Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Gift Giving Guide --Gifts for Grandparents -- Is This Thing On? by Abby Stokes (Book Review)


 "Is This Thing On?" A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming is the ultimate Valentine's gift for your mom or dad. I'm betting they're baffled by all the digital gadgets out there. “Is This Thing On?” with over 85,000 copies sold, is newly updated to include Facebook, Twitter, Skype, e-readers, smartphones, and the iPad. It’s like no other book out there for the computer fearful and starts at the very beginning assuming the reader knows nothing about computers. The book takes you sequentially through why the reader might want a computer, how to buy it, set it up, and then walks him through step-by-step how to get online and send his first e-mail. Later chapters get into online shopping, digital photography, social networking, e-readers, and file management. The flavor of the book is friendly, personal, and reassuring and it's budget-friendly at $16.95. This is really a present for the giver, on Valentine's Day, because the tentative computer user in their life will stop asking them computer questions.

Click here to read an excerpt from Chapter 1, and see how useful this book would be for your mom and/or dad.

My Thoughts:

Let me first stay that I opened Pandora's Box when I gave this book to my mother, who is afraid of computers, to review.  In a weekend, she now thinks she is a pro at computers, and has her own Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as become Queen of Bargains, shopping like crazy for the grandchildren online.  Once afraid to even walk by a computer in fear she would break it, now she is confident and ready to take on the world, or new online program or service!  She even set my father, who doesn't like computers, up with his own email account.  So, in between blog writing and tending to my social media sites, I am responding to emails from my parents, letting me know they stumbled across something funny, or share a deal they got while online shopping. 

But, I guess I should be thankful, as it was a long time coming.  Even though my brothers and I had computers while at home, my mom was good with the old pen and paper to send correspondence, while my father didn't want to give in to technology and say goodbye to his print newspapers and television for news.  Over the years, I have tried, without success to get them to warm up to computers.  My mom is still using a typewriter at her job -- go figure!  So, when I received this book, I thought it would either become a nice coffee table decoration, or coaster for my father.  When I told my mother I needed an honest review of the book, she knew she had to pick it up and read it.  This past weekend, with little on her plate to do, she sat on the couch with the laptop they had bought a few years back to watch movies on, and began reading this book.  By Sunday, she was set up with a Skype account and chatting with my daughters.  I couldn't believe that this book had provided her with the confidence to sit down in front of a computer, turn it on, and actually practice what she read.  I loved that the content of the book was up-to-date and with the times of social media, online shopping and more.  Other "Dummy" books are so outdated, that the topic of email accounts is as current as they get. 

When my mother told me that she was reading sections to my father and teaching him what she was learning, I had to see it for myself.  So, during the week, I payed them a surprise visit, and low and beyond, the laptop was set up in the dining room, and my dad was reading the newspaper online.  I almost fell over in shock.  He finally gave into technology and was loving it, as is my other -- all thanks to Abby's book, Is This Thing On.  I think this was the best Valentine's Day gift I could have given both of them.  I only wished I knew about this book earlier.  But, now that they are building their confidence with computers and learning more, I am loving the fact that they can stay in touch with my daughters and view photos I send to them. 

If you have parents or grandparents for that matter, who are reluctant to change or give in to technology, like my parents were, why not pick up a copy of this book today.  You will be surprised, like I was, as how it really works!  In a matter of days, my parents when from fearing computers to loving them, all because of this book.

---BUY NOW---

Click here to order a copy of Abby's book for only $10.49 from Amazon, just in time for Valentine's Day.

About the Author:

Abby Stokes has demystified computers for over 140,000 people, mostly seniors, in the course of the past 17 years.Abby has taught courses in basic computing at both Cooper Union and New York University’s School of Lifelong Learning, as well as computer skills to private and corporate clients. She has lectured on the topic across the country. A firm believer that “if my mother can learn the computer anyone can,” Abby is confident that everyone can master the computer and navigate the Internet.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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