Unanswerable questions

After my unsuccessful attempt to try out the (broken) Sony e-reader on display in my local Waterstones at the weekend* and observing the notice on it to the effect that you might as well not bother ordering one as they are backed up for the next decade or so with requests, I am moved to ask:

Is the Sony e-reader the new Wii Fit?

Although my question is made with the availability issue in my mind, I also wonder I have another subconscious agenda, to do with the relationship of these "tools" with the real world. You don't need an electronic device to read any more than you need an automated weighing machine hooked up to your TV to do exercise.

Yes I know that there are lots of good uses of an e-reader in terms of storage capacity, baggage restrictions, sheer tonnage of printed books, sample chapters and so on. And I know that it might be more fun watching your Mii overtake Harry, Ron, Hermione, Voldemort and Dork's (don't ask) Miis than getting muddy on a lonely circuit of the local park. On the other hand, couldn't we have an accessible new technology that is so popular you can't buy it but also that does something you couldn't do before? Teleport you to work in the morning and back at night, for example?

And here is another question:

Is the "bag for life" the new plastic carrier bag?

I have lost count of the number of tasteful hessian bags I have generously been given in the past year or so. None of them has handles long enough to carry on a bike (with drop handlebars and no basket). What can I do with them all that is ecologically acceptable? At the moment they are all in a cupboard with hundreds of plastic carrier bags (which arrive in the house at a rate of knots despite my never using one when I go shopping, armed with my ancient canvas long-handled bag or a rucksack).

*Footnote: I have had a generous offer to try out a friend's Sony e-reader, by the way, so my curiosity will soon be satisfied. On the basis of the broken one in Waterstones, I suspect I shall continue to observe vicariously rather than to attempt to purchase and participate.

4 thoughts on “Unanswerable questions

  1. I don’t know about your bags for life, Maxine, but the plastic carrier bags make excellent binliners – in fact it’s greener to use a plastic carrier bag as a binliner than to buy both a binliner and a bag for life (which makes a mockery of the supermarkets making it harder to get plastic bags – that’s just a matter of profit).

  2. Well I always did use plastic bags as binliners, Brian. But then someone bought a fancy and very long German bin, which comes with specially fitted (recycled, of course, as German) binliners. Ever since then, I have been stuck in a kind of stickleback-like frozen displacement activity of guilt over these darn bags.

  3. I did the same thing today, went round to my local Waterstones to have a look at the Sony thing. But it was broken; apparently someone wiped it’s memory and there’s no one in Waterstones who knows how to put it back again.
    When I said perhaps they should take it down, as it wouldn’t sell many eReaders in that condition, the guy told me they didn’t want to sell any more as they’d sold out and couldn’t get replacement stock.
    Tomorrow I’ll ask him if he wants some of your plastic bags . . .

  4. Good idea, John. Incidentally, I don’t have trouble with plastic bags from the supermarket as I use an online supermarket (Ocado) who take them back and recycle them. But they don’t take any old plastic bags, only their own (reasonably enough).
    Our local council will recycle plastic bottles and some plastic food containers (not all, by some formula I find hard to decipher). But they will not take plastic bags.

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