As you might expect, many of us here at the library have vocally expressed our horror at the idea of e-books. Reading can be a sensual experience for those who relish the feel of a book as much as the words contained within. Can a swipe of your finger across a tiny screen compare with turning a paper page? Is it possible to curl up on the couch with an electronic device? If the number of e-book readers sold over the holiday is any indication, it would appear that the answer is “Yes.”
Afraid of being that person who insists everything was better back in the old days, I jumped at the chance to dabble a bit with this new technology while assisting a couple of patrons with their new Kindles, and I have to say I was amazed at the capabilities of these small devices. Not only can you read books on them, you can also watch videos, surf the internet, check your email, share photographs and so much more. Getting books to the device, though, was initially frustrating. Attempts to borrow e-books via the Download Zone program from Four County Library System were unsuccessful since just about every title in the catalog was already checked out and had a waiting list. Luckily, there are hundreds of thousands of free titles available. Some sites we accessed required an interim step of downloading to a computer and then moving the e-book to the reader, others worked directly as long as a WI-FI connection was available. What we didn’t try was to actually buy a book and download it. I have a feeling that would be easy; maybe way too easy.
If you are the proud owner of an e-book reader and are looking for help with it, bring it into the library. We can muddle through it together! Happy Reading … or should that be Happy E-Reading! ~