Open Up Your Mind

There is so much I could write about. A good trip to Monhegan always cultivates my creativity, so to speak. Hopefully I will get to it all before I hibernate or something. But, for now I have to hang my head in humbleness. I did something I said I would never do. Okay, I probably never said “never” but… I truthfully never saw myself doing this. What is it, you ask. Okay. I’ll tell you. You might want to sit down and you might need to read this twice over. I can’t believe I’m admitting to it, but here IT is. I. Read. An. Ebook. Off an iPad. Yup. Me, the staunch librarian with old-fashioned ideals on what constitutes a real, honest-to-goodness good book. Me. The one who said “I want to feeeeeel the book, dahhling.” The one who identified with the TurnDownTheCorner woman in those silly commercials. I not only read an ebook. I read three. Are you as shocked as I was? You’ll get over it. I did.

Here’s how it all went down. Every time I head to Monhegan I promised myself the same crappy promises. Promises I know I’ll never keep for one reason or another. Promise number one, I will borrow a book from the Monhegan Memorial Library. It will be something from my List and it will be in good old paper and ink form. Promise number two, I will scour my mother’s attic for other On List titles and read them for the duration of my holiday. Promise number three, I will, once and for all, bring to the island the Master List and determine just what from my mother’s attic is even on my list. How long have I had this silly, self-imposed, and sometimes stupid Challenge? Long enough to know I will never bring out a Master List, I will never formally sift through the piles and piles in my mother’s collection and I will not take the time to sit in a small but quiant library when I could be hiking Red Ribbon, Underhill or my favorite, #14. I just won’t take the time.

Knowing these promises wouldn’t be kept (again) I packed Stephen King’s The Stand thinking 700+ pages would hold me for ten days. Kisa started to pack an iPad and then decided before it went into his bag he would introduce us. I could tell he was nervous as he held it out to me. Technology, meet librarian. Librarian, meet your new best friend. I couldn’t get over how light it was. Kisa taught me how to load a book. How to read it. Bookmark it. Highlight. Take notes. Use the dictionary…Use the freaking dictionary! I ended up loading five books.

In the first 20 minutes of the car ride to Maine I did nothing but experiment with highlighting words and passages, taking notes on sticky pads, changing the font. changing the color, looking up words in the dictionary, adjusting the light. It took me 15 miles to read one page of Anil’s Ghost. Once I saw the potential I took off reading and note taking. I finished Anil’s Ghost within nine hours of arriving at Lobster Cove. From there I moved on to Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Altered Carbon. I was sad to discover I loaded a book I couldn’t read (it’s the second book in a trilogy), but at least Grapes of Wrath was available as a backup.

So. Here I am, the librarian in love with an ebook reader. No. I take that back. I am in love with the technology that allows me to do an author search on the internet (just not while on Monhegan) while looking up a word, at the same time as highlighting a passage I want to remember. All without losing my place. No turning down of the corners needed.

Categories: Confessional, Librarianship, life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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