If you bring this to book club, you can’t have any coffee

I’m not trying to be contentious. Far from it. I welcome ALL readers to my book groups. Especially those who haven’t finished the book or never even heard of it. But after flipping through this morning’s news, I’m wondering: If someone brings this to the book group with an e-book on it, is the Library responsible for any spilled coffee on the keyboard?

HP Mini

David Rothman over at Teleread is musing over the use of the new HP Mini for e-book readers. The “gadgette” is compact, light-weight and easy to use according to a review David references from OnTheRun.

I thought it looked promising. I’m all about less poundage in my reading and faster access. What makes me grin at these techno-perts is how they focus on the electronics (which, I know, is their jobs, I shouldn’t expect more than that) and sort of gloss over how the newfangled things will work with everyday living. But that’s for us folks on the ground to work out.

So, I’m just wondering. How would an e-book on the HP Mini work if that techno-savvy soccer mom brought it to her book group? How does she turn to page 97 with everyone else to read the passage that holds the key to the character’s motivations? Does the Library’s food and beverage policy regarding computers apply to her? And how do you know she’s paying attention to what others are saying and not surfing her email? If she hates the book the group chose to read and discuss, does she throw her computer against the wall?

I jest, I know. This is how I make technology fit in my reading life. Can I eat with it? Can I slam it on the table if I loathe it? Can I take it in the bathtub with a glass of wine?

Of course, the e-book on the computer probably has the entire book and Scott Brick narrating to boot. When the soccer mom wants everyone to turn to her favorite passage, she keys up ol’ Scott to serenade the gang. Hmmm. There’s probably something to all these biblio-tronics, after all.

Comments

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

2 Comments on "If you bring this to book club, you can’t have any coffee"

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  1. Hi, Kaite. Nice, lively post. For the E side, folks can check out:

    http://www.teleread.org/blog/2008/04/08/adrenalin-pumper-of-the-week-e-book-musings-from-ms-library-book-club/

    My reply applies below your comments. And for the impatience fans of Book Group Buzz who can’t wait, here’s one solution to the bathtub challenge in certain cases:

    http://www.teleread.org/blog/2007/05/21/the-ultimate-ebook-experiment-reading-in-the-bathtub/

    Also:

    http://www.teleread.org/blog/2007/10/20/how-to-read-an-e-book-in-the-bathtub/

    Cheers,
    David R. / 703-370-6540

  2. Well, my reply, er, “appears” below your comments.

    Hmm…yet another glory of e—easier to fix than p-editions. You can change “impatience,” too.

    Simply put, there’s a lot more to E than just the ability to put a gizmo in a plastic bag and enjoy a book in the bathtub.

    Thanks,
    David

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