A friend stopped by unexpectedly last night as I was about to go to bed. (I do turn out the lights early these days.)
“I was on my way to the library,” she said. “And then I realized I could go to Susan’s house instead!”
I laughed, completely understanding what she meant. In my years of teaching, I was also a reader. I collected books on writing, thinking, pedagogy, and leadership. On my shelf I have Shirky, Gallagher, Kohl, Li, and Wagner. During my days at FA, I tried to share as many books as could, handing out Godin, Dweck, Boss, and Wheatley to name a few. My friend, a former colleague who was working on a philosophy of teaching essay for graduate school, wanted to reference something, and she knew I would have resources.
After handing over a few books, I said good night. And then I realized how many more I have on my Kindle now.
“That’s a shift,” I thought with some regret. I can’t share my books any longer.
But wait–yes, I can! I remembered hearing about lending books from my Kindle, but I hadn’t tried yet. A couple of clicks later, and I was there:
There are a few restrictions from Amazon:
Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle — Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable — it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period.
I can live with that, though unfortunately books can only be lent once. I don’t know why I am so late to this game, but I’m glad I learned something new. Anything else I should know about the Kindle? How about a PLP book club?
image credit: By jblyberg
Susan Carter Morgan
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I too just had a neighbor stop by to borrow a book (or three) and it hit me too–most of my new books are on my nook. I was saddened that the ability to loan my books out is so limited. However, I think it will soon be common place to have an app for e-books and that you can have books cross-platform.
I was, originally, not purchased YA books for my nook as I thought that my two boys wouldn’t be able to read them. I then thought about it and figured that they too would have their own e-readers when they are older.
A definite shift indeed.
I share this same feeling with you both – although I love my kindle, I love the idea of sharing a book many, many times and the idea of getting books into the hands of those who can’t afford these fancy devices that seem almost commonplace to some of us now.
And what about those books that make it across the world with traveling teachers like my friend Linda who is teaching in the mountains of Haiti this year?
I worry about public libraries because they are a democratizing place where knowledge is available to all – something to be valued in our culture for sure.
I know it’s not likely to change any time soon, but there are ‘drip’ effects of new technologies (as Gavriel Salomon would say) – slow shifts that happen over time – and I do worry about this one.
I find it interesting to be a part of this emerging division. I recommend to students that they use both ebooks and paper books in my courses, divided somewhat along content lines. I personally enjoy both forms, some books, such as works by a few of the authors you mentinon in the article, I ‘need’ on my physical bookshelf.