Sipping the e-reader Kool-aid

My wife and kids would tell you I like gadgets, especially electronic gadgets. When you combine that with my book addiction, I always knew e-readers would entice me. It was more a question of when (how long I might be able to resist) than if.

Blame Barnes & Noble. I’m going to be sipping the e-reader Kool-aid. Prompted by a gift card and the new $149 version, I ordered a Nook Wi-Fi Tuesday, which should arrive by the end of the week. (An aside to B&N: Please make up your mind whether it is a “nook” or a “NOOK”. Your website uses both.) Since I’m not on the AT&T network and likely won’t be for at least a year or more, if ever, the additional $50 for the 3G version didn’t make sense. This is also a digital device that seems more amenable to sharing with my wife than an mp3 player or the like, particularly with the ability to use memory cards.

I know I won’t abandon “real” books. Yet the fact I ordered a Nook“>brought Amazon to its knees in shock and mourning. But it need not worry too much. I haven’t ordered any books for the Nook and may not for a while. One of the other attractions of the Nook is that it supports both PDF and ePub formats. There’s plenty of books out there in those formats (some of which have been residing on my laptop or desktop for a while) and I’ll probably try those out first.

But I will try to approach this with an open mind — especially since I don’t want or need a $150 toy sitting around unused. Plus, given the number of books now in the public domain, this may help me get closer to completing the Books of the Century reading challenge I started. And, who knows? Maybe I’ll like it.

Oh, oh. Sounds like the Kool-aid is kicking in and so far I’ve only smelled the fumes.

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.

B.F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement

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