Shh, don't tell anyone, but I still own cassette tapes. Granted, I'm down to less than a dozen, but I'm unable to part with them. My car, a scant seven years old, has a cassette tape/CD player combo, so it seems wasteful to throw out the tapes, even if I don't play them anymore. Well, except the Cow Christmas tape (lots of mooing and cow bells included). My kids love that one. Lately, though, I've been thinking I should dump them.
I managed to throw out my VHS tapes a couple of years ago with only one or two wistful sighs, but that was because we got rid of our VCR. I knew I would never buy another VCR (do stores even sell those anymore?), so without a machine to play the tapes, they were fairly worthless, except for their sentimental value.
And now, I'm ready to leap into another technological marvel: the e-book. When e-books first hit the scene all those years ago, I scoffed. Who in their right mind would spend all that money on an e-reader when they could go down to a bookstore and buy a physical book? Who would choose to read a book on a screen, making it more akin to watching TV, than hold a book and turn an actual paper page? Apparently a lot of people, as it turns out. And I can definitely see the advantages. You can pack a dozen books on vacation just by downloading them to a device that doesn't weigh much more than a single paperback. You'll never be without a book again, not at the DMV, the doctor's office, or that beach in Cancun.
After all this time, my avoidance of e-books is about to change. Maybe. I got my husband a tablet for Christmas, and it came with an e-reader. Up until now, I never thought about using it since my husband won't allow me to touch the tablet, his most precious toy. Oh, sure, he'll occasionally hold it up to show me something on the screen, but if I lean in too close, he snatches it away. Why bother pleading and cajoling just to surf the web when I already have a laptop?
That all changed last week, when I won a free download of Zoned for Murder, by Evelyn David. Here's a free book. How could I pass up that opportunity? Turns out I can't. After several minutes of guilting my husband into sharing his tablet (but only on rare occasions and when he doesn't want to use it himself), he agreed to set up his e-reader account. The only problem is that I haven't been able to sign up for Smashwords, and that's the only way to get the book. I filled out all the information a few days ago, but I still haven't received the confirmation email that I need to activate my account.
Maybe it's a sign that I'm not ready to make this big leap. Maybe I should go sit on the couch and read one of the many actual books waiting for me. Or maybe I'm just making excuses.
Because once I read my first e-book, I know I'll take that final step and throw out my cassette tapes.