Thursday, July 31, 2014


Every new electronic device ought to come with the above warning. Or maybe the warning should be pasted on the outside of the box by the salesperson for anyone over age, oh, say, thirty-two?

Two and a half years ago, for Christmas, I received an e-reader. I'd been wanting one, but couldn't work up the courage to spring for the middle one of the three types offered; then my fairy godmother waved a wand and I got one as a gift. (And if you don't believe in fairy godmothers, shame on you. It really happened.)

So I got an e-reader. I read the directions. Plugged it in to charge the battery. (That took a day out of my life.) Then--finally--began the initiation.

#1 - read the Start Up booklet.
#2 - power on the unit.
#3 - search for the necessary Adobe products to download.
#4 - sign up for an Adobe account with email address and password.
#5 -

Well, you know how it goes. I was at the point of letting my e-reader meet my computer when everything went pear-shaped. (Don't you love British terms?) And I do mean pear-shaped. The computer timed out before I could finish whatever step I was on. I had to start over. The email address and password were entered fourteen times. The last straw was when the program told me my computer was too old, my browser couldn't cut the mustard any more, and I might as well go back to books made out of paper.

The only thing it didn't do was tell me I was too old a dog to learn this new trick, but if it had known my birthdate . . . .

So I put my lovely gift back in its box and let it sulk, if it wanted to. I know I wanted to.

Then one day a year ago at the library--you know, that place where you go and pick out books and magazines and movies and CDs and take them to a desk and the nice person there smiles, swipes your card under a reader, and then hands you a slip listing all the books, etc. and their authors and due date, along with your stack of stuff--yeah, yeah, that place. Well, one day, a sign spoke to me. "Technicians available to help with e-readers."

Timing was the worst--I was up to my nostrils in the daily-ness of my life, treading water. So I merely noted the information, tucked it away in my little grey cells, and got on with treading.

The waters finally receded and I began to see what was going on out in the Big Wide World. Friends of mine were e-pubbing: novels, novelettes, short stories, essays. My kids were devouring books from their phones, e-readers, and tablets. (My kids who are 'way, 'way past thirty-two.)

So I began to lean again toward tackling something new. After all, I reasoned--I'd recently managed to learn enough to use an Android phone, swiping my finger (or the stylus) to get it unlocked, making appointments on the calendar, sending and receiving emails and texts. Not the highest or best use of its many apps, but a start.

Yesterday was The Day. I went to the library at 2:00 PM and met with Darcy, one of the nicest young women I've had the pleasure to meet. She treated me with respect and friendliness. And she knew her stuff. I'd be proud to have her for a granddaughter. And Wonder of Wonders, I got the e-reader set up, talking to the laptop if and when necessary, otherwise doing its own thing and downloading books whenever I said so.

For my first download, I chose one of the library books that came up on the screen--Blue Moon Promise, by Colleen Coble. Colleen lives in the same Indiana town where my son owns a lock and safe security company. She writes Christian historical romance.

My next adventure will be the purchase of books on the Internet. I'll report on that new experience before long.

The reason I say to slow down for the learning curve is that I know how new things go for me--I get thrown in at the deep end, flounder around a while, tread water, and finally quit panicking and do a barely recognizable crawl to the edge of the pool. But after I get onto the basics, I'll be a little more daring.

Please ignore the mixture of metaphors--all this new tech stuff messes with my head.

I do miss the library of my childhood. Remember? So many books! So many stories! I used to love just going to sit among them and let them surround me with their magic. But they're still there, and I can go and visit when I want to. Being in the 21st Century isn't a bad thing--it's just new. And different. An adventure.

I guess that's why we have memories--to keep alive those things that pass from the scene.


  1. Glad you're on the electronic-reading road, but the library's still a magical place.

  2. And the brick-and-mortar library will still be there when the grid fails...God forbid. Will be looking for your books on my library's e-catalog!