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:


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:


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:


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?


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


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?


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?


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.


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.