In the East Coast it's already 2011! Yay for getting rid of the suckiest year ever. Man, this year blows. And not just for me. A quick google search of "2010 sucks" yields over 426 million hits. That compares to the 31 million results for "2009 sucks," thus proving that 2010 Really Did Suck.
So I say good riddance. Only another 2.5 hours of you, you crummy year. And don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Ok. I want to stick to my App Fun schedule, and this week I want to say why I am now a big proponent of ebooks. A year ago I swore up and down that I would never get an ereader, you couldn't make me, I didn't care how big they got, I was sticking to paper, and nanny nanny boo boo to you. This year? I have a kindle. It all started with the kindle app for my droid, which I downloaded sometime over the summer.
See, the big reason why I'm a luddite about paper books isn't the whole "feel" of turning the pages, or anything like that. It's the fact that my main area to read books is in the bathtub. And there ain't no way I'm taking my kindle in the bathtub (although I have heard of someone who puts it in a ziploc to read in the hot tub).
But I realized there were a lot of times when I could read books during other times in the day, and there's always Vanity Fair for the bathtub. Or library books, though I shouldn't admit to that (listen, I'm really careful about it, and those water marks are not from me, I promise). I spend a lot of time driving, for example, and this being Southern California, you always have to leave more time than you need to get somewhere, so I also spend a lot of time waiting in my car. I can read then, and it'd be nice to not have to lug my books around with me.
Then the idea of space-saving really came around. As recently as June, I blogged about why I couldn't get into ebooks. The point of that blog entry was that, unlike cd's, you can't easily "rip" a book and put it onto your device. And I still think that Amazon should let me re-buy the kindle version of books that I already own at a discounted rate.
But then I got on this simplicity-kick, and I'm getting rid of stuff left and right. I own almost 1000 books, and they take up a crap-load of space. If I could have them all on one device - man, that would simplify my life (and additionally, it would let me gloat to my husband about how much more crap he owns than I do). So the kindle started to look appealing, at least in terms of buying new books.
Then I spent the weekend at a rock festival in the roasting-hot Fontana Raceway parking lot, almost dying of heat stroke. The upside was that I spent a lot of time sitting under the cooling tents where they had these mists floating down on you, and it was almost bearable. During that time, I read ebooks on my phone. And I realized that it wasn't that bad. And that was on a phone, without the awesome kindle e-ink screen.
After two full days of rocking out and phone-reading with no apparent lasting negative effects (the headache was as much from Rise Against as it was from reading on my phone) I decided to ask for a kindle for Christmas. And I officially stopped buying paper books.
I'm still in the predicament of wondering what to do with my current library. I've been buying copies of the books I already own at the rate of 1 every 2 weeks or so, and it really has made me examine the idea behind owning a book vs having access to it. I read a saying once to the effect of "try not to own too much because once you possess something, it also possesses you."
I've been hanging on to these books for so long, and why? Some of them have been moved 16 times. That's a crap-load of moving, if you ask me. And for what purpose? So I can look at them and feel smug because I read so much? To remind me how Haruki Murakami is a good replacement for chocolate? I don't know. There are some authors that I definitely want to revisit (like Haruki Murakami and Arthur Neresian) and I will probably wind up re-buying the books to have them on my kindle.
But there are so many that I read once, and I'm never going to read again. I don't know why I'm hanging on to them. So I have a new policy now of really examining a book, and if it's not worth the $9.99 to re-buy the kindle version, I'm going to just make a log of it, write down what I liked about it, and then donate it to someone else.
And then when we move the next time, I will have all my books on my little kindle, and feel very smug as J packs box after box of astronomy texts.
So the kindle app got me started on ebooks, and I'm glad of it. If you're into simplifying your life, and are open to the idea that you could radically change the way you feel about ownership vs access, then try it out.
And Happy 2011!