Suddenly I realized that I’ve changed. Yes, I’ve transformed into an e-consumer. How did I change so quickly?
I’m of the age where I remember writing letters to relatives and friends in other countries. I didn’t talk to anyone on the telephone except at Christmas and then it was a thrill to say a few words to a live person who lived so far away.
I didn’t own a computer until I was in my early 20s and the large, heavy monitor sat on the hard drive on my desk in my room rarely being used. There was no internet so what was the point of sitting behind a computer all evening?
I walked to the bank to deposit or withdraw money....and when the bank was far away, I took the bus only to stand in line to wait for a teller. And I liked reading the Toronto Sun because it was tabloid format and easier to read than pulling out sections of The Star.
Today, I read all the papers online. Not only does it reduce paper usage, it’s so convenient to take my Playbook to a coffee shop and catch up on the news. And why would anyone stand in line for movie tickets when you can simply purchase them at home before you go to the theatre?
I know my transition was inevitable. We are living in a world where e-transactions increases convenience and more people are doing their shopping online. The recent layoffs by big box retailer Best Buy was due to more consumers shopping online, reducing the need for in-store employees.
But although I’ve abandoned paper for technology in many cases, I always believed I’d hold onto one cherished tradition until the very existence of paper books disappeared. No self-respecting English major and writer by profession would read an e-Book.
Or so I thought.
Stranded in Costa Rica one day last December with nothing to do but relax on the beach, I realized I didn’t have a book with me. My bookshelf overflowing with novels not yet opened and eagerly waiting to be read when the time was right, was back at home in Toronto. I picked up the Playbook and saw the Kobe books icon. Could I? Dare I?
I did. A quick credit card transaction later and I had purchased the entire Hunger Games trilogy. So I took my thin electronic gadget to the beach and proceeded to read under a palm tree in front of a wavy, blue ocean.
What can I say – the conversion was easy. Now I look at my stocked bookshelf at all of the unread, unopened novels and wonder, can I ever hold a paper book and read it with the same joy ever again? Aren’t some traditions worth preserving?
Still, as I mourn the eventual loss of my childhood traditions, I am browsing shoes online and I wonder.