Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pop Culture Curiosity Chapter 5: Electronic words ...

When the day came to adopt a position on e-readers, I didn't really have an opinion. Instead I pulled a move from debate club. I joined Team Nay willy-nilly and cobbled together a bunch of reasons to support why I was not going to be a person who had to re-charge her library.

Occasionally I would see a sexy Kindle commercial featuring a catchy pop song and think "Maybe I would like an e-reader." The immediate gratification of downloading a book; Holding a product that suggests a paperless future in my sweaty meat hooks. Then I would grab myself by the shoulders, and re-direct back to luddites-ville, our eight decorative bookcases in the basement and my fondness for dog-earring pages when I find a kicky sentence.

Chuck was opposed to the e-reader. He'd actually given it thought. How owning books would be more like renting books and how a dead battery could interrupt a reader's progress. There were a few other carefully constructed arguments. I shrugged and adopted all of them. Why the hell not. I didn't have anything else going on and it's way more fun when we hate the same stuff.

Then, suddenly, he changed his mind. He became Kindle Curious. Then he became a Kindle Owner. All of this happened really quickly. My only recourse: I could do a 180 on my position, thus revealing myself as a person who does not hold fast to what she "believes" in. Reveal that she had never "believed" in anything at all.

First of all, you should know that I am interested in electronic things but before I get to know them I go through a period of grunting and pawing at the device. I always imagine myself a little zoo-y in this way. Hairy knuckles beating on a plastic buttons and referring to myself as "Me." That's just how I picture it looking. When I describe it, I call it "Momming out." As in "I just mommed out all over the remote control."

My first area of confusion with the Kindle is that it seems a step backward from the technology I currently use to text message fan fiction about the song "Mr. Roboto" while simultaneously maintaining 6-8 games of Words with Friends. You don't touch the Kindle screen and move the words with the standard finger juice and peanut butter combo one uses to make action on an iPhone. The page-turning buttons seem counterintuitive. While the iPhone leads me to believe I might someday share laughs with a Cylon, the Kindle to me represents just how far we are from brain internet.

The other night Chuck and I were in bed reading.
Me: (Snorting. Turning pages recklessly. Putting myself in danger of an eyeball paper cut.)
Chuck: (Silent. Completely, spookily silent)

I know how this will go. Chuck gets into everything about six months to a year before I get into it. For now I think my plan is to be secure that I know how to use a Kindle -- yet mostly read books on paper. Kindle Limbo.


Sproactually said...

It has taken me 15 years to even accept technical manuals as pdf files. The thing that actually helped that was google, before that you could not find anything with out much angst, really, try searching one.

Now I just google my Z/os error message, and poof, takes me right the page in the online manual.

I read books, I like to lay in bed, with a book. I like to sit in a bar and read. How is it that I can do that, with all the noise I can sit with a beer and be completely focused on the book?

I get my books from the library.

Books can harbor bed bugs... that, and cigarette smoke. But the bed bug thing creeps me out....

You can borrow a nook now from the library, I may try one.

chuck said...

I posted my thoughts about the Kindle, in case anyone's interested.

tawnylaquay said...

Try out the Kindle app.