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.