Friday, July 23, 2010

Books are Dead?

Last night I finished reading the last of the paper bound books I had waiting in a pile on my nightstand. I told myself that once I'd read every bound book I owned, that I would never again buy another. The last paperback I will ever read? Extras by Scott Westerfeld. (Great book series, by the way.)

Don't panic. I can't give up reading. I would go insane! I am buying a Kindle from Amazon! I've been researching these digital book readers for about a month now and the Kindle is the best fit for me. I'll have instant access to almost any book I want, the ability to make the type larger once my eyes go (I hear this is inevitable), save a few trees, and give my poor arthritic hands a rest from having to hold these gigantic hardcover volumes I've bought so often in the past.

The irony? In the last book series I read (Scott Westerfeld's Uglies) paper books are things you see in a museum display or special collection at the library. Everyone uses special view screens to do their reading. Heh.

I know writers who are convinced that bound books will never completely die...but as they make these reader devices better and better, I see paperbacks becoming a rarity. I can get a new release seconds after it goes on sale. No waiting for shipping or wasting gas on a trip to a bookstore. I can get a new book in the middle of the night to combat insomnia. No trees need to die. Plus the Kindle editions are way cheaper than buying a first edition hardcover book.

So I had this brilliant idea on how to pay for my Kindle (and maybe send the boys to summer camp next year too.) I read a blurb in the AARP magazine about a couple websites that would buy back your gently used books. Since I have more books than the local public library, this sounded like a gold mine! I checked out and to see what kind of prices they would offer me. I had a tall stack of hardcover and paperbacks that I knew I would never re-read and were just gathering dust on my bookshelf.

It took 10 minutes to enter all the ISBNs. The result? Zilch. Nada. No sale. I read the fine print and discovered they don't buy any books published before 2007 (say what?) and even then not every book is in demand. I was miffed! It felt like a knock on my taste. I have an awesome book collection! Any geek would drool.

I moved on to check out Amazon resellers and Ebay. I checked just one book from the stack (a first edition hard cover.) Amazon had over 100 people trying to sell the same book. Ebay had even more. That was a total buzz kill! So it looks like me and my piles of dust collectors won't soon be parted. I feel like each volume has an expiration date. How long before the stacks are all obsolete and considered worthless?


I spent soooo much money on these books. There has to be someone out there who wants them. Any ideas, gentle readers?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Leave a message! *beep*

My mother has been complaining about our answering machine message for months now. Personally, I think it's adorable! Then again, they are my boys doing all the talking. I don't find Max hard to understand. I think him yelling LEAVE A MESSAGE at the end is clear as day. ;) That is the most important part, right?

My mother's latest argument is "No one has their kids record their answering machine message. It's not proper!"  *snort*  No one has ever accused me of being proper, right? But seriously, I have a bit of a problem with her conclusions in this case.  How many people with school age kids does she know? And how many of them does she call regularly?

So here is my very unscientific poll. Do you currently or have you ever allowed your kids to record your outgoing answering machine message?

While I wait and see if anyone responds, I do plan to record a new message. Well, the boys will be doing all the talking. They are older and wiser. Tyler no longer talks like he has a mouth full of marbles (even if he still talks at the speed of light) and Max has lost a lot of his toddler lisp. He still has trouble with his S sounds and is a little Elmer Fuddy with R's, but it's cute on a 3 and a half year old!

Sorry Nana, when I call my friends I smile when their machine has a message recorded by their kids. It's so much cuter and I find myself more eager to actually speak at the beep. Computer generated messages make me wince (unless they have a British accent.) An adult voice reciting the number I called with an abrupt order to leave a message makes me want to shake my head and hang up.