A Conversation In Which I Learn Something About E-book Readers, I Guess

Make no assumptions…

IT’S BEEN STORMY here this week.  Some days the sky has been as dark at 11:00 a.m. as it is at 11:00 p.m.  This weather phenomenon has been the talk wherever I go.

As you would imagine.

ONE THING THAT I’ve learned during these exceptionally dark mid-days is that my Kindle Paperwhite does what it claims that it’ll do.  That is, it automatically adjusts to the changing light conditions, making reading an easy pleasant experience.

I’m rather impressed by this.

SO I’M CHIT-CHATTING with two acquaintances, a man and a woman both in their early 50s.  And I mention, in passing, as a way of having something topical to say, that I’ve enjoyed my Kindle during these dark days.  And both of my acquaintances said: “what’s a Kindle?”

They did not know about e-book readers.  Any of them.

I WAS STUNNED, and started trying to explain what a Kindle is– what e-book readers are– how you use them– the different brands of them.  Et cetera, et cetera.  But while I talked, hoping to inform, these two seemingly normal people just stared at me like I was talking Martian gibberish.  Which to them, I was.

Can you even imagine? 

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[Hello FTC!  Please note: I’m opining here about an object that I bought with my own monies and just happen to like.  I received no compensation of any sort for this review, such as it is.  I mean really, who would pay me to say this?]

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

37 thoughts on “A Conversation In Which I Learn Something About E-book Readers, I Guess”

  1. I would pay you to say it, because what you say is invaluable. Or should I say priceless? In any event, well done in trying to educate the e-book “unwashed.”

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    1. Z-D, it was a strange conversation because I wasn’t expecting these people to not know about electronic book readers. I mean, it’s not like they’re ancient and decrepit… but clearly they’re out of it some ways. Much too strange.

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    1. Kate, I’m married to a lawyer so I’m encouraged to cya when it comes to any possible legal problem that could result in the FTC deciding to fine me, a small-time blogger, for not clearly stating whether or not I got compensation for my opinions. It happens, you know. The FTC is sneaky like that.

      And as for these acquaintances, they live in a small town and are creative-types who haven’t taken to the internet. A bit flaky, they are. But nice people.

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  2. I’m surprised. I thought I was the only person in the Universe who didn’t OWN an e-reader or tablet. Or listen to books.

    It has become a teensy source of Annoyance to me that, whenever someone is telling me about a terrific book she/he is reading, I say, “May I borrow it when you’re finished?” and she/he says, “Um, I got it on my Kindle/Nook/phone.” I feel like that’s not how it is supposed to work. Sigh.

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    1. But nance, you know what they are! Owning one is optional, but not being aware of their existence seems kooky to me.

      I know what you mean about no more books to lend. I read mostly real books, and use my Kindle for limited specific situations. But most of my friends are all about e-book readers now, so that small gesture of kindness that I associate with lending a book is a thing of the past. Sadly.

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  3. I don’t know whether to be shocked by their laggardness or impressed by their ability to be clueless as to the new products of technology. The latter means they’re probably living life and not getting caught up in the latest gadgets. I gotta give them their due props for that. 🙂

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    1. Carrie, I agree. These are two productive members of society who just keep on doing things the way that they always have. They live in a small town and are surrounded by people who don’t challenge them to learn about the latest electronic gadgets, so they don’t. Can’t fault them exactly, but it did take me off guard. Odd conversation.

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        1. lol. No, I think that might have caused their heads to explode. They were having a difficult enough time trying to grasp what I was saying. Polite people, but clearly thought that I was off my nut talking about these computer book thingies.

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  4. You must have run into my brother. Since he retired, he’s constantly trying to tell me about some new thing he discovered…like scanning stuff and having it in the computer. He finally got a personal cell phone ( they still have land lines) but he rarely answers it. He takes a lot of naps…maybe he’s really Rip Van Winkle? Hey, but he does the yardwork and paint walls, so he’s a keeper

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    1. philmouse, so nice that he’s keeping you in the loop about all the features on these modern computer devices! Really quite sweet of him. 😉

      I dunno what to make of these two people, but they’re pleasant and hard-working so if they don’t want to know about e-readers, then so be it. Just struck me as peculiar… and therefore blogworthy.

