A very technological New Year

I have spent way too much money lately on two electronic items that I seriously believe no PhD student in English should be without.

Item #1: The Kindle
I love my Kindle. Yes, it was really pricey, but I already have over 200 books on my Kindle (90% of them have been free because they are classics..those that aren't free are really cheap). The $260 investment in the Kindle has already saved me over a thousand dollars in book costs...probably a lot more. The thing is that there are so many classics that I am interested in reading, but so many are out of print. Finding copies of these books by obscure authors or books seldom read by popular authors is expensive. Usually, you have to search antique book stores or find a used copy online for $20 (on the really cheap end) up to over $100. Interlibrary loan is often a futile endeavor for such books because the item you end up with is in really bad shape or too delicate to read. Even if you get a good copy, if you want to write about it you still need your own copy...and who wants to mark up a collectible book? The Kindle allows me to do a few things. 1) I can read the book for free. No investment, so if I decide I hate it or I can't use it, then I haven't wasted any money on the book. 2) the Kindle allows me to take notes and highlight passages. So, I avoid ruining an old, expensive book. This really is a life saver for me...and I don't have a ton of books around me. I love my books, but I am starting to resemble those people on "Hoarders."

Item #2: The IRIS pen.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this thing! Many MA/PhD students would love this one. It is a scanner pen. I have spent countless hours of my life typing passages from books into a word document. The IRIS pen scans lines of the book directly into my document. I LOVE IT. The only drawback? Well, for me, a large part of learning comes from the repetition of typing the passage after having read it. However, I am on a deadline, people. So, the IRIS pen is my new best friend.

Well, that is about it. But, I just had to share because these two things make me extremely happy!


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