What to do when your beloved E-Reader breaks

Hello and good day to you, fine sir or madam! Random Rambles is a non-regular feature at Words in a Teacup where we take the time to talk about those things on our minds that are (often) unrelated to books but desperately need voicing. This time, as you can glean from the banner above:


What to do when your beloved E-Reader breaks

If you’re cheap like me, you totally invested into an e-reader at one point. They’re just so awesome! So many books you can carry in a tiny little gadget! And you can even save some money! Most times ebooks are cheaper than the printed ones, after all. Don’t get me wrong, I love printed books, theyre ever so shiny and ugh I love holding a book, but I also love having a huge selection to choose from. I can’t very well carry a hundred books in my purse, can I? (Well. Well. I am sure that if I had a big enough purse, I could. I just might die underneath the weight of it.)

Turned off and turned on. It’s definitely broken.

But then the unimaginable horror story has come true: your choice of medium through which you devour books is broken. It’s shot. On the fritz. Kaput. All buggered up. Or as the Germans say, “im Arsch”. Unfortunately, I appear to have a bad track record with e-readers so far. Granted, it’s only my second one (both of them were a Kindle 4, btw), but still. Breaking two out of two? Not something you would call good. And it’s even worse when you don’t know how you break it. At least with the first one, I dropped it in the floor. That’s how the e-ink screen inside broke. The second one? Not so sure. Same result, but I have no idea what happened. It was just fine the other day!

Okay, so get to the point, Isa. My e-reader is broken.
What do I do now?


Option 1: Cry a lot and pray for a miracle

Definitely an option I am very much in favour of. Crying doesn’t help anything but it sure gives you an outlet for all the feelings. After all, you just lost a bajillion of books all ready to be read! It’s a tragic thing to have happened to you. (I’m not kidding. Dead technology is the worst and will reduce me to tears of rage and later sadness.) If you’ve got the means, you should definitely go and sit in the shower and cry some more.

Also wish for that miracle. I’ve been there and done that, it doesn’t fix it either, but at least you tried. Don’t come crying to me before you’ve wished for a miracle.

Option 2: Call your e-reader’s manufacturer

You’re not the first person with your problem and you won’t be the last. If you’ve got a Kindle, Amazon has a very helpful customer support, at least here in Germany, and while they couldn’t actually help me, they sure were nice. (The guy even advised me to go to a different shop to buy a new Kindle there because they had them on sale there! Super nice, 10/10 would recommend Amazon customer support). Depending on the issue with your device, they’re usually very quick to replace them. Unless you’re just past the guarantee limit, like I was. They won’t be able to do anything then. :( Or, similarly, a lot of the time, certain aspects of your device will not be included in that guarantee. Like the display. Or charger sockets on laptops. It’s really frustrating. At this point I would advise you to return to Option 1.

Option 3: For the time being, return to “real” books

I mean, they do exist for a reason! And you did read them before you had an e-reader.

Option 3a: Go to the library more often!

I don’t think I need to tell you how the whole library thing works, considering that you are a reader. But still, they exist! (Only not here. No good libraries here. Why do you think I resort to electronic books?????) Please visit your local library and, if you are unsettled by the existence of other humans inside them, contact a helpful librarian (who belong to a special group of beings not classified as humans) at the front desk and tell them about your dilemma. Possibly employ Option 1 in front of them and then ask where the section is that contains your favourite genre.

Option 3b: Buy new books in a bookshop!

“But Isaaaa! I don’t have any money!” I know. Me neither. That’s the whole problem, isn’t it? But they might have some things on sale! Or secondhand books! You never know if you don’t go there. Maybe they’ll even share some wine with you!

(Of course, if you live where I live, there are also no handy bookshops anywhere close. Life is just so hard, damn it.)

Option 3c: Re-read all the printed books that you own

Come on, you know you want to. You’ve been talking about re-reading loads of them before and yet you never do it. Go on! I believe in you. You can overcome these terrible e-reader-less times and re-read some much-loved printed books. There’s still hope for happiness, my dear! Do not despair. (If you do despair, I would like to redirect you to Option 1.)

Option 4: Try out new things

New things? What are these new things you speak of, Isa? I have not heard of these new-fangled things-other-than-reading that you insinuate I should do!

Option 4a: Read some fanfiction

Touchy subject, I know, but you’re desperate, so why not check out some of the fanfiction that’s been written in your favourite fandoms? When in doubt, I turn to Harry Potter fanfiction, negl. I am not ashamed and I think fanfiction is a marvellous concept. Of course, I used to read fanfic on my Kindle… I might have to go and give Option 1 a good try right now. And then I might go to my favourite fanfic sites – I know you’re wondering: AO3 for all the good fic, and fanfiction.net for all my deplorable and quite frankly dubious tastes – and try to console myself.

Option 4b: Read other things online

There are other things online? Yes! Yes there are. You should go and read Nimona. I’m currently doing so. Go on and do it.

Option 4c: Television!

Don’t tell me you haven’t considered that yet. I love me a good tv show and so should you. It will distract you from the painful loss of your e-reader by throwing other feelings on you. You will probably become attached to the characters and feel a lot of things because that’s usually what happens. Because people on tv are never happy. It’s the law. (At this point I feel obligated to point out that you should watch Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, and Great British Bake Off.)

Option 4d: Podcasts! Audioplays!

Want more stories and funtimes? You should check out the grand world of audioplays and podcasts. My personal favourites: Cabin Pressure (it’s about a small charter airline and it’s hilarious and flawfree and John Finnemore is a god), John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme (let me educate you about Winnie the Pooh’s interdivention), and Welcome To Night Vale. The latter is particularly beautiful and I adore the storytelling through the medium of radio. Bless Night Vale, I love it so much.

