Friday, April 30, 2010

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes. I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since before I even knew who Sherlock Holmes was. Honestly, I may have been the biggest fan of the Great Mouse Detective as a child and I have been a fan of the Holmes genre since.

I had been working through a hardcover copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for nearly a decade now. I don’t know how I have managed to not finish it. I must have restarted it three or four times over the years, but I never actually read the thing cover to cover.

I think most of the problem was the copy of the book itself. It was easier to get through paper backs because I could carry those around with me easily. Half of the books I used to read could fit into my pockets if I needed them to. Carrying around a big hardcover also wasn’t all that conducive to the surreptitious reading during class that I eventually became infamous for.

When I started downloading apps for my iPod Touch this past year, I immediately noticed that a lot of the classics were available to download for free for this device. Naturally, I grabbed The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as soon as I saw it.

The stories themselves are the same as the physical copies of the book and I really can’t say much about them. I mean, it’s Sherlock Holmes. You can’t really go wrong there.

Reading it on the iPod was an interesting experience. I really enjoyed having the book on a device that easily fit in my pockets. If I had a few minutes before class or was stuck waiting somewhere, I could easily pull it out and read a few pages. I liked the design of this particular application, which allowed you to swipe the screen to turn the pages instead of scrolling through text. Also, it wasn’t black text on a white background. It was over the image of faded paper, which is much easier on the eyes.

There were, of course, some down sides to reading it on the iPod. I couldn’t really read the book for extended periods of time because my hand would cramp up in the position I needed to hold it in to turn the pages easily. Also, even though the application bookmarked the page I left off on, there were times when I quit the application too quickly and it didn’t register the new page. This wasn’t really a problem, but it was annoying when it happened.

Overall, it was a learning experience. All the major book sellers are expanding into ebooks and, if the files are like this application, I can see it becoming a really lucrative market. Although I don’t think most ebook files are currently like this, it was cool to read something old in a new format.

I have downloaded several other classics in this form and will be reviewing each of those as well. I have read some of them before and some of them are books that I’ve been meaning to read for years, but because this experience was so positive, I’m looking forward to these other books.

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