An Ode to My Kindle

My book club in Nellysford meets tonight to discuss Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. I love my book club and wish I could be there, but since I can’t, I’ll wax rhapsodic about my Kindle. Have a good meeting, fellow book clubbers!

When the Kindle was first released in November 2007, I turned up by nose and thought, smugly, that I’d never want one of those! I loved the feel of a book in my hand, I could never get used to reading a book electronically, I could barely stand reading long articles on the web, blah, blah, blah. Then I went to Tunisia in January 2008 to join Michael, who was doing a consulting project for the African Development Bank. He was in Tunis for seven months; I was there for four months. We packed as many books for me as possible—about seven or eight—and I assumed I could buy new books in Tunis. WRONG! The only books in English that I found in Tunis were romance novels, and I’m not usually fond of them.

So I simply read, reread, and reread my seven books, of which I can remember four. A Tale of Two Cities—no problem reading it a million times. Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, by Sena Jeter Naslund—no problem reading it three or four times. World Without End, by Ken Follett—not so good as The Pillars of the Earth, but enjoyable, even the second time. The Pioneers, by James Fenimore Cooper—although I enjoyed it, once in four months was enough. If only I’d had Pride and Prejudice or A Tale of Two Cities, I might have been content. Fortunately we met Al and Kate in Paris for a week in March, and I was able to stock up at an English-language bookstore. Whew!

Last Christmas, to everyone’s great surprise, I asked for a Kindle. I didn’t want a Nook, because it’s backlit, and I have enough trouble sleeping at night. My avid-reader daughter, Kate, got a Kindle for Christmas, but I didn’t. I got one for my birthday two weeks later. Joy!

That was a fortuitous request, because since the end of March, we’ve traveled a lot—Colorado, Oregon twice, and Rome twice—and the books I’ve “lugged” with me have been in my Kindle.

The only books we brought to Rome were an Italian dictionary, a couple of Italian-language study books, and some professional books for Michael. When our ship comes in (Thursday, with luck), our boxes include several cookbooks (Mario Batali, Julia Child, Patricia Wells, Mark Bitman, and a few others), a few more Italian-language study aids, and a couple of editing tools for me (Chicago, APA, AP). My other books—more than 100 titles—are in my Kindle, including A Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice! And those 100 or so books ALL fit in my handbag!

I’m reading almost a book a day here during the hot weather. When I need a new book, I simply log into my account at Amazon and order one. I “friended” Amazon on Facebook, and every day Amazon offers to sell me a deeply discounted book via Facebook. Sometimes I buy them, and sometimes I don’t, but they’re usually only a couple of dollars.

Life for this avid reader has significantly improved, especially when I’m traveling, and now I actually prefer an e-book reader! Go figure! Michael has a Kindle as well and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Amazon, I bow down to you. You have transformed my life, and I am astonished and grateful! To the rest of you, never say never!


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4 Responses to An Ode to My Kindle

  1. Leighton H. Cumming says:

    Another librarian moves to new stuff! I have an iPad and love it. Like you, I read mostly on the ereader, but continue to order things like quilt books in paper. Haven’t made the shift on magazines yet, but probably will. Fun to see what you are up to.

  2. skdyer7 says:

    I love my Kindle, but I miss the old card catalog, that’s for sure! Great to hear from you, Leighton.

  3. Meredith Prock says:

    If a librarian can read a book on her Kindle, maybe I should backtrack on my adamant stand (to quote a friend): ” I’d never want one of those! I loved the feel of a book in my hand, I could never get used to reading a book electronically, I could barely stand reading long articles on the Web, blah, blah, blah.” My daughter has one and loves it and now I read (WSJ) that Amazon is cooking up an e-book rental library. Hmmmm, maybe there’s an iPad in my future.

    • skdyer7 says:

      As a further inducement for you to change your stubborn ways (I can say this because I, too, was stubborn about an e-reader), Amazon has a huge store of FREE books–classics and books for which the copyright has expired. My faves, Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice, were free, and I’ve just reread several free Louisa May Alcott books. Michael reads the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly on his Kindle. I’d like an iPad but I must do my best to sleep at night. How far we’ve come from Gutenberg! Keep me posted.

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