Reading 102 or The Steve Jobs Effect
I may have made it clear yesterday that I am a staunch supporter of real live books, preferably of the old, used and free variety. But I have to contradict myself a tad and admit that I’m a bit of a hypocrite.
I understand the beauty of reading a book on something as small and light as a Kindle — I once tried to read The Emancipator’s Wife on the metro and it was a miserable failure. It is the size of a dictionary and quite the hassle to hold open with one hand while clinging to a handrail and dear life with the other. I gained two things from that attempt: slightly strengthened forearms and an $11 late fee at the library. I never finished the book.
Having helped my 79-year-old grandma learn how to use (and love) her Kindle, I also learned that e-readers let you increase the text size if your eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I may only be 24, but I could really get on board with this idea. Squinting is finally starting to get difficult — and painful. I also learned that the Kindle store has a lot of classics for free! I loaded Grandma’s Kindle up with a bunch, to which she responded that Mark Twain is getting a little long-winded.
Though I can concede that these possible advantages to using an e-reader exist, I would still feel like I’m cheating on my library card, the books I’d never discover on Amazon, and my ability to judge my reading progress based on the number of pages in my left hand versus my right hand.
And yet, despite my distaste for reading electronically, I make my living working on an electronic publication.
Yes, I’m ashamed. My cheeks are red and I’m hanging head in self-disgust.
Enter the iPad2.
Twitter was all abuzz yesterday about the iPad2 and caught me at an especially vulnerable time. With Norma Jeane out of commission, I could fall in love with anything that has an internet connection and and a glowing apple right about now. I’m not even sure what the advantages of the iPad are, but I think it lands somewhere between an iPod and a MacBook? Either way, I am at the mercy of Steve Jobs’ product unveiling whims.
I’m headed to the Apple store after work today for a second opinion on my laptop’s demise. Hopefully, sometime between now and then, I muster the self-control to not be tempted by the shiny, new, functional Apple products I will encounter.
Here’s hoping I leave with a working computer.
And here’s hoping it’s the one I walked in with.
I miss her, and so does Prince.