So I was sitting quietly on my patio, reading a book (one cut from trees) and my husband asked me when I was going to enter the 21st Century and start reading e-books. “You have to keep up with your library customers you know.” I was not as surprised, shocked or offended as you may think. All of my children have one or another form of e-reader and it has only increased their reading. But when I had thought of it in the past I always came to the same conclusion: I have access to all the reading material I need, when I want them, with no pressure to return the books (although I always do). Why would I want to buy books online or download them from the library where I will have to return them on time?
Hmmm, I thought, what if the e-reader I purchased had more than books on it…e-mail, movies, music, magazines, games, specifically word games. And more to the point, a popular word game that you can play online with friends. It was too delicious to think about. So I marched down to my nearby appliance superstore and checked out the Kindle Fire. Twas lovely...and so colorful. I love new shiny objects! I bought it and luckily for me, my cousins were visiting, who happened to have a Nook Tablet which is almost the same thing. They helped me set it up and started me on that word game that very night. My addiction had begun.
But I didn’t stop there. After listening to all our elderly customers begging for help with their new e-reader (“I wish my daughter had bought me a sweater, instead”) I was determined to download library books and do it on my own. No help for me from our wonderful teens at Davis Library who come in every week and hold an e-reader clinic (shameless plug). I followed directions from our website and lo and behold, I had downloaded my first e-book: Catherine the Great by Robert Massie http://maryland.lib.overdrive.com/704C4A4C-3042-4606-A502-32C96BFE9E11/10/336/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=6842557s&SortBy=Relevancy, a riveting biography of the Empress and all her lovers. I only had to “renew” it 3 times (it actually returned itself and then I checked it out again and again and again) and the best part was: it kept my place in the book! And here’s another wonderful part. Remember how we all lost our power last summer? (of course you do!) Well I was able to read at night with no lights because of the wonderful backlit screen…as long as I was able to power up occasionally. It was magic.
My next goal was to download an e-audio book. I went online and searched under “Download Library E-audio Book to Kindle Fire” and found the wonderful video below. It took me step by step and voila, I downloaded my first e-audio book. But here is the best part: I was actually able to help our customers download their own e-books, especially from Kindle. I am now more at ease with the technology and do not feel so out of sync with the rest of the world. Have I stopped reading “real” books? Absolutely not. I consider myself an equal opportunity reader: • I read real books at home and at lunch at the library • I read e-books at home with lights out (because I can) • I listen to books on CD in the car • I listen to downloadable e-audio books on walks or exercising
And if it wasn’t for that word game I play with friends, I would be doing a lot more of everything.