Cloud reading – A different reading experience

Who does not love to read? It is such a nice feeling; it gives you such new and interesting opinions and points of view that, for some, it may actually become a different reality. It is like Second Life, the 3.0 version.

How many times you found yourself rushing home or towards a secluded place to finish reading the book you had in your hands? It seemed like it was burning, bursting with knowledge and exciting facts. How many times did you realize that you had just called in sick at work, just to be able to reading the final chapters of the book that made you rethink your life?

Reading gives you such an exhilarating feeling, it makes you laugh, even cry sometimes, makes you ponder over facts you know for a lifetime. Each author has the power to teleport its readers to the wonderful place that he writes about and makes you witness entire chapters of his characters’ lives.Readingmakes your imagination run wild; it brings you so many fulfillments and so many times, it just frees you from the day-to-day life you are stuck with. Maybe it gives you a reason for living… 🙂

Why do you read?

There are indeed many ways of reading. First of all, and the one I personally an addicted to, is reading out of passion. It is an addiction that you must feed with new and exciting books every day. Sometimes you feel suffocated with curiosity to see who the killer is or what happened with the main female character. Many passionate readers make a parallel to heroin – passion reading is as addictive and gives you the same high states of mind as Harry Jones.

There is also reading because you have to. Often found in situations like studying for an exam, studying a different branch of your domain at work, etc, this is the least most exciting way of enjoying a book and the knowledge it gives you. Even though sometimes you have to read something, try to find the enjoying parts of it. Try to discover everything that book has to offer – it may not be a bad thing that you have to at the end.

However, my personal favorite is reading as a social experience. This way of reading gets more and more followers, simply for its… social component. I love to talk about books that I have read or intend to read and especially about books that others suggest I would like. I often become a social hazard for taking over every book-related discussion in any group. Yes, in those moments my friends do not love me very much. 🙂 Some of my friends and my self are avid book club members, and love talking about a book with each other during ad-hoc club meetings. In addition, after finishing a book that has made a huge impression, on us we are quite likely to email a recommendation and chat for hours, debating over the book itself.

Passionate or not, I believe that everyone searches or writes/says something about a book before or after reading it. It is part of our human nature, it is part of us, as social beings and most certainly, we owe it to the books we love.

What do you use for reading?

It is long time now since that question it is not nonsense anymore. There are people who do not agree and accept the existence of anything else than books.  They simply love the smell of the pages of an old book or a recently bought one; it gives them the sense of ownership like a digital book would never do. However, not only the smell is the defying point for the choice, there are also the notes that a reader makes on the side of the pages. I know so many people that love writing things down on the side, that I can say without mistaking that most of them write a different novel there.

In the last years, there has been a war between hardcopy lovers and digital lovers. Both of them have their reasons, both category have important arguments to bring when they have to state their opinion, so that it is hard to decide which one is better.

Why do people read e-Books?

Ever since Steve Jobs came to market with the amazing “1000 songs in your pocket” motto for the iPod, I believe mentalities have changed dramatically. Do you remember how many tapes you had to take with you in a road trip before? At least 10, if not more! However, with the iPod everything changed – they had the chance to bring the discographies they loved with them, all in a small, easy to carry gadget.

With e-Books the portability is even greater; let’s see why. Firstly, you order a book and you do not have to wait between 3 days and 3 months to get to read it. Then, you can read it on any device you want: when at home or at the office you can read it on your desktop/laptop, when you are on the road you can simply read it on your tablet, mobile or e-Book reader. It cannot get any easier than this.

Of course printed books have their feeling, smell, look, they give you the appearance of a college student at any time or just look nice in your library, but if you want books fast, easy to read and always at hand, you have to go for the digital version of them.

What is cloud reading?

Imagine a book opened in fort of you right now. You would see the pages, be able to read it as you normally would, but (and here is the great stuff!) you would also have the possibility to see the annotations that other readers of that book made “on the side”. In addition, you could make annotations of your own.

What this concept wishes to capture, preserve and enhance is the social part of reading. Enjoy the book and share with other readers your ideas. It can bring you together with people you do not know, but who share the same ideas as you.

With cloud reading both benefits and disadvantages are many. On the one hand, it can be very useful for the groups that have to read the same book, for example. They can share in real time all their questions, answers, opinions and so on, which would help very much the whole process of learning. On the other hand, when reading for pleasure, you tend to indulge yourself in the state of “flow” – it is that moment when you are so deep in your lecture that you can physically feel the cold described by the author inAntarctica. When you get in that state, the last thing you need or want is another reader to ask you what a certain word means or what you understood from a certain passage of the book.

While other may not look at this new way of reading with very understanding and approving eyes, I managed to actually find a bunch of adepts that would love to be able to talk in real time to other people who love or hate the same book. Maybe it is simply a matter of generation opinion – perhaps youngsters that are used to so many distracting devices do not find popping out messages while reading as being a problem. Now, having said that, I feel old…

The only question left in my mind at this time is: wouldn’t it be nice if we were to have a cloud reading component in our mobile web apps? 🙂


CTO and Co-founder at Appticles

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