Monday, March 29, 2010

iPods, iBooks, i Wonder what’s next?

I’m an iPod convert. I recently cleared out an entire shelf of CDs by ripping them onto my computer and transferring them to my mini MP3 player, leaving room for so many more books that I spent an entire afternoon happily arranging my bookcase to display them all just right. Then I had a scary thought: How long will it be until I clear out all my books, as well? How long until they’re all inside a hand held computerized reader?

I put off getting an MP3 player for years, well after my kids and even some of my friends had them. Will I do the same with the ebook, the Nook, the Kindle, or whatever else they devise? Or will I never convert?

I love books, book covers, and even the backs of books. I’m especially fond of paperbacks (ahem) and am quite hooked on signing my name in them. How would I autograph a book if it’s a download?

It would be a tough decision to go paperless – or bookless, as it were. What would I do with all those empty shelves? I’ve got a lot of them, many built-in. Would I use them to store canned goods? Towels and linens? Do we ever have enough room for them? Yet somehow I can’t see that going over well in my office. Kidney beans anyone? Fresh washcloth?

Nevertheless, the idea of taking a long trip and not having to carry five books with me is appealing. The thought of finishing one book then clicking on a new title and – Presto! It’s there, waiting to be read. That appeals, too. Yet it’s one more device that must be recharged, one more screen to read – and I spend my day with my eyeballs glued to one already. Do I want to stare at another until I drop off to sleep?

Are you hooked on your MP3 player or sticking with CDs? If you were offered a free ebook reader, would you take it? Would you reject it on principle? Or are you already a convert? I’d love to be convinced that they are better than owning actual books, but I may be a tough sell.

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