The Saga of the eReader, part one

I resisted eReaders for a long time.   I don’t know if it was fear of change, the relatively low quality of fiction when eBooks first hit the scene, my love of reading in the bathtub (and the relative safety if I forgot where I was and took a book into the shower with me), or simple job security.

But my fear of change annoys me.  Most of my favorite authors are now releasing electronic versions of their books and a few have completely switched over.  I can be taught to take only hardcopy books into wet places or, possibly, to not multitask while bathing—odds are, I’ll only mess up once.

And since my library started offering downloadable eBooks* through Wilbur and NetLibrary, I’ve learned that the public still needs librarians—especially librarians who know a data port from a power port.** 

An eReader takes up less space, too.  I’m getting tired of lugging around reading material and manuscripts in my shoulderbag, not to mention the wear and tear—if I had a chiropractor, he’d be torn between his Hippocratic Oath*** or putting his kids through Yale.

Decision made.  Now, which one to get?

This was tough—so tough that, as I think I mentioned before, I e-mailed the tech-savvy and extremely patient Sarah Wendell over at Smart Bitches and told her what I needed in an eReader.  She suggested Sony or the Kindle.  My friend Grace had a Sony Touch and she showed me how easy it was to make notes on a pdf file.  Sold!

Except I’m on a budget.  So I started saving up the money with the goal of giving myself a useful Christmas present . . . and frittered most of it away on four all-weather tires earlier this month.   I sighed and started over, figuring it would make a good birthday present.  And it wasn’t like I really needed an eReader.  It’s a luxury item.

But it turns out that the finance people over at Honda forgot to stop taking car payments out of my account and I forgot that they aren’t supposed to do that anymore.  So a nice reimbursement check arrived last week that wasn’t earmarked for anything. 

Seriously.  Nothing.  Checked with my husband first and everything.  And I placed an order for a brand-new, shiny Sony Touch, a charger, and a carrying case before the words, “I don’t think so,” were completely out of his mouth.  I might have done a few steps of the New Toy Happy Dance.

Because a true story without a touch of slapstick isn’t one of mine, I must mention that one hour and seventeen minutes after I received notice that my order shipped, the clothes washer^ disgraced itself all over the floor and suffered a nervous  breakdown from, I assume, sheer embarrassment.

But that’s tomorrow’s post.

My brand-new, shiny Sony Touch arrived today.   And now all I have to do is learn to use it.  

Perhaps while waiting for the repairperson to arrive.  Or at the Laundromat.

Either way, I’m determined to have something to read . . . even if it’s only the user’s guide.

___

*If your public library doesn’t, you might want to say something to your director.   If they don’t know there’s a need for a service, they won’t provide it.

**Because, you know, they teach us to read labels in library school.

***Do chiropractors do this?  Do physicians still do this?  Because they damn well should.

^It was a ticking timebomb anyway—the warrantee and the service contract expired a while back.