Urban Details (iii) travel and technology

Technological obsolescence is sometimes a tad distressing, especially when it is me that is out of sync with the times.

Here is a familiar looking urban fixture being repurposed …

Yup, it is a telephone call box being repurposed as a free lending library.

Is it clever? Or are the books also unpopular, unloved, unwanted?

Is it one obsolete technology — the call box — being repurposed to contain yet another obsolete technology — the printed book?

I love printed books. Especially large print, or as sometimes termed today, easy on the eyes.

But on recent trips I downloaded a bunch of ebooks from the OPL. Free. Very portable on my tablet. Lightweight. Easy to read on the plane, train,  boat, beach, or poorly lit guest room. And one can take a dozen books, of different styles, for reading at different times and moods. And return them with a push of the button, and not lug around a bunch of already-read-on-the-initial-flight books for the rest of the trip.

I like guide books as well as online searching for things to do and see in places I am going to. I used to photocopy pages from the guidebooks borrowed from the library. Sometimes I’d bind them into my own little guide book by destination.

Then friends instructed me on the better way. Photograph the pages of interest (rather than photocopy) , sort into file folders (I had to use my desktop PC for that part) then load the file folders onto your phone/camera and tablet for travel. It was amazingly convenient. I could explore with just me, my wallet, and my cell camera, and not carry a shoulder purse/murse/pack with maps and brochures. Freedom.

I also downloaded google maps of the destinations so I could find my way even without local wifi or connect time (they somehow remain “live” with GPS). And discovered I could put those orange push pins on the downloaded maps for the destinations/sights I was interested in.

Old dog, new tricks.


One thought on “Urban Details (iii) travel and technology

  1. I love the library in a phone booth! It gives Superman reading material! Seriously though I think books are falling into the music streaming vs discussion. Some people would rather experience a physical thing. I’m of that set. Kindle can’t replace books that are visually beautiful, full of illustrations and photography. I also don’t always want to spend time with another screen. Now I do agree with using digital media for things like travel guides, DIY instructions and gardening tips. Eric, this post has given me time to mull about how much I really do love books and yes, vinyl albums.

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