Ebooks and Excercise Machines

On Teleread is a post about reading ebooks while excercising and asking for advice. I think he might be making this too complicated. I have read a number of ebooks (including Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdown) in a gym while working on a stair machine or orbital trainer. I was using my Handspring Visor Prism with iSilo. I used no special stand, just setting it in the U-shaped tray on the machine. I never used auto-scrolling, though, preferring instead to set it such that a tap on the bottom half of the screen turned the page forward, top half backward. About every 20 or 30 seconds I’d reach up and tap the screen to turn the page. No big whoop, and significantly less hassle than autoscrolling, which I always found to be a pain in the ass.

Reading on the Handspring in the gym was easier than just about any paper reading on the same excercise equipment. Page turning is always an issue, as is holding it open. I had a metal wire dealy that was a book open-holder, but it radically complicated the simple act of flipping the page. Trust me, the ebook was way easier and way more pleasurable as a gym reading platform.

Update: A little cross-blog chatter is now happening. David Rothman responds to my response saying that his treadmill is old enough that it doesn’t have the built in plastic lip. In that case, I’ve seen plenty of gyms in the old days that had plasic covers that fit over the controls but did the same function. The built-in lips today emulate what the inserts used to do. He should see if they make one of those for his treadmill or even just find a similar one. Setting the device down where it’s simple to scan from the ebook to the controls of the machine is another thing that makes the experience more pleasant. I hate having to lift up the book to see how much time I have left, just as I hate having to lift it up to turn pages or take the metal gizwhickey off. Everyone about the ebooks makes them a better read than anything other thing tabloid shaped newspapers. Everything else is a pain when you are on the machine.

In his taking the excerpt of what I said, he corrected my spelling of “Doctrow” to “Doctorow”. Man, I wish I wouldn’t do that!

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