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The charms of instant delivery vs. shipping paperbacks March 15, 2013

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Ebooks, Nooks, Reflections.
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As much as some folks lament that our students lack patience, it’s a widely-accepted truth that waiting stinks.  When I order new materials for the school library, I anxiously await their arrival.  On Christmas Eve, I still have trouble going to sleep, even as a 20-something-year-old.  And when I order books from BN.com or Amazon.com, I’m always torn between paying extra to ship it faster, or settling for free shipping and waiting longer.

Case in point is that I placed an order on March 3rd for books from BN.com with free shipping and the mail service (UPS and USPS collaborating) routed my package to my hometown, then down to North Carolina for no apparent reason.  All in the name of saving a few bucks.  And unfortunately, I wanted to use the books today.  So I think I’ve learned my lesson: If you need it in ANY sort of time frame, pay for shipping.

In contrast, one of the best parts of using Nooks (or any ereader for that matter) is the instant delivery.  When I update the Nooks, the titles I purchase with gift cards are instantly added to the Nook.  It’s almost magical for those of us that remember life before the Internet.  This week I added 2 new Nook Books for the literature circles, and the process was beautifully seamless.  No aggravating phone calls trying to locate the items purchased; no worry over “will it get here in time to use it.”

And I think that instantaneous nature of getting content (or hard good items) sets me up for frustration with postal services as a whole.  I’ve gotten unhealthily used to instant access on my smartphone and laptop.

My takeaway is this: If this is an impatience issue for me at 20-something, how much harder must it be for our students to wait for slow laptops to boot up just so they can BEGIN using them to learn?And that brings up further food for thought…how do we teach patience when the technology shouldn’t need it?

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