My library and me: making life better one book at a time
This video was a big hit at DigiPalooza, so I wanted to share it with you, and tell you a little bit about the inspiration behind the video.
Does anyone out there remember “My Buddy?” It was this doll with one of the most persistently obnoxious TV commercials of all time. It was always there, jamming its jingle into my brain between my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. For those of you that don’t remember, here it is:
Why am I talking about My Buddy? The idea behind their entire marketing campaign was that you could and should take My Buddy with you everywhere, living your daily life with a doll by your side.
That’s how I feel about my library now. In the morning, I use a waterproof Bluetooth speaker to listen to my audiobook in the shower. As I eat my cereal, I read an eBook on my phone. Then, I get in my car, connect my phone to the stereo, and listen to my audiobook during the commute to work—sometimes looking forward to traffic jams (depending on the book). I even want my next car to have Android Auto on board for better audiobook control.
After work, I get home and walk the dog: audiobook. I go to the gym: audiobook. Eventually I go to bed, where I read an eBook on my tablet before I fall asleep. You get the idea.
Yes, I read a lot. However, I suspect that I’m not the only one. My deep love of reading has often had to take a back seat to things like lighting, weather, chores, availability of content, and a plethora of other obstacles.
Thanks to my nerdy obsession with technology, however, I’m now connected to my books whenever I want them, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m a firm believer in the idea that education and reading can change the world for the better. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading, be it a comic book, Sci-Fi novel, or a Nikolai Tesla biography because just about every book, story, or poem you pick up can teach you something.
My favorite example of this is Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. The opening scene involves a man calling himself the “Deliverator” (his real name is Hiro Protagonist) on a “mission” to deliver pizza for Costa Nostra Pizza. He’s in an armored, and wildly advanced, stealth pizza-mobile, and his quest to deliver the hot pies in the back reads more like a chase scene from a futuristic 007-style novel.
I know, it doesn’t actually sound like an educational piece, but Snow Crash taught me a lot about the mythology surrounding the origin of language. It got me to research Babel a little, and really got me thinking about the role it (and the origin of language in general) has played in religion and mythology across the ages. On top of that, Snow Crash was published in 1992, but it predicted a world wide web, in which people could log in using avatars to interact in a virtual space. We’re not quite up to Snow Crash levels of VR yet, but the current trend is eerily similar to what Stephenson predicted.
Did I pick up Snow Crash to learn about Babel, high-speed pizza delivery, or advancing computer technology? Nope. But I learned something anyway. That’s the power of reading—it’s why I work at OverDrive, and it’s why I am writing this blog post right now. I want to help build a world in which everyone can get the books they want whenever they want them regardless of perceived obstacles. Together, with the help of companies like Google and Apple, we can bring reading to the masses—educating millions, even if they can’t tell they’re learning. Technology can, will, and does work for us in this space like it never has before.
In short, share the video at the beginning of the post. Let’s show off the fact that books from the library can go with you wherever you want to be! Let’s come up with our own jingle! Let’s make the world a better place together.
Quinton Lawman is a Product Owner (and one of our many awesome resident nerds) at OverDrive
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