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      1. If he’s only stop sending all these ancient email myth stories….
        It is pretty odd that they haven’t heard as technology news seems to be everywhere. But some happily spin in their own universes – and happily get along (Sometimes I think they are the smart ones)

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  5. I love paperbacks, but I love my e-reader too. There is something about being able to slip my entire library into a purse and carry it off that makes me feel…well…powerful!

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  6. There is probably going to come a time when my unwillingness to get a smartphone is going to make me just as out of touch with society as these fine people are. Were I a reader, I’d probably refuse to adjust to the e-reader craze as well. I may be the only Luddite on the internet…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, I don’t have a smartphone, but I do have an e-book reader. While I get what you’re saying about being a Luddite, at least you know what a Kindle is. These two people didn’t even know that. It was such a strange, unexpected conversation, when all I was trying to do was make small talk.

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    1. robin, I don’t know these people well enough to answer your question, but it’s a good one. They’re nice enough, but seem to be uninterested in anything involving computers and the internet. Seems weird to me.

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  7. I don’t have a kindle but I do have a kindle app on my Android tablet and it is INVALUABLE for traveling. I survived the 11 1/2 flight to Seoul and it stayed charged the whole time, as I read one whole book and part of another.(I also played solitaire on it, but that’s irrelevant) Since I live in amazon territory(Seattle area) EVERYONE I know is familiar with kindles and many own several. Both daughters have kindle fires. I have to admit that having my new smart phone also comes in very handy while traveling–maps, messenger, kakao(free) texting, Facetime, etc. That said, I do love books too!

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    1. Margaret, I agree that for certain times an e-book reader is invaluable. I like my Kindle for when I travel, which is infrequently and not as far afield as you go. I have the Kindle app on my iPad (which I didn’t even try to explain to these people).

      But here’s what I learned from this conversation: when put on the spot, I’m lousy at explaining what an e-book reader is and how it works. I was more babble, than explanation!

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  8. My 83-year old mother introduced me to the Kindle world several years ago. (When she was in her upper 70’s.) Then I won a Kindle Fire and have learned to love it. However, still delight in the feel and heft and weight of “real” books. I kind of like running into folks who don’t use computers or fathom e-readers. It’s like they balance the rest of us and our technology. Unless they are judgmental about technology, of course. Then I want to frown at them. Nice reading you this morning, Ally Bean.

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    1. Kathy, what a wonderful mother you have there! Obviously it’s not age that motivates someone to adopt new technology, it’s interest and desire. Which these two people did not have, at all. I like your idea that they balance the rest of us. There was no judgment coming from these people, just total confusion. And me trying to explain.

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  9. Like Nance, I miss being able to borrow a book from someone. But I get the majority of books from the library. I read books occasionally on my iPad Kindle App. My husband has a Nook reader that has the paper white option, which he really likes a lot. I don’t know if it adjusts to different light, but it is backlit and he can read it anywhere any time, which he likes a lot. On my iPad, I have the Kindle app set to be white letters on a black page. It’s very easy on the eyes.

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    1. J, I’ve never tried that combo on my iPad Kindle app. I will now that you suggest it. I still read more books that I hold in my hands, than I read books on a screen. But when I need my Kindle, I do appreciate what it can do.

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  10. So would you recommend the Kindle Paperwhite now that you are using it? I am moving to Cairo soon and know that the books I so want to take will be a royal pain. Haven’t used one before as I love my books but for the weight of them, I am willing to give them up. Temporarily. Cheryl

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    1. Cheryl, I like the gadget well enough. It’s not like holding a book and reading it and dawdling over sections and such. But for travel and waiting in doctors’ offices and convenience regardless of light conditions, it’s great. I got it a few years ago when they were brand new and it still works fine. Don’t know anything about the newer versions or the one called Fire. I think the Fire one has color; my Paperwhite is in b & w.

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