The Dangers of the Digital World

I got a terrible wake up call the other day. It was a bone-chilling, armpit moistening, nerve wracking kind of day that got me thinking about the direction the world is taking. I nearly lost a huge chunk of my library – my digital library that is. For one entire day, I could not touch a single, solitary book that was locked within the recesses of my digital reader.

You may be asking yourself, why get your panties in a wad over that? What is one day when compared to the myriad of days, weeks, and years you have to look forward to? Well, when your digital reader has everything on it from your research materials (as a writer), to the book that you are reading for your own entertainment (the one that is consuming you and will not let you go), to the other collections of books like cookbooks with your favorite recipes, that nifty crochet book with the rest of the instructions on how to finish the project you are in the middle of working on, etc., you can see how NOT being able to access those books can add up to a pretty anxious time. And it wasn’t JUST one day. It was a promise of an uncertain forever.

The situation was simple. My reader received an automatic update the night before. The update follygabbled the program that enabled me to open the books I had paid for. I had a LOT of books, which included all of the above named varieties, so I called support to report the problem. I was told the high-powered, uber technical company had no timeline on when the problem would be fixed. For all intents and purposes, that money and those books might as well have gone up in flames.

The thing is, I have always been a bit of traditionalist when it came to the written word. I swore when Nooks and Kindles and all the rest of the eReaders first began to make their debuts onto the electronic stage that I would never succumb to the temptation of replacing my beautiful paper-printed pages with the dreaded, digital usurpers that threatened to replace them. Then I received a Nexus for my birthday. In stepped temptation.

It was just so darned easy and inexpensive. I found free books and cheap books and neat books aplenty. My day job is so entrenching, I oftentimes cannot get to the bookstore. In app searching and purchasing was so simple. I had amassed quite a collection before I even realized I had done so. Then came the crash and my books were no longer at my disposal. I found myself saying those famous last words…What was I thinking?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not calling digital books an anathema. As soon as the company fixed their app, I was back in business doing what I was doing before, but it did give me pause. It has even caused me to begin the process of back pedaling to a more reasonable level of digital purchasing. I now know first hand what happens when technology fails, and when it comes to my reading enjoyment, it isn’t pretty.

We take everything for granted in this high-tech world of ours until we don’t have whatever it is that we need anymore. I for one can’t live without books to fill those blissful moments when free time beacons me to my bookshelves, so little by little, I will return to the age-old tradition of buying it in print. Call me a fool or a fuddyduddy. I don’t care. Because in the eternity of hours that was my day without my books, it felt as though life as I knew it has ceased to turn. May the same be said and hold true for each respective generation when they speak about the written word.


If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to connect with H.L. Stephens on Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. Also check out H.L. Stephen’s mystery series The Chronicles of Mister Marmee. Book 1 – The Case of Jack the Nipper and book 2 – The Case of the Wayward Fae are available in print and eBook format. Coming Soon! Book 3 – The Case of the Monkey’s Misfortune.

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