Thursday, July 25, 2013

No, You May NOT borrow My Book!


Fatal flaws of e-readers
My husband finished The Kite Runner and asked if we had anything else by Khaled Hosseini. We do. That is, I do. It’s on my Nexus tablet - along with the next book I’m ready to read and most everything else to do with my day-to-day life.  So, no. You can’t take my tablet when a moment of reading time occurs, and that includes the bathroom, Mister!

It’s a drawback that never occurred to me when I begged for this all-purpose tablet last Christmas. I was thinking small, light and portable. Just drop it in my purse for instant access to books, Facebook, emails, Google searches, and local mapping. It was a lifesaver during the ensuing months of travel prior to my sister’s death.
The Nook
Since then it’s become my constant downstairs companion (as opposed to this elaborate Dell PC set-up upstairs). Now I can keep up with FB and/or catapult Angry Birds while sitting with my husband. It’s good to be together even though he’s playing his own games on his laptop, or watching a show I don’t care about, or we’re trying to get through another painfully predictable Astros game.

But the problem remains: how do you share an ebook? You can’t. Major problem.
Swapping books is an inherent part of my reading existence.  My BFF and I are always loaning books to each other. My husband and I have even read the same book at once using different markers. And a whole new set of authors opened up to us when our daughter bequeathed a box of novels retired by her tailgate reading club. (Those are books passed from car to car in the school parking lot. It’s what mothers do since they have to come so early to grab a spot of shade.) Simply put, books were made for sharing. Being exposed to others’ literary likes expands your world exponentially.

My Nexus 7

There are other less serious inconveniences, like when the tablet needs recharging.  If you want to continue using it, you must sit crimped over next to a plugin. The cords are very short. Forget whacking pigs with birds in that position. Also – when I went to open a book I’d already finished, it wouldn’t let me. The only action permitted was a visit to penguin.com to buy something else. So not only can you not share an ebook, you can’t even go back over it yourself. Since an ebook costs more than a used hardcopy, I find this extremely upsetting.

Ebooks are great as far as they go. And I’ll never part with my tablet. But be careful not to download anything you’d want to share or even review. Good old ink on paper is still the best way to go.

2 comments:

David Hart said...

Is there a text acronym for I don't know what I'm talking about? Like IMHO, but connoting real humbleness rather than smug sanctimony?
Because, I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I do know that the books I download from Barnes and Noble, show up on my iPhone, and my iPad. And in a convenient, if somewhat Orwellian fashion, they each know what page I'm on in the other device so I have the option to switch back and forth without losing my place. Could your husband just read the books on another device?
Rereading your post, I realized that I really don't know what I'm talking about, because I reread books all the time, because sometimes I just like hanging out with the characters. So, to recap: never mind.

Mary Fagan said...

Oops! So seldom get comments I totally missed yours! That's so cool that your ebooks go to all your iDevices. That doesn't seem to be true for me. Of course, my Nexus is dealing with Kindle, and my Dell PC and Samsung Galaxy aren't related in the way iPads and iPhones are. I have since discovered that I CAN reopen books, however. That's a relief.
Thanks for stopping by!