In 2009 an announcement was made, echoing across the land that print books were dead. Everyone from now on was going to use a new gadget called an e-reader to read all of their books on. The invention of the e-reader was going to revolutionize how we read books. Not only was it easy to hold in your hands, it could hold hundreds of books all in one place. Now those bookshelves you have jammed and stuffed with books would finally be able to be wiped clear, the books tossed aside into the garbage and reclaimed for many more useful items such as that clay (ugh?) pot your third-grader gave you.
But… wait. It’s been almost ten years since making those grand plans. How many physical books have you actually tossed in the garbage or gave away? Really? Really? I’m willing to bet not many of you have made even a dent in your bookshelves. Why? There’s something about the feel of a book. There’s no better smell than ink on paper as you flip through the pages. Then there’s the occasional paper cut you received reminding you that you truly are part of the story. Okay… maybe I took it too far. The point is, to a bookworm or bookoholic giving up a book, any book bad or good, rates up there with going to the dentist for a root canal.
You’re stuck! Nah, just kidding.
On one hand, you have an e-reader that probably has as many, if not more, books than your shelves. Odds are you have a lot of duplicate books on your e-reader and your shelves. Many places offer the digital copy for free if you purchase the physical copy. Nice, right? Is it? Ultimately, it’s just more clutter, regardless if it’s digital or not. You know I’m correct. Think of this, how much effort does it take you to search through all of your e-books for one book in particular? Personally, I wasted ten minutes searching, only to realize I deleted it because I ran out of space. Plus, you always run the risk of the darn thing running out of battery. UGH!
Okay, okay, point understood, I know. If books are now ALIVE again, (which they were always in a vampire state to begin with) then what should you do with your e-readers other than making them into paperweights, which is actually quite effective depending on what style you have.
Here are five ideas on how to repurpose your old and unused e-readers:
Cook much? I’m always searching for new recipes or the old recipes I loved but forgot to bookmark them. What I’ve started doing is copy-pasting my favorite recipes to my computer clipboard, then emailing the file to my e-reader. You can create folders for different types of recipes, desserts, chicken dinners, snacks, lunch, etc. That way you will never lose your recipes again.
It drives me absolutely nuts when I can’t find a receipt for something important like a car repair or major household purchase. Where did I put that receipt for the toaster oven? AHHH! Take a photo of your receipts and organize them on your e-reader. Car repairs… found! Household appliances… got it! Now, you should keep a physical copy always, just in case, but least you know where to start looking.
Archival Christmas Lists
Before I was married, Christmas’ in my immediate family consisted of 2-3 gifts and a stocking stuffer. My new married family loves to go all out, which is a lot of fun but exhausting. After years of 10-30 gifts given out every year to each person, you can imagine how easy it is to lose track of what you’ve purchased for everyone. Create a file and a word doc with a list of everything you purchased for a particular person and store it on your e-reader. Make sure to have the year in your title. No more embarrassing situations with buying the same gifts over again. Regifting though… is still an option. It’s also great for adding your Christmas card list too.
Going on vacation? There’s nothing worse than having to fish out a map to look around a new city. I know, get with technology, right? We do have cell phones. Answer this though, which would you rather have stolen: Your $600+ cell phone with all of your information, credit cards, passwords and minutes or your $100 or less internet only connected e-reader that has no personal information? The worst that could happen is you’ll lose your place in Don Quixote. No, I’m not battling windmills here. You can use your e-reader to take images of locations you want to visit, lists of words (if traveling abroad) you may need. Anything that may come in handy so that you don’t have to go fishing through your bags looking for your books and such and painting a giant “TOURIST” bulls-eye on your back.
Books and Collectibles
Okay, yes books, but it’s not what you think. I’m quite proud of my antique book collection, (and my regular book collection) and we also have quite a few antiques, collectibles and family heirlooms. Crime happens. Fires happen, It’s a sad reality, but it is the truth. By keeping records of the items you hold dearly organized on your e-reader, you can possibly regain some of them. Just make certain to keep your e-reader someplace safe like… well, in a fireproof safe.
If any of these ideas makes you want to try, but you don’t have an e-reader, there are many inexpensive options you can find. Many older models of e-readers, such as the (https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Ereader-ebook-reader/dp/B007HCCNJU/) Kindle, 6″ E Ink Display 5th generation sells for as little as $30. A brand new Kindle starts around $80. Again, it’s still a lot cheaper than a $300 tablet or a $600 cell phone.