How I got myself in trouble because of a eReader and a lack of sleep.
Last night my wife downloaded an app for her smartphone: a popular eReader. After some searching she was able to find and download a eBook for free/no cost/zilch. She giggled a bit and said, "That is so cool! I just downloaded a book to my phone for free." Maybe it was the late hour or the accumulation of lack of sleep due to having a newborn in the house I said to her without taking my eyes off the TV, "You just shoveled dirt onto your precious Borders and slapped Barnes and Noble across the face." There was silence. A long silence. I was not aware just how long the silence had been until it was broken by her. "I did not. I bought plenty of books from Borders. And Barnes and Noble can take it. They hardly have any good coupons for their books." Again, due to possibly being overtired, without taking my eyes off the TV I said, "What you did is what hundreds of thousands of others have done: gone digital. Borders died, in part, because of the shift to eReaders. You just poked a fresh hole in the hull of a sunken boat. Barnes and Noble would have appreciated the $5 - $10 purchase by you for that book. Now they don't have that money. Now the library science major they hired last week will be laid off because you failed to keep up your end as a supposed devout physical book buyer." There was another long silence followed by a sigh from her. She said, "Are you trying to deprive me of the joy of my finding a book I want, for free, that I can read using my new app on my phone, any time, anywhere?" "No," I said,"I'm too tired to think in a positive way. Just tell me to go to bed so you can enjoy your new book." "Go to bed."
I feel bad about this exchange. I never meant to be a wet blanket. I think in a way I was trying to be rye about it all but failed because of my inability at that time to achieve that affect. I did apologize to her last night as she turned in. This morning I apologized again. She said she realized I was exhausted and could not help being a idiot. I love my wife!
I'm a physical book junkie. We had to convert our guest room/library into our new daughter's bedroom. We donated sooo many boxes of books. I think it was ten banker's boxes worth to Goodwill and gave around two or three more boxes worth to family and friends. The rest of the books found a new home on our bedroom or in the living room. I did not like to see them go, but it was a necessity. Most of what we gave away would have served us best as eBooks (travel guides, text books, general referenece books) but when they were purhased there was no such thing available.
I do understand the appeal and usefulness of eBooks. They have their place. When using a eReader or a iPad I can't help but look over my shoulder to see if Ford Prefect is standing nearby with a towel and a packet of salted nuts.
P.S. - If you get the Ford Prefect refernece you have my respect.