“CrackBerry” can best be summed up as a semi-serious book about curbing over-use of one’s Blackberry or more broadly any mobile device that allows you to check your email at a funeral or other inopportune times.
The cover of the book, showing a driver checking his BlackBerry while driving should give you an idea who this book if for, especially once you notice he’s also driving at over 200km/h straight into a tornado. It nicely sums up the book: it’s a tongue-in-cheek self-help book for BlackBerry addicts.
The book itself is 13 chapters of humorous stories, practical tips for curbing your BlackBerry usage, odd facts about BlackBerry users and culture as well as games/quizzes done in the style of an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) 12-step program.
There are a lot of humorous quotes and stories in this book that live up to the “BlackBerry use and abuse”-subtitle ranging from non-fatal accidents (to humans anyways) including multiple car crashes or the surprisingly high number of BlackBerrys dropped into toilets around the world - and the repair staff who have to deal with the aftermath.
The main structure of the book is a 12 step programme that is designed to figure out how much of an addict you are and suggest ways to curb your use. Of course, unlike AA, the goal is not to give up BlackBerrys use; while there is serious message in these chapters it’s done with a good deal of fun, making this book a good joke gift for certain friends who might be checking their email a bit too much.
If you’ve never owned a BlackBerry you might be surprised to discover there is a subculture that goes beyond new skins (cases) ranging from spas in New York where you can get hand massages for over-used thumbs and hotels in western Canada where guests can go on a BlackBerry retreat by check-in their BlackBerry at the hotel safe.
Who is this book for? It’s undoubtedly for fans of the BlackBerry, I doubt it will convince anyone to give up their BlackBerry (Canadian data plans will do that first) but it would make a fun gift for the BlackBerry user who’s a bit too fond of their Crackberry.Lastly, if the book title sounds familiar, there was a self-published book by the same authors published in 2008, this is the newly edited first edition by Apress.