Einstein is quoted as saying, “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal” and considering the way some people see indie publishing today, Einstein may not have been far wrong.
When Amazon introduced their Kindle and the 99c eBook, reading material was suddenly, seemingly endless. I could buy 10 books where before I could only get 1. It felt like a windfall. For many years, I would finish a book and twiddle my thumbs until the next one would fall into my hands. Now I could buy 10 at a time based on my regular “book budget” (as if anyone really has a book budget – if you are like me, you have to stay away from bookstores so you don’t empty your wallet in one visit). With websites like Free-eBooks.net, that windfall has become even larger, opening up an even larger world to us. We can download eBooks for free.
This sounds like it would be a good thing, no? Well, it can be. An endless supply of books to satisfy an ever-increasing hunger for reading material. As you finish one, there’s always another to take its place. And that’s beautiful if you’ve got the time for it. At first, I was happy that I could finish one and move straight into another on my Kindle. I would spend an hour or 2 a week, loading a dozen new books onto my Kindle and serial-reading for a few days straight afterwards.
It has become more of a distraction now though. Where before coming home for a long weekend with four or five books meant four or five days of reading bliss, now I have over 20 books sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read. And I keep adding to that list! At this rate, I’ll never finish.
Technology has helped give us more reading freedom, sure. But Einstein was right, even though it looks great, it really is not. A pile of books used to energise and excite me. Now my never-ending list of eBooks, waiting to be read, is intimidating. I don’t know if or when I’ll ever be done. How’s that for technological progress?
How about you? Have eBooks opened up a technological nightmare for you? Or is it a dream come true? Let us know in the comments.