Why John Le Carre left me with sore fingers

By | February 23, 2015
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Welcome to the first weekly version of my Tech Tips emails.  I’ve got a mixed bag for you today, including something that only works if you  use Google Chrome to browse the web and why John Le Carre left me with sore fingers (and how technology could have helped)…

A nifty tip to search for a picture on the internet
This is one of those tips that you don’t need very often, but when you do, it’s really handy.
It only works in Google Chrome, I’m afraid, not Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Here’s the scene: you’re reading something on the internet and see a picture of some great building or natural scene. “I’d like to know more about that place” you think to yourself. But you don’t know where it is. Or maybe instead there’s a picture of an actor and you think “I’m sure I recognise him… but who is it?”

Hold down the ‘s‘ key on your keyboard and right click on the picture. Or click on the picture and drag it up to the address bar at the top of the window.

Either way it’ll search the internet for pictures like that one – and give you the details about them. So you might find a picture of the Taj Mahal, complete with lots of information about it. or you might find out that the actor was Roy Kinnear, complete with lots of information about him.

As I say, you probably won’t use it very much, but it’s very clever to be able to search the internet for a photo, not just for something you type in. And when you do want to use it, it can be very handy indeed.

Tablet books now publicly available
I said last time that I wasn’t planning to witter on about these any more! So I’ll keep this very short. The books are now available to the general public, so if you were thinking of mentioning them to a friend, it’s pretty straightforward – the books are on our main website (or they can just ring us). I know quite a lot of people who bought the books have been passing the word on, so I’d thought I’d mention that other people can get at them on the website now!

A busy weekend made me think about ebooks
I had a pretty busy time this weekend. Chopping wood for kindling for the fire. Bathing the boys. Lots of playing the garden. Cleaning the kitchen. Fitting a radiator (we’ve just redecorated a room and had to take it off while we did it).

By Sunday evening I was ready to put my feet up and have a relaxing read. But I also had very dry chapped hands from the things I’d been doing. I put some hand cream on, of course, then sat down to read.

I had a paperback John Le Carré novel I picked up in a second hand shop. Perfect for a light evening relaxing.

But every time I turned the page, my fingers got drier and drier. It was that kind of paper, that you get in old paperbacks.

It had never occurred to me before, but it’s an unexpected advantage of ebooks – the pages don’t dry your hands out (as well as the fact you can change the text size to whatever you want).

I’d like to end by saying that I stopped and read the book on a tablet instead. But I didn’t – too lazy to go upstairs and get it once I was settled in my comfy chair (plus I didn’t want to buy a book I already had in a paperback or switch to a different book I had on the tablet).

So I just put some more handcream on and carried on.

What do you think? I read books on paper and on tablets – I don’t have a particular allegiance one way or the other. But do you prefer one or the other? You can leave a comment at the bottom of the web version of this email, here.

19 thoughts on “Why John Le Carre left me with sore fingers

  1. Margaret

    Pleased to see the newsletter is now weekly Tim!
    I prefer paper books. I feel like I’m accomplishing something each time I turn a page. Plus I stare at screens far too much during the day, I feel like I can “switch off” reading a book.

  2. Tony

    Thanks for weekly newsletters.
    I like Books & Tablet, the latter useful for holidays.
    I guess your copy of John Le Carre is now covered in
    hand cream!!! For those who use Tablets but are concerned about ‘staring at screens,’ as Margaret, why not try Audio Books on Tablet now & then!
    Some of the readers used, have great voices to listen to. A tip! Don’t use your Tablet, if your hands are covered with hand cream!!! Sorry Tim! Tony

  3. Michael Judge

    Proper books every time. Ebooks have their place I suppose, but the smell and feel of paper books and spending time looking around 2nd hand book shops cannot be experienced with tablets.

  4. Anne May

    I agree that there is great satisfaction to be gained from reading a ‘proper’ book. However, when I do read a book on my tablet I don’t buy it but borrow the book from my library. Using Overdrive Media Console is one way of doing this.

