“There are two things in the world that are truly, totally free with an endless supply. The air we breathe and the texts on Project Gutenberg.”
– Michael S. Hart, 1999
Michael S. Hart, who founded Project Gutenberg and is credited with inventing the eBook in 1971, passed away on September 8th. Project Gutenberg is “the first producer of free ebooks” and is “one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects.” You can read more about Mr. Hart here, here, and here.
I like to think of my life as B.K. (Before Kobo), and A.K. (After Kobo). B.K. I was a healthy, happy woman who didn’t mind waiting for a popular book. Now, A.K., I am shelling out the big bucks for Hunger Games, Freedom, and other best sellers. Since I bought a Kobo last August, the only books I have used in paper format have been cooking and dog training books. For recreational reading, I simply prefer the convenience of the ebook, and if that means buying a book instead of reading a free paper copy then so be it.
Last October, my husband received an email from our credit card company, wondering if someone had stolen my credit card. I had maniacally purchased five books at once from the Kobo ebook store and therefore my credit card company presumed my card had been stolen. Even though I had purchased my ereader with every intention of checking out library ebooks, I found myself quickly rationalizing a $4.99 purchase, then a $7.99 purchase, and even a $14.99 purchase. I never thought I would pay for so many books, and I wonder if our faithful library users will succumb to the same temptation I did. Continue reading “Free vs. Easy: A librarian contemplates her obsession with her ereader”