Option 5: Scrap together your last cents, get over yourself and buy a new e-reader

I mean. You’re going to do it anyway.

Learn about all the new devices on the market, weigh all the awesomeness against your money situation and buy a new one. Your old one, unless replaced by the manufacturer, will not suddenly revive itself. Sooner or later you will want a new e-reader and you might as well just give in now. Though I do suggest you give Option 1 at least a short try so you can get rid of all those pesky sad feelings.


16 thoughts on “What to do when your beloved E-Reader breaks

  1. My list would consist of: Have a huge fit and be absolutely horrible to live with until the devise is replaced. Unless it is my Nook then I do have a back up one… Still It would be almost as bad as when my laptop stopped working. I am a monster without my e-reader or computer. Of course I would also read print books until it is replaced. Great post!

    • I probably would’ve had a huge fit as well had I not noticed that mine was broken while I was in class. I just silently stared at it with a mournful expression, trying not to rage. I know what you mean, though. When my first laptop died, I sort of had to make do without it but it was a giant pain, especially because the thing that broke? They could’ve fixed it and they tried to fix it but it was so sloppily done that they just made it worse. But since it wasn’t included in the guarantee, they didn’t HAVE to fix it, so like… that was already pretty nice of them. Except not because it made things worse. Just. Ugh. I think all tech appliances should come with like, an apocalypse mode, where they tell you they’re going to fall apart in x days so you have time to figure out a back-up situation.

  2. I’d probably mourn my ereader for an hour. Do Option 1 like a pro and bawl my eyes out. And then proceed to Option 5. Instant pick me up! I’m sorry for the loss of your ereader Isa. Tell us when you’ve replaced it so we can all celebrate!

    • If only money grew on trees, it wouldn’t hurt my heart so much having to buy a new one. Again. But yeah, can’t live without one, can I? I shall properly educate the masses about my new device when it gets here, though, yes! (Now I must go and mourn the money I just spent to order it.)

  3. Oh no! I haven’t had this happen to me so far, but that would make me want to cry a little. Perhaps you’ve put it in your bad and there was too much pressure on the screen? I still have enough books to keep me occupied, but I just love to bring my e-reader with me to work. It’s lighter and I don’t have to worry I don’t have enough reading material with me :p

    • Yeah I’m assuming that’s what happened but ughhhhh it was fine all this time and now it has to go and break on me. :((( It’s so frustrating.

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  5. The other day when I opened my Kindle’s cover, the screen was blank (white) instead of showing the screensaver. I turned it on and nothing happened at first so I panicked for a minute until it finally came on. It’s 4 years old, so you never know. I don’t know how long they’re supposed to last but I know a lot of people upgrade to a newer model a lot sooner than 4 years. I don’t see the need to unless it breaks. I have an iPad so I would probably use that temporarily, but I would get a new Kindle as soon as possible. I prefer reading on my Kindle vs. the iPad.

    • I know that feeling of panic so well, my friend. I wish either of my Kindles had lasted four years, but they both only made it a year before I managed to kill them. :((( I definitely prefer reading on my Kindle as well. I played wih the thought of getting a tablet but I know myself well enough to realise that I would never get any reading done on one. I’d just spend all my time online doing heaven-knows-what instead of reading. Ahhh, techy distractions, why must they be so addictive.

  6. Haha, this is quite funny, though also quite sad. Just let me assure you I’m laughing over the constant encouragement to go cry in your shower and not because I think it’s funny that your ereader broke. No, that’s tragic. My heart goes out to you.

    I’ve luckily not encountered this, but that’s probably because I never use my ereader. I got it cheap from another blogger who didn’t want hers, and I think I’ve read two books on it since I got it… over a year ago? I get the appeal of it, but I’m a physical book girl at heart and just seem to always prefer my physical books.

    It’s reasons like this I’m glad I’m that way though! It would suck to use my ereader as my primary reading tool and then just have it crash on me like that. So frustrating! I would definitely cry in the shower. But hey, at least Amazon’s customer service was nice for you. I’ve had to talk to them once in the US when calling about my mom’s Kindle breaking (two months after she got it it wouldn’t turn on) and they were great (luckily since it was still under warranty they just sent her a new one).

    Hopefully you enjoy your new ereader when you get it… because you will ;)

    • Oh my god, Asti, you wouldn’t believe how terrible it really was. I was in school (like, actual school, with actual teenagers and actual teachers, not like a more adult place like uni) when it happened and I just sat there stunned trying valiantly not to cry because I am 25 years old, I will not cry about silly technology. I’m an adult, I can deal with broken toys. No I can’t. I cried in the car instead.

      I really really love my Kindle and I suppose breaking mine is a testament to how much I use them? Mostly because I just fling it in my handbag (carefully… I fling it in my handbag carefully and it’s wrapped up in a cover my mum made for it) or have it lying around on my bed and I suppose it will eventually have to face being sat on or cuddling up to my juice bottles. I’m a terrible Kindle mother. :(

      Not even going to lie, when this one broke… I just felt a lot of regret because it’s my primary reading tool. I have loads of unread books but somehow, after years of reading on my computer screen, I actually struggle a bit with the real thing? I get distracted or I can’t seem to pick a book out of the selection I have at the ready and then I just get distract — oh look, a thingy! — and don’t pick up any book at all. With the Kindle it’s somehow different (though heaven knows why). I suppose it would also be a different matter if I either had the money to buy all the books I otherwise buy for my Kindle (every cent counts :(((( even though some ebooks are hella expensive too) or if there were a library here. Anywhere. A library with a nice English selection. There is no such thing here, I live somewhere that is probably worse than living on the Hellmouth.

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