i got a kindle for christmas. last year around this time i think i posted something about why i didn’t want one...i probably still wouldn’t want one if it wasn’t for my job. e-publishing is becoming a major phenomenon, something i would be only peripherally aware of if i wasn’t so involved with the local writing and publishing community.
i’m about to turn 26. when i first started getting into music, CDs were poised to overtake cassette tapes. in early junior high computers were suddenly essential, and by late junior high the internet was...the internet. i got my first cell phone in ninth grade, by junior year they were popular and in college everyone had one. DVDs crushed VHS tapes. email flew past snail mail. a kilobyte became a megabyte became a gigabyte.
i took a photography class when digital photography was in its earliest stages. the teacher forced us to experiment with this hulking sony mavica that wrote to a floppy disc. i hated that thing and resented having to use it.
i think i initially resisted (or at least harbored mixed feelings for) most new technologies as they came about. i doubted that digital cameras would catch on. i hated typing. sometimes i didn’t see why i should pay $14.99 for a CD when i could get a tape for $9.99. i was attached to my CD collection and waited years to get an ipod. i never thought i’d own an e-reader.
i still feel uneasy trading the comfort of a physical object for the convenience of a digital file, the constant shrinking, disintegration and disappearance of everyday things that goes along with this exponential rate of technological advancement.
i accept change but i’m nostalgic for things before my time--i work on a computer but i play on a typewriter.
a kindle will never replace books for me. the smell and the weight of them, seeing their covers lying around the house while they’re being read, their spines lined up on a shelf to catch your eye and remind you of their stories.
i’m making myself open to e-books as a convenient addition to books, though. my aunt sent a thumb drive with 2,600 titles--apparently in australia you get to keep any e-book you “borrow” from the library, so i believe she copied her library’s entire stock of digital books onto that digit-sized memory stick. it included about 300 books i want to read, 30 of which i’m desperate to read. suddenly having all this wonderful reading material (virtually) at my fingertips is overwhelming but exciting.