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  • May 2010
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Kindle, Nook, Paperback Book?

I love to read.  I don’t mean that in the way people say they love french fries, Desperate Housewives, or cute puppies.  I mean, I absolutely love to read any chance I get.  I’ll read anything I can get my hands on.  If I can’t get my hands on something, I’ll start reading billboards, license plates, bumper stickers; you get the idea.  Mostly, though, I love paperbacks.  I’ll buy a hardcover in a pinch, but I prefer the pliancy of a paperback.  Bibliophiles stop now!  I’m about to traumatize you.  I love breaking the spine of a new paperback.  I love to fold the book back over on itself so I can hold it in one hand.  I love how I can shove a paperback into my bag and not worry that it’ll get ruined.  So far, the only thing that has really threatened my paperbacks at all is the bath-tub.  I hardly ever read in there anymore because it’s just not comfortable for me to try to keep the book from submerging along with me.

I am also a major techno-geek.  (not to be mistaken for nerd, pleasethankyou!)  I love gadgets and technology.  While others are stressing about the lack of privacy online I am cheering for full steam ahead on the techno-train.  How can you not love how far we’ve come technologically?  We can shop, watch TV, play games, and talk to our friends, all at the same time and without ever leaving our bed. (if that’s your thing, and it happens to be mine)

So with the advent of the e-reader, I’m undecided.  Do I take the plunge and move forward with my techno-geeky side so that I can get any book I want within 60 seconds (as long as I have a wi-fi connection)?  Or will the hard, glossy plastic alienate me and force me to have yet another piece of electronic equipment that sits around my house collecting dust?  One of the things that bothers me about the e-readers is they look inherently uncomfortable to hold.  They have no give.  No way for my fingers and hands to mold themselves to what I’m reading.  I imagine it’s like trying to read a DVD cover… Uncomfortable and uninviting, but necessary to find out what the movie is all about.

Then there is the cost.  With a spectacularly low-paying job in D.C., which sucks me dry of money just on the daily commute and lunch, I have to spend wisely.  I have two kids in daycare, one of whom is in diapers.  Those things don’t come cheap. Besides that, my husband and I would eventually like to buy our own house and I still have yet to replace my Jeep, which died traitorously on the Beltway. I admit, I’m leery of dumping $260 on a device I may not even like.

There is also the issue of upgrades.  Every time I buy some new gadget or computer, a better one comes out the very next day.  As a techno-geek I am aware that is just the nature of the beast.  But I try to keep my depression over obsolescence to a minimum. If a brand new, better Kindle (or Nook) came out the day after I bought mine, I’d be crushed.   The knowledge that just one day stood between me and a better gadget would be too much to bear.  (Ok, really, it’s not that dramatic, but for a day or two it’ll feel like it is.)

So do I save up some money and take the plunge?  Or do I stick with my well-loved, well-worn, and much cheaper paperbacks?

I’m torn.

Going Postal – in my head

The consequence of being non-confrontational and a tad anti-social is, I tend to bottle up a lot of irritation.  I suppose that could be a bad thing.  Maybe one day all the irritation is going to boil over and I’ll actually go off on someone.  Most likely, though, I’ll just bitch about stuff to my friends and family.  Oh, and blog about it.  And post on Facebook.  And Twitter.


So, about bottling things up… I never know what to do (who am I kidding, I won’t do anything) about my neighbors.  In general, as people, they seem pretty nice.  They just have this obnoxious tendency to play their music very loudly.  They also tend to do it around 11pm.  So just as I’m winding down for the evening, and I’m feeling secure that my kids are not going to wake up wanting more water, more hugs, more potty, or more crack (because I know they give my kids crack at daycare…it’s the only way to explain their behavior), that is when the thumping starts.

Perhaps I’d be less grouchy about it if my neighbors played music I like.  But I’m fairly certain the music they play has no words.  It’s just a thump, thump, thump with some music attached to it.  It might be jazz.  It might be easy listening, for all I know.  The only time I ever caught any of the melody was the time they played Smokey Robinson.  Gag.

My friends give me great suggestions.  Call the cops and complain.  There are noise ordinances, you know!  Knock on their door and ask them to turn it down.  Um. Yeah, both of those activities would require me to interact with people in an unpleasant manner.  I don’t want the cops to think of me as one of those annoying people who complains about everything.  And I don’t want to piss off my neighbors, since they are in close proximity to my only vehicle on a daily basis.

One night I swear I’m going to go off.  I’m going to beat the hell out of their door and ask them why the hell they think it’s appropriate to play their music that loud at the hour.  I’m going to call the cops and tell them these people are violating noise ordinances all over the place and if something isn’t done about it there’ll be hell to pay.  I swear all of that is going to happen.  In my head.