Friday, October 22, 2010

You Know You’re a Type A Personality When…

Despite the fact that I swore I would be a hardcopy/softcover book reader forever, I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. Why? It did have something to do with the fact that the Kindle is now quite affordable, but it also had to do with the fact that I no longer have a place to store my books – the bookshelves are overflowing with to-be-read titles, and the basement is housing more than it’s fair share of boxes of books.

Much to my surprise, I am adapting quite nicely to the Kindle – with one exception – the status bar. You see, on the bottom of the screen as you read a book, there’s a bar that tells me my progress:

7%

I can turn off the other options Kindle tries to impose on me – like showing me which passages other reader’s highlighted. (No, I really don’t want to know that.) But I can’t turn off the status bar. It taunts me:

13%

Yes, with a physical book you have pages, and you can see how much you have completed. But the pages aren’t labeled 34 out of 318. It’s not a progress indicator, simply a number. But my Kindle is egging me on, as if to say:

You’re not finished yet… 28%

It throws me back to summers in elementary school when my older sister and I would borrow books from the library. We’d rush home, grab a chair or a piece of floor and start reading. “What page are you on?” my sister would ask. She could make anything into a competition. If I was reading page 29 she would be up to page 35. And if I happened to be a page or two ahead of her she would carefully explain to me how her book was more difficult than mine. It was a competition I could never win. And now my Kindle status bar says:

42%

Oh, I’ve been making believe that I am one of those easy-going Type B personalities. I even stopped wearing a watch and setting my alarm clock just to prove it. So, why then, does my eye keep wandering to that status bar?

61%

Testing me. Challenging me. Always eluding what surely must be the goal of any status bar:

100%

Yes, my name is Colette, and I am a Type A personality.

Type A’s, it’s your turn to fess up. When did you know for sure that you were a Type A personality?

13 comments:

Carol Kilgore said...

Maybe just now. I always thought I was a laid-back Type B. But I'm competitive and goal-oriented. Must be an A in a B suit.

Colette said...

Carol, I think there are lots of us in the closet!

Andree said...

Oh, this is little sis, and I am laughing. I was in the room too, but I was engrossed in Agatha Christie and don't think I bothered with that pages game, did I? From time to time I would secretly take big sis's books when she was done with them, just to see if I could read them. Does that qualify me for type A?

Lynne Spreen said...

I do enjoy my Kindle but I dislike the feature you mentioned. Also, if I want to tell someone, say, at my book club meetings, on which page I read a certain interesting passage, I can only say, "It's section 880 of 2405." I mean, what the heck! Come on, Amazon, get real.

Colette said...

Andree, definitely! You are a member of the Type A club!

Lynne, I hadn't even thought about that! I haven't tried to refer to a page yet. I wonder if other e-readers have page numbers?

Liz Fichera said...

Welcome to the Dark Side! It took me all of about five minutes to get used to my e-reader. I have a Nook. LOVE.IT. I rent e-books from the library and download books from the bookstore for much less than hardcover. I'll never go back.

Clarissa Draper said...

I don't get the numbers at the bottom either but I like to know my status. This is a very funny post!

And you're right, why would I care what parts other people have highlighted?

CD

Colette said...

Clarissa, thanks for your comment. Glad this made you laugh!

One Womans Eye said...

Colette, this is hysterical! Yes I am a Type A, and yes I too have not yet broken down and bought an electronic reader. I've been holding out for an iPad...but am intrigued with the Nook.
In any case I can tell you in advance....I would not like this % feature!

Colette said...

Liz, does the Nook have page numbers?

Joanne, I'm definitely lusting after the iPad, but not sure I'd choose it for an e-reader.

Amit Nandi said...

Wonderful reading. Colette,I do not think I will be Type A at any time except while reading this post.
By the way, I enjoy reading your Blog posting.

Amit

Anonymous said...

I think the 'problem' the readers have with page numbers is that you can pick your font size. I know how I'd solve it, but still...

Colette said...

Anonymous, I think you're right -- a combination of formatting (not all devices are the same) and the fact that the number of words on a page vary makes it harder to put page numbers. But surely some algorithm could be built to handle this.