Reader's Exchange

You'd be surprised who reads steamy novels

It's not the Nook's fault.  At my house, we're creatures of habit; enjoyment of print books is a long-standing practice.  Offered a chance to play with the trendy new e-book reader that I have on loan, we've thus far responded with a hearty "isn't that nice!", after which we peer at the opening screen, venture into a few menu options, then gingerly put the device aside in favor of our printed volume-in-progress.

So I was determined to generate a more enthusiastic buy-in from our mothers during their Thanksgiving visit.  After lunch, I downloaded three tempting new fiction titles: one drama, one frothy and humorous title, and Edward Rutherfurd's latest historical tome.  The tryout began well: my mother-in-law gamely experimented with the navigation screen and chose Rutherfurd's New York: The Novel.

But, as it turns out, print is not the Nook's toughest competition.  My daughter's appearance with her spinning wheel supplanted 21st-century gadgetry with traditional charm.  Once she'd demonstrated how to transform a clump of wool into a sleek run of yarn, suddenly that was the cooler technology to try.   Hundreds of pages downloaded and available within seconds are no match for a flywheel, a treadle, and (shades of Sleeping Beauty) the spindle.   So, exactly half of the intended audience sampled the e-reader experience.  My mother-in-law did claim to have enjoyed the session and sounded even more sold on New York.

Steampunk trainI've certainly acquired new appreciation for the subject of spinning.  I select fiction, so fiber arts books aren't in my territory, but I checked the catalog to see what the library offers.   Choose the "advanced" menu search and look up "spinning" as "any word in subject": you'll get a nice list including Respect the Spindle, Spin Control..., The Intentional Spinner, and Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning, among others.   

An epiphany that's very much fiction-oriented also occurred.  The fascinating juxtaposition of historic sensibilities and modern/future technology--isn't that what steampunk is all about?  That science fiction/fantasy genre is one I don't often read (though I love definitions such as Caitlin Kittredge's assertion on steampunk.com that "It's sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans.")  Now the relevance of steampunk is becoming clearer.  For a starter list, you could try a suggestion from Hennepin County Library.   

Comments

gcorneau said:

Speaking as a new Nook owner myself, I was wondering what our RRPL had in terms of ebook loans/checkout?  Do you know?

# November 29, 2010 7:47 PM

Patricia Brauer said:

According to Theresa Faris who heads up our collection development:

"Round Rock Public Library will be adding a new service very soon called OverDrive.  Part of the Central Texas Consortium, Round Rock has partnered with other libraries to offer downloadable materials to our patrons.  Hundreds of e-book titles will be available for download to your computer, which can then be downloaded to your Nook or Sony Reader.  However, Amazon® Kindles and the Apple® iPad™ are not compatible.  Audio books, music and movie titles will be available as well, some of which can even be downloaded to your mobile phone!

To use this service, patrons will need a computer or smart phone, a Round Rock Public library card, and an Internet connection.  Users will also need to do a one-time installation of free software, one type for e-books and another type for the other formats.  

We’re very excited to offer this new service!  Stay tuned for more details!"

# December 1, 2010 3:29 PM
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