I, for one, welcome our new technology overlords

So, I have this printer. I’ve had it two years, we used it at Hanks for four years before that, and Carla had it for at least two before that. Meaning it’s at least eight years old — that’s practically a dot matrix! There are a few things I wish it would do (like take my lotion and lip balm labels, which are just too thick for it) and some things I don’t care about (I’ve never used it as a scanner or a fax machine) but overall it’s very reliable, I’ve printed tons of things out on it in the last two years, and it’s never really given me any crap. And the cartridges are only about $10, and you can replace individual ones rather than buy one of those all-in-ones where you have to replace the entire thing if, say, the yellow runs out.

Day before yesterday, it told me it had a jam. I knew it didn’t have a jam, I could see into it! No jam! I blew air into it to clean it out. I ran a diagnostic and told it to realign itself. I turned it off and turned it back on again. Then it decided it didn’t have any paper at all, and since I had just put paper in it, the result was something like this (fair warning: f-bombs ahoy!) —

(Thank you Stephanie, that is NEVER going to get old!)

Then it just decided to work again. For 24 hours. Then…? PAPER JAM! Only, NOT! And I kind of …. flipped out. I mean, I have orders I need to get out! I can’t print invoices, postage, labels, NOTHING. And I kind of print… every day. So it was off to find a new printer — I knew exactly what I wanted: it should be wireless (so that Tim can use it as well, from the other end of the house), it should have individual cartridges rather than one big one, and it should have a flat top rather than a sheet feeder top, because let’s be honest the cats are going to sleep on it and the less chance there is of cat hair clogging it up, the better. Enter the HP Deskjet 3520; long may she live.

Of course then it was a comedy of errors trying to get it hooked up – I basically had to move every cord and plug in the house – but I got it, even though it took me most of an hour and made me late to knitting. BUT WHATEVER. Today I can print.

So much for willpowerI also broke down and bought an e-reader. I had been on the fence about this for a really, really long time. I am a stone book person. Love books. I love the smell of books. I love the feel of books. I love cracking open a brand new book that nobody has gunked up yet. I love old used books with broken spines and folded down pages and bookmarks left inside with handwritten notes. I love the experience of books. I’ve also, in the last two years, had to sacrifice about a third of my bookshelf space to store finished ceramics that are store stock. But I still want to read books. Some re-reads, sure; but new books! Books I have not yet read! And guess what that takes up? SPACE. Space is at such a premium in this house it’s almost ridiculous. I simply can not bring in the quantity of books that I want to — there really is no place to put them.

I had been fighting this, like I said on Facebook yesterday, with all the passion of an old man with a cane who wants kids to get offa his lawn. No newfangled technology was going to rip my beloved books out of my hands.

Then, back in January, Lynn came up for a little visit and she and I talked a lot about books – she had just made the plunge to an e-reader and she’s as much of a hard-core book reader as I am. So that got me thinking. And thinking. And thinking. And the last couple of weeks I’ve been asking my friends who have been putting up really thoughtful answers on both Facebook and Google+… and I decided to go ahead and do it. I waffled a lot between a tablet (Angry Birds!) and a plain reader (just books! No distractions!) and I settled on getting a Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight — that way if Tim came to bed and I still had to just read one! more! chapter! we could still turn out the lights but I could keep reading.

I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday since I was OUT THAT WAY BUYING A PRINTER ANYWAY A;DJLA;DSJA;DSLJ and my friend Lesley was working (even long time readers might not know this, but Lesley and I met when we were both hired at that B&N before opening, and helped to open the store — I worked there for four years, and she still works there). I didn’t want to go with Kindle for a variety of reasons, and if I was going to go with a tablet I was leaning towards the Nexus. But all I wanted was a reader, and Nook had one of those. Lesley was really awesome and took about an hour to talk me through the entire thing, showing me everything about the SimpleTouch. At one point I asked her, since phrases in the book could be highlighted, and PDFs could be put on the Nook, could you highlight parts of the PDF? Like if I had a knitting pattern on there? She went to go check, and as there was someone else wanting to look at what I was standing in front of, I moved to the other side of the display. Where the tablets were.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

Turns out the Tablet had about a bajillion times more memory (I assume that like real books, with e-books the book lover is still going to run out of room, so I wanted to give myself enough padding before I had too much). I was starting to climb back up on the fence again, waffling between the Tablet and the SimpleTouch, when Lesley came back over. “Oh,” she casually says (remember that Lesley has known me almost twenty years), “and this is new – on the color ones, you can read your graphic novels.”

Visions of The Walking Dead and the rest of the 30 Days of Night graphic novels swum in my head, as well as all the comic books I’ve lost touch with since Bill left Florida Bookstore and I closed my comic subscription service, and I guess you know where this is going, especially if you looked at the picture up there. I’m now the owner of a Nook Tablet! Which because of how crazy yesterday was, I’ve only really had time to charge. I’m in the middle of a series of books that I actually have in meatspace, so I don’t need to buy any books yet. I do want to go to the library and find out about their e-book checkout policy, too. Oh, yes, little book reader. I have plans for you!

3 Comments

  1. I haven’t gotten an ereader myself, but Mitch has a Nook, so naturally I use it (quite a bit). I checkout a lot of ebooks from the library; it’s quite easy, but the only problem I have with it is that they are limited to only a certain number of digital editions and the stuff I want to read is always checked out! Obviously you can put a hold on it, but then I have to wait. Also the selection at my library is somewhat limited. Not all my favorite authors are represented.

  2. I bought a Nook Color last summer, I think, and I love it. I almost exclusively read library books on it. It’s great to have the book stay open without me having to touch it. Eyes reading on nook + hands knitting = happy Bonnie

  3. nakhira

    Bwah-hah-hah! I’ve not seen that video yet, and it’s a hoot …

    I’ve a iPad (i’ve succumbed to the Dark Side of the Tablets), and being able to read my manga/watch my anime whilst commuting on mass transit has been a hoot and a half. I have every available e-reader on it, and have yet to make use of them – have I mentioned anime & manga?

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