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14 January 2011 @ 12:06 pm
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
whichclotheswhichclothes on January 14th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
I bought a Kindle this summer and I am in love with it. I didn't think I would be because I love paper *books*, but I've been doing a lot of traveling--I'm about to spend 5 months in Europe--and the Kindle can't be beat for that. I've found it's also reduced my book addiction problem, because now that I know I can have a book instantly I don't have to buy it and store it away for the distant time in the future when I'll have time to read it.

And I downloaded Twain's autobiography (which weighs 4 lbs in print!) in less than a minute while anchored off Catalina Island. That cemented my love. :-)

The other day I had 15 minutes to kill and didn't have a book or my Kindle with me--but I had my iPhone with my Kindle app!
my monkied brain: wes - bibliophilekatekat1010 on January 14th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
this is much the same sentiment as my stepmom had! and seriously, i'm thinking about buying the actual kindle so i can take it with me to school - lugging books in the backpack is *painful*
BJdara_starscream on January 15th, 2011 05:12 am (UTC)
Kindle is a wonderful idea . . . but I prefer hardcopy. Because electronics break. They also require batteries and/or chargers -- I think I'd go batshit if I was down to the last chapter and had the power die. They also crash. Re-ripping the music collection the last time my hard drive crashed was a pain, but I didn't lose anything because it's mostly CDs.
my monkied brain: wes - bibliophilekatekat1010 on January 17th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
you're completely right about the insecurity of electronics - not only do they break but they're awfully hard to take in the bath, or stick in a pocket even. And printed pages just don't crash.

I actually don't use my itunes very often because i used to have a bunch of music on it on a shared drive, and now it errors out every time i try to access them with no easy way to clean off.

so i think i'm definitely kicking and at least complaining.... (if not screaming) about this whole digital thing.

as a contrast, though, have you seen bookshelf porn?