Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthdays, Technology, and Progress?

I have been rather reflective lately, perhaps because I've just had one of those "0" birthdays. Certain questions have come up:

KINDLE

I recently got my first look and feel of a Kindle 2. I missed Kindle 1 entirely. It was so neat and so tempting. We live a considerable distance from a book store, if you don't count the paperback rack at the grocery store. I could get all those books instantly! However, it doesn't look conducive to reading in the bathtub. I know you can zip it into a plastic bag, but now that I'm old enough to require my trifocals for reading in the tub, I have trouble enough keeping them from steaming up. I am not sure that I can manage the additional layer of plastic blur.

In addition, there's the cost. The initial cost, while high, would be worth it perhaps, but I really don't need another item with an upkeep cost. A Kindle is useless if you don't pay for things to put into it. I already have utility bills, satellite tv (a luxury, but we live where all television access must be paid for one way or another), and utility bills. Admittedly, if I buy paperbacks, I have travelled to get there, but not exclusively for that purpose. I also trade paperbacks in a circle with some other local ladies, and then they end up in the used book shop that makes money for our local public library. And that library lets me check out any book in their collection for free! It is 4 blocks from my home. If they don't have the book I want, they can get it for me on loan. I have trouble visualizing their providing Kindle service anytime soon.

AUDIO BOOKS

I have discovered that audio books are a joy. I can listen when doing mindless tasks or when doing relaxing knitting, and they make life much more pleasant. My daughter gave me an adapter for my birthday that lets me attach my MP3 player (refurbished, from Woot.com) to the tape player in my car so that I can listen without headphones while driving. Very nice! I can download from my home computer to my MP3 from a free service provided by my public library. I also have one credit a month from Audible.com. I do buy some of Audible's cheaper promotions for authors that I particularly like. I have noticed that Barnes & Noble.com is also selling MP3 downloads of audiobooks. I will probably not use theirs except for the free ones and the less expensive ones, of which they have quite a collection, when they have a coupon available. I've been very outspoken in support of the free service from the public library, and I hope that increased circulation will support the availability of more titles to listen to.

KNITTING

I find that I enjoy handknitting, while I found my brief experiment with machine knitting to be most unenjoyable. That's a personal preference. The pickup-for-a-minute-or-two aspect of knitting by hand and its portability both appeal to me. I like the feel of the yarn going through my fingers. I feel much the same way about hand v. machine embroidery. However, I enjoy sewing on a computerized machine, and I prefer my spinning wheel to spindling. I must admit, though, that some of the spinning preference may be due to the fact that I am a rather uncoordinated person, and I always feel somewhat awkward using a spindle, rather than graceful as in some of the videos I've seen.

Tonight, I'm forsaking my audiobook to open the first volume of the Twilight series--the boxed set was another birthday gift. Now I'll be able to gush over Edward with my students. That is, if I can remember how to work the device:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRBIVRwvUeE

Reminder--book reviews can be accessed through my Shelfari shelf in the sidebar.

2 comments:

FugueStateKnits said...

Here's a thought - probably silly, but if you ever need to buy a cellphone, consider an iPhone -Kindle is a free application for the iPhone.
And it's rather nice!

Soonerbeknitting said...

Thanks for reminding me about the library's audiobooks. I haven't used them in awhile.

Good luck with Twilight. It was all I could do to get through the first two - not books I enjoyed at all!