Monday, February 07, 2011

fighting the tide

My friend Shirley sent me a link about Kindle singles last night. This is the IM conversation that followed.

Me: I've been wondering lately if ebook use was going to shape fiction into smaller pieces. maybe publishers will even go back to publishing serials
Shirley: Did I show you my Kindle?
Me: I've seen them
Shirley: *waxes ecstatic about the features of her Kindle*
Me: but I'm trying to spend LESS time on the computer
Shirley: Does an e-reader count?
Me: I'm afraid so
Shirley: I'm thinking so, too.
Shirley: Just the *idea* that you can carry as many as 3,500 books at one time!
Shirley: Staggering.
Me: let me put it this way.... we cleaned out the basement this weekend
Shirley: Oh, dear.
Me: we threw out a portable CD player apiece, a box of VHS tapes, a box of cassette tapes each, a couple of microcassette recorders, a 5-CD changer, and a whole lot of RCA cables.
Me: Oh, and a 35mm SLR film camera that I paid $350 for in 2002
Me: I, for one, refuse to buy any more tech that will become obsolete in my own lifetime
Shirley: I wish you luck, truly.

ETA: Actually, I didn't throw out the camera. I took it to a camera store at lunch time. They gave me $20 for it. I went across the street to Half Price Books, bought a cup of coffee and a couple of hardbacks. So nyah.


Freyalyn said...

"Me: I, for one, refuse to buy any more tech that will become obsolete in my own lifetime"

How long are you planning to live.... A fine aspiration, but I've given up on it already.

Holly said...

I know, I know....
I think the real issue is the spending on entertainment items.

The flash drive changed everything. Putting books and music in digital format strikes me as much more permanent, or at least long-term, than the old cassettes and CD-listening devices. Individual gadets are being consolodated into our personal computers and hand-held devices (I confess I do have an iPod). Eventually I will probably graduate to a smartphone or similar device, but not yet.

Freyalyn said...

You sound much the same level as me. I just don't want to admit I'm old and past it yet!

Holly said...

Eh. I don't think age has much to do with it, except being old enough to have some perspective on how disposable tech has become. Anyone of my generation could say the same. A lot of people my age and younger are going to further extremes to cut the clutter out of their lives.

Disposable is the key word, for me. Oil paintings, pencils, books---these things have been around a very long time. Microchips are far less durable. I'm making an effort to distinguish between the things I need and the things that are being marketed to me.

The computer, and an internet connection, I need at the moment. I do business on it. It's helping me make money to pay off debts. Do I NEED the ipod, not really, but I do use it a lot, and in some ways it's less wasteful than the pens and paper I would be going through otherwise. The Kindle, however, is a toy, and a single-purpose toy at that. I feel the same way about the iPad. It's not as functional as my laptop, and it's a good deal bigger than my iPod, ergo not as portable.

And that's not passing judgement on people who have & use e-reading devices; just my thinking on how it would fit into my life. I like to be efficient.

Forgive me if I sound lecture-y. These are things I've thought much about, lately.

Alien Life Form said...

I'm really liking my iPad, when I get to use it. ;) No, it's not as versatile as a laptop, but is a superior art surface than tablet ones I've seen. And, I really do like their book reader. Very smooth interface, and much quieter to turn pages than a paper book when sitting with a sleeping child. :D

Ruggiero said...

I tend to agree on tech in general. I won't buy a tablet unless it is small enough to be easily portable and also replaces my phone. I do have a Sony Reader, however; it brings two major advantages to me that were worth the price. First, I have a LOT of books, and moving to a predominantly digital collection saved me a ton of storage space. (It's also over the tipping point to being environmentally friendly, dead-tree-wise.) Second, I used to travel a fair amount, and would pack five or six books for a four-day business trip - the Reader saves me back strain in my carry-on bag.

Holly said...

@Ruggerio--If I had to travel a lot, I would probably do the same, for the same reason.

draxes said...

I have had this conversation over and over again recently… having just finished building a library in the house. My honest opinion is that publishing houses will start to see that they can end the “resale” of books though digital publishing, and also the “little guy” self publisher can actually find a way to make a distribution channel that was heretofore not available.