Do You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Any of Your Gadgets?by Courtenay Fitzgerald
In my dreams, I live in a house with a library like the one from Beauty and the Beast.
When I move, there are always twice as many boxes of books as anything else. I restrain myself from entering bookshops because the seven bookcases I own are already double stacked and I live in tiny apartment (not an enchanted castle). I own three copies of A Streetcar Named Desire (one filled with director’s notes, one ‘borrowed’ from a past educational institution, one “pretty edition”). I’m a book person. The physical object kind.
So when e-readers first came out, I was one of those alarmists moaning about the ‘death of the print book’ and ‘society being defined by the extent of its arts culture’.
Past-me was an idiot*. I freaking love my e-reader (a Kindle). Also, all those people on trains were reading dreadful free evening newspapers before and now some of them (surely) are reading actual literature.
I love my Kindle for all the usual reasons – it’s super light, I have 100s of options in my handbag all the time and I can read vampire books on the tram and no-one knows. If sales are anything to go by, nobody needs convincing that e-readers are awesome, so here’s what I DON’T like about it (the non-culture-police list):
I’ve owned mine for 2 years. Technologically, it’s a relic. It’s in the cheapest cover I could buy. I’ve been known to read in the rain. And it shows no sign of wear. This is bad because now they make pretty touch screen ones with fancy features and when it comes to gadgets I am definitely Gen-Y. Haven’t Amazon heard of built-in obsolescence?
It’s Waaay Too Easy To Buy Books
Real-life scenario: Flick past Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on TV. Realize I still haven’t read The Casual Vacancy. Buy The Casual Vacancy. Remember it was recently revealed that Rowling used a pseudonym to write some mystery novel. Buy The Cuckoo’s Calling. Discover that the Potter series are like $7 each and BUY THEM ALL EVEN THOUGH I ALREADY OWN THEM BUT THEY’RE IN HARDCOVER BECAUSE I’M A SUPER-NERD AND I LINED UP TO BUY THEM THE DAY THEY CAME OUT BUT READING BOOKS IN HARDCOVER IS ACTUALLY REALLY ANNOYING. Realize I’ve spent $80 on books in 4 min, 3 ½ min of which was looking for my Kindle.
You Can’t Put e-Books On a Shelf When You’ve Finished Reading
I would seriously be interested in some kind of a trade-your-ebook-credits-towards-a-print-copy-of-the-book-for-your-bookshelf scheme. Because Belle-fantasy.
Kindle Collections is Clunky
There’s no good way to organize your e-books. I’d like a drag-and-drop iPhone-app style thing or automatic alphabetization. It’s possible that other e-readers have better systems, or that they’ve fixed this in future versions (I wouldn’t know because Point 1).
Do you have a love/hate relationship with any of your gadgets?
*not about the arts culture thing, she was on the money there.