August 17, 2018

Tech We’re Using: When a Tech Reporter Doesn’t Use Much Tech

EBay gets a lot less attention than it used to, but it is still a good source of books unavailable elsewhere. There is a competitor to Abe called Biblio, which lists some of the same books and is still independent. Biblio’s best feature is an annual membership for $20, whose sole function is to provide a 10 percent discount. It pays for itself pretty quick.

Are there other book sites you like?

The Book Depository is a British bookseller that is in some ways the anti-Amazon. It has a clunky website that feels trapped in 2003. But the store has one great redeeming feature: It does not charge for postage, which is considerable across the ocean. A copy of Le Guin’s latest nonfiction collection — not published in America — would cost me $30 from Amazon.co.uk. From the Book Depository, it is $17.

They either have a sweet deal with the United States Postal Service, which delivers their packages, or they take a bath on every order. Did I mention that the Book Depository is owned by Amazon?

You and your wife raised your 8-year-old daughter in a largely tech-free household. How?

For the first couple of years, our girl never saw any tech at home more complicated than a blender. She did not see her first video until she was 4, on a holiday weekend when she was sick. Instead there were a lot of books around, and they got heavy use.

She turned out to be a great reader, confirming the old notion that kids become either just like their parents or like their nightmare opposite, which in my case would have meant a “declutterer” like Marie Kondo. She devoured the “Oz” books, even the ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson. We read aloud E. Nesbit’s hilarious “Treasure Seekers” series about a late-Victorian family of dim bulbs, and she brought in “Moby-Dick” for show and tell. For a while we were pretty smug parents.

What went wrong?

She picked up on the playground all sorts of information about Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, and now demands 10 minutes of YouTube songs a night that often mysteriously expands to half an hour.

Technology is creeping in on many fronts. On trips she listens to audiobooks that we get through Overdrive. She tunes her violin with an app and practices Hebrew via Duolingo. I am bracing myself for the teenage years. Her favorite phrase is “How dare you.” She’s a natural for Twitter.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/technology/personaltech/tech-reporter-does-not-use-tech.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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