Downloading books from the 4CLS website is supposed to be as easy as one, two, three, but as I discovered, that’s not quite the case (it never is!). You can’t just download a desired title to your e-reader or iPad. Initially, you have to download free software to your computer that in turn allows you to download the books to your reading device.
After that, it’s a two-step approach of downloading e-books to your computer and then “dragging” them over to your e-reader. It takes a bit of practice to get used to the nuances of “dragging” but then you’re home free.
Well, sort of.
You still have to get accustomed to the e-reader. It takes a while to get used to turning pages with a “touch” of your finger. Often you “touch” the screen without meaning to or turn the e-book back a page instead of forward. It’s also cumbersome to refer back to an earlier part of a book. But after a while you adjust and regale in the idea of reading a book that isn’t bulky and can even provide its own night light.
One consolation to us “old fogies” is that the invention of e-books is not going to change things overnight. First, e-books and e-readers are not cheap and not everyone can afford them. Second, many patrons complain that the library system doesn’t offer enough new books but it takes a long time to build up a collection. And third, many people insist on the “real” thing and want no part of the new technology.
Still, there’s no question that e-books are here to stay and the more people get exposed to them the more their popularity will blossom. People like me have the best of both worlds. We know how to use the new technology, but can still snuggle up with a “real” book whenever we want. Our kids and their kids can deal with the “paperless society.” It won’t be here for a long time.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at email@example.com.