The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it

 I'm on the horns of a dilemma. Almost two years ago I ranted about never owning an e-book reader. Since then there have been several new products come on the market. The Kindle from Amazon.com has been improved and offers a few different versions and price points. Barnes & Noble came out with the Nook and now has a color version that is essentially an Android tablet. There are about half dozen other options, not to mention all the support software you can get for other devices in order to read e-books on your tablet or smartphone.

So, what's the problem, you ask?

Well, the truth is, I'm starting to want one.

Astute readers of that original blog plumbed the depths of my psyche and pointed out that I was really raging against the limited search technology and methods available at that time. Even so, if I reversed such a strongly held position, even if it wasn't directly against the overall technology, would it set off a firestorm of controversy? You know, something as big as saying threading library "W" was better than threading library "P" but, a few years later, saying the opposite and using the exact same reasons to support the contrary position. Something like that could get ugly.

I just spent a week in Spokane, WA, with my sister (who is assigned to an Air Force post in Europe). Her husband is a voracious reader. He has an e-reader and 10,000 free books stored up. For her birthday, my eldest niece wants nothing but an Amazon gift card to feed her Kindle habit. On my return flights, I saw at least 20 people using an e-reader or tablet. I read my hardback book, which got some bent pages when I shoved it into my backpack preparing to get off the plane.

In (secretly) perusing some of the reviews of e-readers, one comment keeps standing out to me. Users of e-readers claim that they have read more books in the past year with their device than they would have done if they only had books to lug around. This warms the cockles of my heart, but I'm already a good reader. I also don't mind lagging behind the latest technical marvel or using "outdated" technology, either. ("Take my cell phone...please")

The only thing keeping me from taking the plunge is being thought of as a flip-flopper. Sure, I could not tell anyone that I've gotten an e-reader, but I'm sure the paparazzi would eventually catch me coming out of some sleazy dive with several women of questionable character, shoving aside homeless orphans, and swigging vodka directly from the bottle. In my free hand would be my e-reader opened to a page from Cousin Bette, calling into question the veracity of just about everything I've said to that point.

I suppose one good way to get out of this situation would be to have someone develop an e-reader that uses an Intel Atom processor (hint hint). That way, I can claim I'm just supporting my company by purchasing those fine devices with "Intel Inside."

Note 1:The scenario described above was intended for humorous purposes only. Clay does not advocate consorting with loose women or mistreating the homeless, and alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Read a book to vicariously sample a lifestyle outside what is considered polite society.

Note 2: The title comes from a line in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I toyed with using "Get Thee behind me, Nook," but didn't think the association with the B&N product and you-know-who would score me any karma points or a free color Nook.
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Comments

jimdempseyatthecove's picture

Just how many horns does a dilemma have?
Are they sharp like a bull or fuzzy like a deer when covered in velvet?

Now if they would only offer a Nook or Kindle or spludgephrazz with 10,000 top-notch programming books, all for the price of $139.99 then you would make a believer out of (or provide a guilty pleasure for) the rest of us.

Jim

www.quickthreadprogramming.com
Clay Breshears (Intel)'s picture

For me, having 100 top books might be enough. Or perhaps a cheap Safari subscription (1949 books on programming as of today) and all the offered books in a readable format.

One of my favorite lines from SCTV was from Betty Thomas (Hill Street Blues) playing a Mae West type character (this might even be an original quote of hers): "You look like a man on the horns of a dilemma, while my dilemma is that I'm h**ny." (Self-censored to keep the blog's family appeal.)