minimally problematic

Today I helped clean out some closets at my church building.  With the calling shuffle, we needed to know what was actually in the various Primary closets, since our now-released fearless leader was pretty much the only one who knew where everything was.

I found it interesting that I was the one who pushed to toss/recycle stuff we didn't need.  I've been progressively minimizing the amount of stuff I own, and given the amount of junk I've gone through so far, I've had a lot of practice at gauging need relatively quickly.  While I don't believe in waste, I also don't believe in keeping things that you realistically aren't going to use.  Given that I used to keep 10-year old balloons, boxes of dried paints, and clothes from elementary school, I am pretty proud of how far I've come.  Today allowed me to celebrate that a little.

Along the minimalism lines, I've been thinking more about eReaders.  I've gone from being opposed to owning one, to being theoretically okay with one, to kinda wanting one.  There is a huge appeal in trimming down our overflowing bookcases (the biggest remaining front of stuff), but the cost is the stickler for me.  Paper books are still so much cheaper, since I pretty much only buy used.  The local library has an increasingly decent collection of ebooks, though, so renting would be an option.

One conundrum is what to do with the paper books I already have?  Ideally, I'd like to only keep my favorites, selling the rest (or at the very least ensuring that they have good homes).  Selling is a bit tricky, since books are so cheap to begin with; Amazon buys a handful of used books, and then there are used book dealers...but I'd need to discover the ones out here.  (If we were back in Berkeley, I could get to the used book places with my eyes closed, partially because there were so many of them.)

An then there is the issue of what to get (if anything at all).  A Kindle/Nook is easier on the eyes, but an iPad is more versatile.  I think I lean towards the book-specific readers rather than the more general tablets, mostly because I don't need another window to the internet.  Plus eink readers have much better battery life, and Kindle at least has a "free" 3G option, i.e. no monthly payment plan, hence kindle is also better for travel abroad.  And then the classic, touchscreen, or keyboard?  I'm leaning touchscreen w/3G and no ads, but that's double the price of the classic.  Uf.

One thing that I need to do more research on is the reading of academic papers digitally.  If I would be comfortable with reading papers and maybe even taking notes on an eink device, that would be a strong selling point.  I've read mixed reviews on the topic so far, but many of them were from the early kindle days.

It's one of those things that I'll hem and haw about for a few weeks and then make an abrupt decision one way or the other.  I really wish there was an obvious choice, but I think there's just no ideal situation yet, at least given the constraints I'm imposing.

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