January 14th, 2011

b/g - in the library

just call me lemming #20091

I lost my fight to the virtual book world last semester, although I didn't actually realize it at the time.  It was just a little thing - a book I needed that our library didn't have, a book that I wanted but couldn't find in bookstores, was available via Google Books for purchase.  For like $9.  So I bought it.  And used it in my paper on women in Japan.

What I didn't realize then was that my steadfast adoration for actual, printed books was slowly being eroded by the wish for their information to be available to me instantly.  Every time I searched for something in our school library and found it only on Amazon, that little 'available right now on kindle' would blink at me, taunting.

My stepmom got a kindle last year and has been utterly addicted to it (not only because she likes to read everything written by a single author, but because the back catalog of cheap little paper backs that are her favorite, are available at the press of a button for pennies, and she doesn't have to find a place for the books on the bookshelf after it's taken her two hours to read them.... it really is her crack cocaine).  And when I first looked at the little device on her coffee table I viewed it with suspicion and not a little mistrust, because it looked like an electronic thing, not one of my beautiful, spine bent, smells a little funny, comes in odd shapes if it's trade paperback, but hey cool cover BOOKS.

Yet I was taunted.  Plagued.  And then I heard about things like the dumb free app for PC that kindle now gives out.  And I priced my books for a single class today, even buying used, and the difference between the printed version and the digital version for those books I could get that way?  $50 not including shipping (and shipping does actually add up when you're a student and buying used books that amazon will not group together under free super shipping because they're coming from different sellers).

So I caved.  And now I have this app on my computer that has the books on it.  I'm a little bewildered because it all happened so fast - just 'click here' and there's a book there and i can make annotations in it and it all seems a little insidious.

I'm consoling myself with the fact that three days ago, in muted terror that i might not have my computer back, I organized my *real* bookshelves and found that, if I would like to actually have my books sit on the shelves not double-stacked, or not turned horizontally and stacked that way, I would need at least three full 5-shelf bookshelves, so it's not like I'm out of the printed book business all together.

but it feels like an awfully slippery slope.

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl