Tag Archives: eBooks

Complaint Box: How E-Readers Destroyed My Love Life

Broken heart Kindle e-reader.
Complaint Box

I noticed his wavy hair, his feline eyes and his lips, which moved slightly as he read. But the first thing I noticed was his book: Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint,” one of my favorites, was cradled in his palm. Between Delancey Street and Bryant Park on the uptown F train, I fell for him hard. It wasn’t the first time I’d flirted my way into a Saturday night date with a simple phrase: “I love that book.”

I had one good pickup line, and e-readers ruined it. I can no longer hit on a handsome man on a long commute by asking about his book — because I can’t see it. Gone are the days when, sitting on a train delayed in the station, I could imagine exactly where in the New York Public Library we would first kiss — in the stacks between Mailer and Malamud or Foer and Franzen? E-books may be saving literature, but my dating life has suffered.

We all know you can’t tell a book by its Nook, but for for me, a geeky 29-year-old N.Y.U. graduate, this problem is particularly acute. A man’s literary taste can score as many points as being good with my parents or an ace in the kitchen. I promise there is nothing flattering about me awkwardly straining my un-swanlike neck toward a cute guy’s Kindle to guess what he’s eyeing. Instead, I am limited to those who peruse The New Yorker in print. And I fear those days are numbered.

Ladies and gentlemen, take out your books! In New York they are more important than your Facebook photo. As our cyber personalities grow more detailed, we see less of one another in person. A literary flirtation is less risky than a bar pickup — at least you know you have one thing in common. And there’s more chance for chemistry riding the L train than scrolling through Match.com, where you’ll see what novels a guy claims to read but his profile pic may be of his hotter brother.

I‘ve had wonderful encounters over books — in cafes, in parks, on subway platforms. Not just with potential dates, but kindred spirits — a septuagenarian reading Nicholas Sparks, a tourist from Abu Dhabi who introduced me to Italo Calvino. A woman new to the city reading E. B. White’s “Here Is New York,” another favorite, is now my good friend.

During the Murakami craze a few summers ago, when everyone was carrying around his Vintage-issued paperbacks with their distinct covers, I found myself in a subway car full of passengers bonding over their “Wind-Up Birds” and “Hard-Boiled Wonderlands.” That is what I love about New York. I don’t need 10 best sellers on an iPad; it only takes one dog-eared title to recognize a soul mate.

Since I can’t scope out a guy for his good books, I’ll have to find my love stories elsewhere. Perhaps I’ll start reading romance novels — hello, Nora Roberts. At least if I get an e-reader, no one will know.

Lisa Lewis, a freelance writer and playwright, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and can be found online at LisaLewisWriting.com.

If you wish to submit a Complaint Box essay, please send it as an attachment and in the body of the e-mail to complaintbox@nytimes.com, along with your name, address, phone number and e-mail. In the subject line of the e-mail, type your last name, followed by “Complaint Box” and the subject of your complaint. Essays can be 100 to 500 words. Because we receive so many submissions, we can get back only to those whose complaints are being considered for publication. If you do not hear from us, thank you anyway, and feel free to submit it elsewhere.

Please note: Complaint Box is not the forum for your complaints about City Room or The Times. It is for essays on the general hassles of life, like the one above. If you have an issue with City Room, e-mail cityroom@nytimes.com. For issues with The Times, see the options at the bottom of the nytimes.com home page.

Complaint Box: How E-Readers Destroyed My Love Life

Broken heart Kindle e-reader.
Complaint Box

I noticed his wavy hair, his feline eyes and his lips, which moved slightly as he read. But the first thing I noticed was his book: Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint,” one of my favorites, was cradled in his palm. Between Delancey Street and Bryant Park on the uptown F train, I fell for him hard. It wasn’t the first time I’d flirted my way into a Saturday night date with a simple phrase: “I love that book.”

I had one good pickup line, and e-readers ruined it. I can no longer hit on a handsome man on a long commute by asking about his book — because I can’t see it. Gone are the days when, sitting on a train delayed in the station, I could imagine exactly where in the New York Public Library we would first kiss — in the stacks between Mailer and Malamud or Foer and Franzen? E-books may be saving literature, but my dating life has suffered.

We all know you can’t tell a book by its Nook, but for for me, a geeky 29-year-old N.Y.U. graduate, this problem is particularly acute. A man’s literary taste can score as many points as being good with my parents or an ace in the kitchen. I promise there is nothing flattering about me awkwardly straining my un-swanlike neck toward a cute guy’s Kindle to guess what he’s eyeing. Instead, I am limited to those who peruse The New Yorker in print. And I fear those days are numbered.

Ladies and gentlemen, take out your books! In New York they are more important than your Facebook photo. As our cyber personalities grow more detailed, we see less of one another in person. A literary flirtation is less risky than a bar pickup — at least you know you have one thing in common. And there’s more chance for chemistry riding the L train than scrolling through Match.com, where you’ll see what novels a guy claims to read but his profile pic may be of his hotter brother.

I‘ve had wonderful encounters over books — in cafes, in parks, on subway platforms. Not just with potential dates, but kindred spirits — a septuagenarian reading Nicholas Sparks, a tourist from Abu Dhabi who introduced me to Italo Calvino. A woman new to the city reading E. B. White’s “Here Is New York,” another favorite, is now my good friend.

During the Murakami craze a few summers ago, when everyone was carrying around his Vintage-issued paperbacks with their distinct covers, I found myself in a subway car full of passengers bonding over their “Wind-Up Birds” and “Hard-Boiled Wonderlands.” That is what I love about New York. I don’t need 10 best sellers on an iPad; it only takes one dog-eared title to recognize a soul mate.

Since I can’t scope out a guy for his good books, I’ll have to find my love stories elsewhere. Perhaps I’ll start reading romance novels — hello, Nora Roberts. At least if I get an e-reader, no one will know.

Lisa Lewis, a freelance writer and playwright, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and can be found online at LisaLewisWriting.com.

If you wish to submit a Complaint Box essay, please send it as an attachment and in the body of the e-mail to complaintbox@nytimes.com, along with your name, address, phone number and e-mail. In the subject line of the e-mail, type your last name, followed by “Complaint Box” and the subject of your complaint. Essays can be 100 to 500 words. Because we receive so many submissions, we can get back only to those whose complaints are being considered for publication. If you do not hear from us, thank you anyway, and feel free to submit it elsewhere.

Please note: Complaint Box is not the forum for your complaints about City Room or The Times. It is for essays on the general hassles of life, like the one above. If you have an issue with City Room, e-mail cityroom@nytimes.com. For issues with The Times, see the options at the bottom of the nytimes.com home page.

Cool Tools: Medicine for the Outdoors

I like the idea this reviewer has, regarding loading the Kindle version onto an iPhone (presuming the battery life will hold up on a camping trip – guess it’s time to invest in a solar charger…).

medicine-for-outdoors.jpg

There is nothing in this book that you don’t need to know. You don’t have to commit the book to memory but I would encourage you to know what’s in it and how to find it quickly. My first duty as a Scout leader is the safety and well-being of our Scouts at an age when they are poor judges of risk and have a propensity to overestimate their capacities. I need to know how to keep them safe and how to respond if they are injured or ill.

Medicine for the Outdoors is the work of Dr. Paul Auerbach, wilderness medicine pioneer and arguably the world’s foremost expert on the subject. He explains the how and why of responding to nearly every possible illness or injury one is likely to encounter in a concise, step by step manner that is intended to be used on the spot – but don’t wait for something to happen before you read the book.

Safety is not owning the right gear or having the right book. It is not having a well-appointed first aid kit. Safety is knowing how to prevent injury and illness and how to respond if it occurs. Get the book, read through it, make notes and practice the skills before you need them. I have a Kindle copy that I can carry on a smartphone, iPod or similar device. I also have a copy of the book that lives in our troop first aid kit.

via kk.org

Has anyone tried this? SENDtoREADER – A simple tool to send web pages to your Kindle.

Send any web page to kindle in a single click

SENDtoREADER is a simple web application that allows you to send any webpage to your Amazon Kindle Reader instantly.
This gives your Kindle the flexibility to be your work or leisure time companion with a simple click of the mouse.

Our web app is extremely easy to use. It’s just a bookmarklet (or favlet) which works well in all modern browsers including: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Opera. Version for Internet Explorer is coming soon. Once it’s added to your favorites, you can start sending web pages to your Kindle with a single click. By default, Kindle is a book reader, but with SENDtoREADER you can also make it your personal Magazine.

In order to protect your privacy, our system requires you to register first.
So, don’t wait, register now and start sending web content to your Kindle today.

Features

ReadabilitySENDtoREADER offers enhanced readability of all text. Every web page you send to your e-book reader is processed by our system to make it easier to read. It removes all unnecessary content including: ads, polls and banners but leaves the main content intact. ImagesOur system retains all images that are part of the text you send to your Kindle reader so you don’t miss out on seeing them when you have the time to read the material you have saved. Read laterIf you have long articles, items you don’t have time to read, or you don’t want to strain your eyes by reading from the computer screen, you can send articles to your Kindle for comfortable, stress-free reading from its legendary e-inc display at your leisure. ResendYou can keep track of every single item you have sent to your Kindle from any other source and can always resend items if necessary. This means you don’t have to keep the articles on your Kindle once you have finished with them. This also eliminates the concern that you may have deleted something important.

I’m tempted, especially since they appear to retain images, but I’m tiring of giving apps my info.

Kindle Books: Disaster Relief – Be Very Afraid [Book Review]

Be Very Afraid: The Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats

Be Very Afraid: The Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats
Author: Robert Wuthnow
Manufacturer: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2010-04-07
Publication Date: 2010-04-07
Label: Oxford University Press, USA
Sales Rank: 287075

More Info or Buy It Now

List Price: $21.95

Editorial Review
Robert Wuthnow has been praised as one of “the country’s best social scientists” by columnist David Brooks, who hails his writing as “tremendously valuable.” The New York Times calls him “temperate, balanced, compassionate,” adding, “one can’t but admire Mr. Wuthnow’s views.” A leading authority on religion, he now addresses one of the most profound subjects: the end of the world.

In Be Very Afraid, Wuthnow examines the human response to existential threats–once a matter for theology, but now looming before us in multiple forms. Nuclear weapons, pandemics, global warming: each threatens to destroy the planet, or at least to annihilate our species. Freud, he notes, famously taught that the standard psychological response to an overwhelming danger is denial. In fact, Wuthnow writes, the opposite is true: we seek ways of positively meeting the threat, of doing something–anything–even if it’s wasteful and time-consuming. The atomic era that began with the bombing of Hiroshima sparked a flurry of activity, ranging from duck-and-cover drills, basement bomb shelters, and marches for a nuclear freeze. All were arguably ineffectual, yet each sprang from an innate desire to take action. It would be one thing if our responses were merely pointless, Wuthnow observes, but they can actually be harmful. Both the public and policymakers tend to model reactions to grave threats on how we met previous ones. The response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, for example, echoed the Cold War–citizens went out to buy duct tape, mimicking 1950s-era civil defense measures, and the administration launched two costly conflicts overseas.

Offering insight into our responses to everything from An Inconvenient Truth to the bird and swine flu epidemics, Robert Wuthnow provides a profound new understanding of the human reaction to existential vulnerability….more

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Going into the Amazon queue…. By the way, this whole blog is EM related. You might want to bookmark it. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, the books are all very likely to be in print, as well.