bentley along with Pope’s Rape of the Lock.

From the point of view of convenience, my phone is much more portable than an e-book reader. From what I’ve seen of them, they look rather fragile and are not the sort of kit you can shove in your pocket. It also means that on occasions when I might like to take a book somewhere with me, but such a thing isn’t feasible, then my phone will do quite nicely if I can find the text. Of course, that limits me largely to works from the 19th century and early 20th centuries unless I write my own. Would it make me a narcissist to read my own works?

1. Now I remember. I was having a look at Project Gutenberg, where such things were mentioned.
[06.08.13. Since I wrote this, I’ve acquired a Kindle. The good: it can store a lot of books and they’re searchable. The bad: the disconnection between indexes and the locations to which they refer.]

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