If you had a time traveling camera and went back four years ago to my bedroom in the evening (mind out of the gutter) you would often see my wife and me reading our books before calling it a night.

A year ago you would see us both reading our Kindles before calling it a night.

Last night as we were in bed, we were both interacting with our iPads. Not just reading, interacting and therein lies a huge change.

I’m just beginning to see what an impact the iPad is having on my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved books but books create a number of storage issues. Between my wife and I, we had books all over the house. When I traveled, the weight of my books often exceeded the weight of my shirts.  My Kindle changed all this.

The Kindle supplied a way to carry all my books with me and a way to purchase books if I ran low. It weighed only slightly more than a large paperback . I had a really nice leather cover that gave it almost the exact feel of a nice book. I loved the way the E ink looked so much like a printed page. At times I forgot it was a Kindle and found myself looking for something to bookmark my place. No more looking for a book, no more lost places and I no longer had to carry a small library around with me.

When Apple came out with an iPad, I was unimpressed. My Kindle was better as a reader and my laptop was a more powerful computer. It’s opinions like this that make me glad I’m married. Fortunately my wife had a different viewpoint. Her Kindle (gen. 1) was showing its age and she got an iPad for this Christmas. Earlier in the year I had gotten an Android smart phone and I was just beginning to really use and rely on apps. While I’ve been accused of taking four months just to buy a labeler (in my own defense, it was a great price and I’m still using it after three years), my wife had her iPad for less than a month before I realized how wrong I was and got my own.

I had no idea how much the instant on feature and portability changed the way I look at things. My computer has an SSD allowing me to boot in less than 30 seconds. My iPad is still faster. If I want to check a reference, look up an article or even manage my website, I grab the iPad. If I want to look at a TV guide, the iPad is faster than finding the guide. I use my iPad as a Kindle, as an internet gateway, as a video player and even as a game machine. I even take online classes with it. So far I’ve spent less than $50 in apps for my iPad and it does almost everything I could ask. I find myself reading less and spending more time interacting with the world. Is that a good thing, a bad thing? I’m still wondering myself but I’m enjoying it.

I think the tablet is a serious game changer. I believe the tablet is and will continue to have a significant impact on our society. It’s certainly changed the way my wife and I view the world.

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