Tuesday, April 6, 2021

E: E-Books, Election, Empty, Essential


#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter E

E-Books, Election, Empty, Essential

I was not too much into the idea of e-books, though I had read some I'd downloaded free from Project Gutenberg. It was not until the shutdown of the library (before curbside pickup) that I decided to look into the Overdrive library associated with my local library. I began to like the idea, even though there was a long wait on many titles, many as long as six months! Sadly, some titles I tried to find were not available, and although they could be suggested, not all of them have been added as of yet. And after sometime, the Overdrive site was constantly busy! I then learned of the Cloud Library and clicked on the one with my local library. On this one, most titles were easier to access, only some had a short wait. But there never seems to be a six-month or more wait on this site. 

Reading e-books is fun, but I still prefer the paper ones. Having to stare at the computer screen (which I already do enough of!) was the biggest "con" of e-reading. But I still do it this way, maybe or two e-books a month. This also included audiobooks, which I have been doing fewer of each year. This was the only way to listen to audiobooks after lockdown began. I had borrowed one from the library in January, and in February and March, there were two I had gotten at Kmart before it closed, so I had those. One prompt I had was an audiobook of poetry, which I was able to find through Overdrive in April. I began considering getting an e-reader (another browsed item on Amazon), but this remains undecided.

Yeah, we all know about the week-long election. I am an absentee voter and  completed my ballot in mid-October and dropped it off at one of our local drop-off boxes. 

I was glad to see Trump get defeated. This was the first time since 1992 that an incumbent president did not win reelection. The calendar dates in 1992 were the same as those in 2020. How weird is that?

Going to the stores at the start of the pandemic, we all saw empty shelves like those in the pictures below:

Other things that were empty this past year included schools. It was weird driving past schools and seeing no kids present. Streets were also empty in the beginning, with only a few cars parked outside. And empty buildings that emerged as the result of businesses. The local Kmart closed in February. This left one huge empty building and one huge empty parking. It looked like the nearby Foster Freeze, Taco Bell, and a tile store adjacent to the Kmart building would have the parking lot to themselves, until the pandemic hit and fast food was drive-thru only. The parking lot and building remain empty to this day. The biggest empty lot on my town.

I cannot remember how many times I had heard the word "essential" in a single year, prior to 2020. But the word became a part of everyone's vocabulary as a result of the pandemic. Essential workers, essential businesses and essential activities were a focus of this past year. We were encouraged to thank our essential workers. I was able to avoid doctors this past year (didn't need to see any), and my psychiatrist appointments were by phone (more on this to come). Grocery store workers were the essential workers I had the most contact with (distantly, of course), as going to the store is always inevitable. And the mail carriers. I do thank all these people for working amid the current circumstances.


End of today's post.


  1. Hari Om
    An Excellent rEflection! I admit I have converted quite readily to e-reading; but do most of it on my small tablet (very like the Kindle or Kobo) and it flips pages a bit like the real thing. When I do read a paper book now, it feels cumbersome! YAM xx

  2. Jamie,

    There was a lot of empty shelves in 2020. We used then and continue with home delivery service for all of our groceries. It was frustrating to find essentials out of stock all too often and still are to a degree but I think things will bound back by the end of the year for good.

    Join me on Curious as a Cathy for today's Looney Tunes Art Sketch of Elmer Fudd! Happy A2Zing, my friends!

  3. Like you, I prefer paper books. I spend more than Enough time staring at a screen.

  4. I find it odd what people consider to be essential or non essential, during the first wave kids clothes were not essential, but after some mothers complained as their kids had grown out of their clothing, it's now considered essential, and recently they decided that shoes for kids were essential.

  5. I love the feel of an actual book. However, I have taken a liking to my Kindle and read a good bit from it.

  6. I too like books with pages to turn and have not yet embraced a kindle or e reader and don't think I ever will. But I understand why people like them. I love the feel and smell of a book. Nothing better to me.
    As for essential workers they made my husband one and in all honesty I do not think a remodeler is essential to ones life. But allowing us to work was helpful to keep a roof over our heads but essential? I don't think so. Grocery stores, pharmacy, fire and police, dr and nurses and dental offices yes, having your kitchen or bathroom remodeled? Not so much during a pandemic.

  7. Good post - always paper books for me, we're about to have an election and everyone is already fed up with it, the shops are about to open again, so hopefully won't be empty, and it's funny what different reasons people think are essential during a pandemic!!

  8. I saw your blog in my own blog stats as a "referrer" and was struck by the similarity in names! Well...sort of.

    Anyway, the only way I find reading eBooks enjoyable is with a dedicated eReader like Nook or Kindle, that uses eInk technology. A white page, black "ink", and little or no backlighting. Tuck the whole thing into a leather (or faux leather) cover, so that it has the right "feel" to it. THEN, suddenly, it's an entire portable library! But I don't understand trying to read books on a backlit, colorful screen, unless they are picture books.