20 January, 2012

Kindles & 78 Year Olds

I've been taking my mom to E-reader class at my public library in Canbyland.
I have a friend who adores her Kindle because it is slim, fits into her purse and she can take it on multiple road trips north and ALWAYS have access to a book.
My mom & dad recently traveled east to visit my sis in Minnesota. I know they packed four books each AND read what was available in Minnesota as well.

Now - I don't want a Kindle - at all  (although I am saving up for a smart phone and a IPAD).
I live in Clackamas county and have free access to all nine libraries in the county system. I go onto the computer (internet) and look for books and place them on hold. When they come into Canby, I go pick them up.
So easy to do.
I thought my mom would enjoy the Kindle because of the ability to increase the font size. Surprisingly for her - this is not an issue with her (yet). She's a little computer challenged and she has not yet learned how to locate books online through her Washington County library system.
My library started offering e-reader classes back in November. I invited my mom to the class and she indicated an interest in the Kindle. But it has been a tough road to learn. From the foreign computer lingo to library talk, from amazon stuff to Libraries2Go, etc. We are working on it one step at a time.

For me - this works with my schedule. The upside is I get to spend time with my mom (alone), take her to lunch and get her out of her comfort zone.
Today's lesson was where to plug the cord into the Kindle (cactus up) and plug the plug into a wall socket so it can recharge.
Last week's lesson: How to turn it completely OFF. If you slide the off button once - it puts the device to Sleep. If you hold the on/off slider for about 10 seconds - it will completely power off - saving battery power.
It's slow, but Mom is coming along. Libraries2Go no longer intimidates her. She accepts that she will get to Amazon.com eventually. And she has deleted an expired library book from her Amazon "Manage Your Kindle" page. Woohoo!

We keep repeating.

When I was thinking about this post, I was trying to formulate words to express why a 78 year old would even want a kindle. Well- I see my mom & dad shutting down in their retirement. Mom goes to her same groups/clubs. A world of if this is Tuesday, then this happens. Predictable. The same, mind-numbing daily stuff. Getting my  mom to pop a few neurons learning new things is a goal for all of us to emulate. Is that why I like blogging? Learning new HTML code? Learning how to replace a background that has gone blank? How to highlight hyperlinks?

Just this morning I wasted spent an inordinate amount of time putting together a music playlist because I saw one on a blog I had just read. In the process (#@!$%##!!!), I learned a few new swearwords I learned some new skills. Now I have an incomplete music playlist to show for it on the blog, but hey, one thing at a time. lol

My mom has never been on the techno forefront but if she is interested, she can learn. We've been spending time together since before Christmas on this project and I anticipate spending  6 months getting her comfortable in placing books on hold via her library website and opening them up in her Kindle. She is really coming along on the new language skills.

She is the designated chauffeur when my dad needs to go to doctor visits and since my dad can talk anyone's ear off (who me?), my mom is sitting in the waiting room for lengthy amounts of times. The kindle can store a thousand books, and doctors places generally have wifi and she can download with her kindle anytime she is near a wifi place.

It's not only the font size which makes reading books easier, it's the size of the device. Plus the little booklight which comes with the case! I confess to falling in love with the case.

I have discovered several things by taking these classes with mom:
1. My mom is currently using my library code number to access Clackamas county libraries. She is having a little problem with getting her Washington Co. library card number to work. This means if she has my daughter's card number (FOR MULTNOMAH COUNTY!! the ultimate library system) she can access kindle books from any library she has the card info. for.
2. The kindle lending library is going to teach you how to put books on hold. All the latest books are on hold for someone else. There is a limited amount of available e-books. However, if you have access to other people's library cards - you could use those to see if you can find a better hold number. My mom wants to borrow "The Help". We are currently # 601 out of 771 in the queue. Maybe we can cut the time shorter by putting it on hold in Washington county as well.
3.There are no fines for e-reader books. Once they get to your kindle - you have a certain amount of days to read the book - before it goes back. You can't renew. (You have to re-start the hold to get the book again. And your Kindle will remember what page you left off on!)

Keep your brain on notice. Learn new things. Do your Sudoku, Ken-Ken, cross-words, etc. Leave room to figure out new skills. Stop saying no.


  1. What a brilliant idea - Kindle lessons at the library. I wonder if my library does this.

  2. Now you know why I love my kindle cover. :)


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