Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Green Eyed Monster

A little backstory must be presented so that when I circle round to the topic of this post, and the jealousy related to the topic that is referenced in the title, you will fully get how surprising this all is...

I learned to read around 3 or 4. I cannot remember not knowing how to read, and I have always loved reading. I would tear through books voraciously, and I read anything I could get my hands on (Stephen King's "It", in the 4th grade, may have been better left *out* of my hands, but it was worth refusing to turn my back on a drain for 5 years, that story is crazy good). For the most part, I shunned chick lit and silly series novels (although, ok, I fell for the charms of Babysitter's Club in the 5th grade) and I tried to read as many classics as I could. I generally- about 90% of the time- read non-fiction books of all stripes, and around age 18 I began to lovingly cultivate what I assumed would be a library that I would cherish- and lug around- forever. The frugal side of me required the purchases to be made at Half Price Books, but really, when one is dropping $25-$40 every two or three weeks at a used book store, it begins to look not-very-frugal. About a year and a half, maybe two years ago, I realized it was silly to continue buying all these books when the library was at my fingertips. I also realized I love books far too much to ever re-read them- I need to get on to the next one!- so 4 enormous boxes of books started to seem...unnecessary. I decided I'd go hardcore library only, and I'd also start to give away my books to those who would appreciate them. Now, if we stopped there, that would in and of itself be an insane change of course for this bookworm.

But here's where it gets crazy. I never thought I'd see the day when I said this, but...

After making fun of e-readers for *years*, and swearing I'd never get one...

I want an e-reader! Specifically, I want the e-reader Bobby recently purchased- the Kobo, Borders' version.
It is *perfect*. Nothing fancy, no keypad or stylus or excessive buttons. Just a book, in electronic form. And it isn't linked to a certain store- so, for example, all of the THREE MILLION free e-books on Google Books can be read on it.
Aww, who's little?
Strangely enough this weird quilted back that is kind of cushy provides a nice tactile experience. It feels good on your fingers, if that makes any sense at all. And it shines a bit like fish scales, which really has nothing to do with anything.
When you're done reading, it displays the cover of your current book, just like a regular book- I think that's a sweet touch. Neither Bobby nor I will ever give up the library- who would EVER do that?! But for trips, and for traveling, and for future "we live all over the world" adventures, this little guy is perfect.

No one is more surprised by this turn of events than I am- the last 6 months, when Bobby has been looking and comparing e-readers, I've been derisive and ambivalent at best. I am the least gadget-y person. I've had the same laptop and digital camera for 5 years. I don't have a smart phone. I don't have kitchen gadgets. I didn't even own a C.D. player until my senior year of high school, and I graduated in 2001! I'm not an electronics trend chaser, AT ALL. Kate told me I'm stronger than technology...but in this case, I think the Kobo has converted me.


  1. I am the exact same way. Major book nerd. Too many hardbacks to count. But I am now a hardcore library user in part because I've become more of a cheapskate and in part because our library system is so great here. I have been super resistant to the idea of an e-reader because almost all my reading material comes for free. But get this: Our library system has E BOOKS IN STOCK!!!!! I'm not kidding!!! There are chances yours does, too. Hello, combination of the techy and the frugal! Perfect marriage, if I do say so myself. Our library e-books don't work with Kindles, apparently. I haven't investigated too much but I am definitely tempted... - phru/fatty

  2. I'm still torn on this one, too. I love the techy-nerdness of it, but can't get over not having a physical book in my hands. I like to be able to see where I am in the book at a glance. You know, take a look and be like "Hm, maybe an hour and I'll finish this one."
    I've experimented with the Nook and iBooks apps on the 'ole iPhone, but have yet to really use them because I refuse to pay for apps or books for apps (yet). And because I'm still tearing thru the books in the house I haven't read.
    So maybe someday. Let me know how much you still love that little guy in about six months tho.

  3. Great review, I might go and pick one up, does it have 3g connection to download books anywhere?

  4. Phru- I just found out ours does too!! Between that and the 3 million free on Google I'm a very happy camper :) Oh, and the weirdness of Kindle being so inextricably tied to Amazon and only Amazon is why we dismissed them right out of the gate. Not wanting to buy books was such a huge component of my resistance, but I love how open the Kobo is to library e-books, free e-books, etc.

    J-Ben- I will, for sure. I'm still tearing through books I own but have yet to read, so I feel ya on that one. I need to read them all before we leave Colorado, so that give me a little over a year. We'll see how that goes once I start up school again though, eep!

    HS- it has wi-fi, but not a 3G connection. Since we wanted to stick to free online e-books and library e-books that wasn't a downside for us, but if you want to be able to download books anywhere that might be a negative for you. Also ours was on sale for $99, but now it's back up, so hold out for a sale if you're interested, they usually go up and down.

  5. I got a kindle for my birthday and I LOVE it. I never would have bought one for myself but I am so glad the boyfriend did. It is fantastic for traveling. And if you are a person who always has at least one book in your bag (me) then you will wonder why you kept it out of your life for so long.

    When I was a kid, I would get grounded off of books instead of TV when I was in trouble.

  6. Gogo- we loved it on our trip! It is wonderful for traveling, since the book Bobby is currently reading is 600 pages long.

    I love that you got grounded off of books, haha. I remember getting in trouble in school for reading when I "wasn't supposed to". Too funny :)