Saturday, July 16, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to crack open the Kindle (TM)

I have spent the last day or so downloading some good reading on the Kindle.

I have a love-hate relationship with the damned thing. On the one hand, I love the fact that at least 40% of the books I have on it are in public domain, so they were classics, and free. WIth the old BA in English Literature, people often forget that I am literate... or at least have pretty diverse reading tastes. And when you are supporting two children, a husband and a dog single-handedly, you don't have alot - or sometimes ANY - disposable income. So the public domain works on Kindle amuse me greatly.

I also love the Kindle for when I really want a new expensive book and I can get it on the Kindle for half that amount (not always, but often enough that I am still enthused). For example, in the past month, amazon and their Kindle allowed me to get the latest Jennifer Egan novel and Tina Fey's memoir (still reading Egan, downloaded Goon Squad this evening, Bossypantsis a solid C+).

Yet I am still old school. I love the feel of a book in my hand, the ability to -GASP - write or underline my favorite parts at will (and yes, I am aware of and do use the highlighting function of Kindle. I just don't give a shit what other people found fascinating - embracing my inner autism spectrum). I like the heft and smell of a book in my hand. Well, not that dusty, moldy, silverfished disintegrating one...aaaaa-chooo! I even like the look of all those damn books on my shelves. Yes, the very shelves that make me look like a hoarder.

Scary, huh? Keep in mind that this only ONE side of the "library" (i.e., small bedroom that I have dedicated to my books). I love my books, but they are numerous.

Which brings me to my final hate for the Kindle.
I read.
Hours a day, when I can. While others watch television, eat and interact in society, I read.
While others form relationships, I read. (No thanks, yuck.)
While others do things like have a life, and vacations (a word I hear used and see in print but never actually experience, unless I am unemployed), I read.
Hell, I don't even knit anymore. Reading is a jealous mistress.

Apparently the Kindle battery cannot keep up with me. It actually has to be charged! Well, not that often. But inevitably, when I am in the middle of reading something on the damned thing that I don't want to put down.

Yes, I am aware I can read on my MacBook and my iPhone - and I do. In fact, I tally this capability under "The Reasons I Love My Kindle." But the iPhone is smaller than a book. And the MacBook (despite its jaunty name) is larger than a book (well, a book I want to schlep around with me to the john and kitchen and car). And the Kindle, while not a book, and a bit heavier than the average trade paperback, simulates a book. Somewhat. Especially when tarted up in a purple skin and ensconced in a purple case, such as this.

I could continue reading on my the Kindle's soft gray screen - which sometimes comforts me and sometimes maddens me - or I could continue blithely on using the MacBook or iPhone. I could even tether myself to the wall while the damned thing is charging and keep on truckin'.

Or I could get really scandalous and resort to my back-up plan. It's wild and dangerous, but so worth it.

I could read this:

I like to live dangerously. And it is one of the last 2 works of Neil Gaiman I have not read.
Yes, a walk on the wild side.


  1. You mean reading material still exists that doesn't require that you be TESTED on it at the end? NCE is in October, graduation in December... perhaps I can look into these "wild" things you describe then...

  2. I'm with you Terre! There is something about "acquiring" this physical thing called a book, the touching of it, the anticipation that swirls around touching and getting ready to open it and enter another world that somehow seems lost on the Kindle. Yes, there is anticipation but somehow the medium does not seem solid. There is something about having a physical presence (yes, even clutter) that is reassuring.

    No one has a home library with the Kindle sitting on the shelf. And this from someone who loves technology!