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Books and Technology – The e-Reader as Anti-christ

Since recently committing to the fifty/fifty challenge, I have agonized over whether or not to buy some sort of e-reader or tablet device for reading. Up until a year or two ago, I strongly resisted the notion that a digital reading device would ever replace the good old-fashioned analog “book”. However, in the past year, I let down my guard and resolved to start getting a little more cozy with technology. A year ago I bought a Mac mini to replace (or at least supplement) my TV and movie watching medium, and a couple months ago I (*gasp*) bought an XBox.

…But, I have up until this point strongly resisted buying any type of e-reader device. This is partly due to irrational nostalgia, and partly due to my belief (which is still well established), that reading a physical book object is an aesthetic experience that will never be replicated by an e-reader (although, the experience could possibly be replaced in a virtual sense). All this being said, I my profession (I’m a software developer) demands a certain amount of respect and open-mindedness to new technologies and the cultural changes that come as side-effects, and I’d be a real curmudgeon (at best), and downright stupid (at worst) not to recognize that buying an e-reader is significantly more cost-effective and better for the environment than buying actual physical book objects.

So here I am at a crucial point in history (sort of): I grew up in a house with shelves full of books, the smell of old paper, the ability to physically manipulate and browse a home library. I went to college and studied English literature and dreamed some day of having a whole room in my house dedicated to nothing but books. For something like the last thousand years, books were the primary method of conveying knowledge, experience, and let’s face, sheer joy. And now it’s all changed, and frankly I’m annoyed. Early in 2011, I decided to cut my personal book collection in half (or by 40% or something), because I was getting tired of lugging all these boxes around with me every time I moved. The dream of having a home library was starting to seem like a pipe dream. I switched to listening to almost all my music in digital format a few years ago, so why am I dragging my feet when it comes to physical book objects?

The question remains unresolved. I will probably continue to agonize over the purchase of an e-Reader. Lucky for me, I won’t be forced to make this decision via the #fiftyfifty challenge, as I’m pretty certain that I still have way more than fifty unread books in my personal book collection to make it through the 2012 challenge.

This humble juggalo has just one question: F#@king digital e-Readers, how do they work?

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1/50 Books – Strategies for Fifty/Fifty

Silence on the Wire - Book Cover

Silence on the Wire (book cover)

Silence on the Wire is a book on computer and network security. It’s not really a how-to manual, rather it explains in a reasonable amount of detail how obscure security vulnerabilities can be studied and exploited. A book for geeks, but not entirely inaccessible for layman readers who take an interest in computer security.

As I’m queuing this book up for my 2012 reading fitness program, I must say this: fifty books is a LOT of books to read in one year. So you need to learn how to cut as many corners as possible. One of the loopholes in the very simple list of rules for fiftyfifty.me, is that you are allowed to count books that you started in 2011, but finish in 2012. I got half-way through Silence on the Wire earlier this year, and while I really was enjoying the book, I put a moratorium on my reading last spring, so technically, I have yet to finish it. On January 1st 2012, I will awake hung over, pick up Silence on the Wire, and boldly begin my quest to read 50 books and watch 50 movies in one year. And I will smite my enemies.

Juggalo For Life!

Presenting 2012: The Year of the Juggalo(s)

This juggalo is gettin’ ready for a KILLER year.

Goals for 2012:

  • Read 50 books
  • Watch 50 movies
  • Drink hella quantities of Faygo, nah mean?

Check it out:  Fifty Fifty