Peter Derk's Reviews > Veins

Veins by Drew
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Jul 18, 11

bookshelves: reviewed
Read from July 14 to 18, 2011

This is a dual review, Veins by Drew, which I read on the iPad and is the first eBook I read on an eReader from start to finish.

Let's start with the book.

Drew is the hilariousness behind the web site Toothpaste For Dinner, a site that's been entertaining millions of my brain cells for years. In particular, check out this one. Or this one. Or, if those don't tickle your fancy, try fucking yourself.

Drew wrote a book, and here is that book.




It's written in a sort of diary format, following the main character from high school and beyond, if ripping off Goodwill donations is considered "beyond."

The book is infused with the kind of humor we've come to expect from Drew. A couple of my favorite quotes:

On working at the zoo:

I would go around to the cages and pull out pretzel bags and other food that people threw. Animals don't see advertising, so they don't want to eat junk food. That's why they eat celery and apples.

On origami:

Free paper is easy. You go to the library and get books (free) and when you get them home, you pull out all the blank pages in the front and the back. It saves everyone else from flipping so much to get past them, and you can use the paper for lists, or letters, or signs. Some people might say to make origami, but that's a waste of paper. Everyone knows what a bird looks like, they don't need you to fold one.

On guinea pigs:

Most animals are named what they are. A cat is just a cat. A penguin is just a penguin. You can't get mad at a penguin the same way as a guinea pig. The name doesn't make you think they're going to do fetch. Call it an Ice Dog and it's different.

And, best of all, a new slogan for ice cream:

It's cold, it's dessert. We call it Ice Cream.

I think this book has lower ratings than it deserves, and I think it's because the story takes a handful of dark turns. But the turns it takes are for the sake of humor, and I sure as hell didn't find them to kill the mood or anything like that.

There could be some criticism that the story or the structure sometimes suffers in favor of a joke here and there. I wouldn't disagree with that, but the jokes are funny enough that it's justified, and frankly an out-loud laugh is rarer in reading than a story that is sensible and well paced. Who the fuck reads a book and says, "I loved it. It was very sensible."

Hell, it's a quick read, and it's five bucks. Do it, and if you hate it, read the hours of free shit on the web site and consider the five bucks payment for all of that instead.

End of Veins review.

Begin iPad reading experience.

It's screen reading. It's nicer than I thought it would be, honestly, but it's still a screen. That part I wasn't so hot on.

The interface is pretty easy to use, although I could not count the number of times I turned a page accidentally on the fingers I used to perform said action. It's a little sensitive for my liking, and it's fairly rare that I accidentally turn back a page in an analog book when I meant to turn forward. I'm not the most coordinated person, but usually I don't fuck up a motion and do the exact opposite on accident.

The only thing that made it better than reading the physical book was the fact that I got it in moments using the Kindle App. That part was nice. And it was only 5 bucks instead of 10.

But...because this was a short book, and because it wasn't the type of book you're going to find in a bookstore or library (unless you are a patron of a really great fantasy library where they give you candy and all the librarians are sexy because of their bodies AND brains, but probably more from the bodies) it made good sense to read it electronically. Reading a longer book, however, would kind of suck. And if it were a book where I could wait a day and get the physical copy in my hands, I'd do that. Plus, I would have then sent this book to my brother, and now I can't. I mean, I sort of can, but he'd have to put Kindle on his computer and then read it on his computer. That's sort of like buying someone a candle designed so that the wick is three inches into the wax and you have to dig it out first. Shitty, is what I'm saying.

So:

iPad Good: Reading short books that are priced at 50% cheaper or more online and that are not readily available in your area.

iPad Bad: Everything else, aka Most Literature.
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