Never Assume


ceciliaNever Assume – that person messing with his or her mobile might be reading a book.

The first ebook I read in its entirety was Fanny Burney’s Cecilia, which I read on the tiny screen of my Palm Treo 680. We were reading it for my book group* and I tried to order it on Amazon, searching for “Fanny Burney.” It didn’t come up (I should have searched for “Frances Burney,” la-de-dah, Amazon), and I stupidly assumed (not all assumptions are stupid, but an awful lot of them are) that the book was out of print.

I had the brilliant idea of downloading the ebook from Gutenberg.org, and read the whole thing on my Treo. I was gripped by the story, which in itself is not extraordinary, but the experience of reading it was sort of like an archeological dig into Jane Austen’s head; it was obvious to me that the book was a favorite of Austen’s and had shaped her own style and influenced her greatly.

But I was also thrilled to pieces that I didn’t have to lug around a 900-page book. It was right there on my phone, which I had with me all the time anyway. I had no problem making my way through this very long book on a three-inch smartphone screen. I was all in with ebooks after that.

*well, some of us read it, some of us made fun of those who read it, which makes one wonder why they joined a book group if they didn’t want to, you know, read the books

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