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?