During my article about the Amazon Kindle and Ebook reading, I think I dedicated one small paragraph, maybe four lines to the qualities that a physical book has that make it an excellent gadget in its own right. It displays very high quality text and pictures, it doesn't generally break if you drop it, even from a great height and you'll never be caught out by the batteries, because it doesn't need any! There, I've squeezed out another about how good a book can be, but there's more. You see my 'book' is currently the iPad and I've been thoroughly enjoying reading ebooks bought from the Amazon Kindle store on it. I haven't missed paper books at all, until Wednesday night when my iPad broke.
I wasn't even using it at the time. At 02:30 whilst I was asleep it started beeping every few minutes. I figured something was up with the charger, so I unplugged it. My partners books lay happily not needing to be charged! In the morning I found to my horror that the iPad had developed a fault and would reset every three to four minutes or so. Even after a factory reset!
This is not intended to be an argument against ebooks, but perhaps about putting all of your eggs in one basket. I use (or is that 'used') my iPad for many things. Watching videos, reading books, viewing pictures and surfing the internet. Now it's gone, I'm doing none of those things (well, I can still get to the one TV in the house!).
Basically I'm reminded not to give up on paper books entirely. They're portable, rugged and need no extra power source. They may only do one thing, but they do it well and, treated right, could still be doing it well long after I'm gone.
Footnote: For those that are interested, so far my treatment from Apple has been very good. I called the Helpline and the lady at the other end patiently listened whilst I explained the problem. So many times I've been forced to go through all the obvious steps, even though I've made it quite clear I've tried everything, because the Customer Support Operator is not allowed to think for themselves. The next day an empty box was shipped to me from Germany (yes, empty box from Germany to the UK!) for me to pack the iPad in via UPS. I even caught UPS on a good day and they came back 30mins later to collect it! By the following afternoon it had arrived at the Repair Centre in the Netherlands (this iPad has some miles on it now) and was quickly diagnosed with a fault. I've been told a new replacement is pending and that was on Friday afternoon.
So far, so good. There is a 'Status' web page I can visit, so I don't have to keep calling to find out what's going on. I'll update this post as soon as the new one arrives so you have an idea of how long a replacement usually takes.
UPDATE: I only wrote this a few hours ago, but just had an email to tell me that my replacement iPad has shipped! Reported Wednesday, replacement on the way Monday. Not bad at all. Now I just hope I can rely on UPS to get it to me quick!
UPDATE 2: UPS were very efficient, yay!
Featured image used under 'Creative Commons' license. Thanks to library_mistress.