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The problem with eBooks

If you follow my blog, you know already I generally like eBooks, although I have found some technical issues with many of them (beside the obvious problem with DRM). But in general I keep preferring them over the dead-tree variant; if anything because they don’t require me to choose between leaving them in Italy, or spending a vast amount of money to have them back here.

But what I have here is probably more of a social problem than a technical one. I’m currently in the outskirts of Los Angeles, knowing almost nobody outside of the office in this area (Pesa is far enough), and too shy to go out the night alone. What I have spent most of my weekends doing here is reading: on the Pier and in the local Starbucks. Which is good, to be honest, as I like to read, and I used not to find enough time to. This is the part I like about travelling: I find time to read.

Anyway, I wouldn’t mind meeting people around here, and with people I don’t necessarily mean girls, to be clear. I would just prefer not to feel so … isolated in the crowd as I feel now. I guess being a geek in the surfer’s paradise is not that great a situation. But what has this to do with eBooks? Well, one thing that seemed to help for me the few weeks I spent in university was greeting people who were going around with books that I read before (and the other way around).. but it’s hard to do so when you move around with an Amazon Kindle, as it shows no book cover!

Okay, it’s true I did talk for a little while with a guy who was curious about the reader itself, but it still takes away all the people who know already the Kindle, and who might already have one. Maybe eBook readers should have two screens, one on the backside where it can keep displaying the cover of the book you’re reading, so that you can break the ice with new people. But most likely I guess this is one less thing people can rely upon to break the ice.

I guess it’ll take me quite longer to actually get to meet people around here then. Next thing to try? Getting a real deck of Magic: The Gathering and finding out where the nearest place to play is.

Comments 4
  1. Your problem should be relatively easy to fix:1. Install a plastic paunch on the back of the ereader. 2. Print the covers of the books you are currently reading. 3. Insert the cover into the paunch. Swap them out as necessary.As a bonus it would publicly reaffirm your status as a geek.

  2. For a geek such as yourself, my first suggestion would be to check out the local LUGs, RUGs, and hackerspaces.When I’m new to a social group, I just kinda sit and listen until I hear enough to get a feel for the people around me. I don’t know LA, though.

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