  5. Tim Post author

    Interesting balance so far! It looks like I’m not alone in reading a mixture of paper books and ebooks.
    I definitely agree with Michael, too, one of the big advantages of paper books is browsing around 2nd hand bookshops, never knowing what you’ll find…

  6. June

    I too have a tablet but still prefer the feel of a proper paper book.Plus you don’t have to keep plugging it in before you read it.Since our council closed our mobile library I have been able to download books from Amazon at a very reasonable price.I can still read my favourites plus some old ones not always available .Best of both worlds.June

  7. Pete Lansdell

    Re Paper Books or electronic. Paper every time! I even print out lengthy e-mails as they are much easier to read that way than on the screen.


  8. Mort

    Paper book first certainly – but the elderly, with diminishing vision, can increase type size on e-books ( I think !) But I confess never to have tried it.

  9. Pete Howarth

    There are several advantages to reading a book, as opposed to ebooks and one I have never seen or noticed by anyone – apart from myself is that the memory retains passages/incidents, you can recall left or right page and top or bottom of that page, doesn’t always work but surprising how often it does, never on a Kindle. Pete H

  10. patricia

    I use both but for reading in bed prefer my kindle especially if I am awake in the night as I can read it without putting on a light! I would only take my kindle on holiday as it doesn’t take so much room as several books!

  11. Bern

    1)Have often wondered about finding place names for unidentifiable photos and you have come up with an idea. However, I use Internet Explorer. I suppose I could change to Google Chrome but what other advantages/disadvantages does this have compared with IE?
    2) Have always done my own decorating but dread the idea of temporarily removing a radiator. Any tips?

    1. Tim Post author

      Chrome is pretty similar to IE to be honest. (Google would hate me saying that, but it’s true). I find it tends to run a little quicker, so I tend to prefer it. But it’s not very different.
      I must admit, I was nervous about the radiator. I’m pretty good with some DIY things, but have never been much of a hand at plumbing.
      One end had a stop valve on it, so we could just turn it off. For the other end, we used one of those freezing kits, that freezes the pipe while you take the radiator off and put a stop-end on. Apparently it gives you half an hour – but we had another kits handy in case it started to thaw!
      I think my biggest tip is to make sure you have all the spanners and everything for the right sizes handy before starting! And have lots of rags and old towels to mop up any spills!

  12. Gaynor

    I love books but have read some on my iPad kindle. There is nothing like turning the page and handling a real book. Although I frequent our local library I also buy books, sometimes keeping them and sometimes passing them on to charity shops. I cannot imagine life without books. A kindle for holiday reading is perfect though as books are so weighty.

  13. Terry Anderton

    Thank you for your newsletter Tim.

    I am very selfish with my books, definitely nothing like a real book and most of the books I own I wont let go off as they usually all have a story (pardon the pun) of why I want to keep them. I also love search old book and charity shops. I have managed over the years to replace all the books I did let go of in my youth.

    Best wishes,

  14. Frances

    Thank you for your tip on searching a picture on the internet. I have kept a copy for future use. I do use Google Chrome. However, I don’t own a tablet, just a laptop which is all I need. I also prefer print on paper rather than looking at a bright screen. I would add I have found some of your past comments very helpful and am glad to be able to express my appreciation.

  15. Joan Scott

    I enjoy reading for an hour every evening when I go to bed, it relaxes me and when I feel my eyes getting heavy I put my kindle down and off to sleep I go. The reason I prefer my kindle is because I have arthritis in my neck and one shoulder and I was finding holding a book was making the pain a lot worse, however the e-book is so light I can read in comfort with no after effects. I am also saving electric because I have the Kindle Paperwhite with the backlight that you can alter to suit your own preference. So I vote for the e-book

  16. Jeanne M Turner

    I have always loved reading and real books but they take up so much room! So I really love my Kindle Paperwhite – also have the free app on both my laptop and tablet but the Paperwhite is best of all.

  17. Elaine Briggs

    I found myself with aching wrists after reading a paperback book recently. Hardbacks are not so bad but I found it uncomfortable to have to hold the paperback open all the while I read it.
    On the plus side, I find it hard to remember what I’ve read on my Kindle. Probably because every time you pick up a book to continue reading you see the cover and the title and authors name, so it stays in your memory. The Kindle takes you straight to the page you last read.


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