Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Thank-You Card for Michael and a Kindle Weighing Heavy on my Mind

Talk about mood swings.

About 15 minutes ago I signed in to my blog with the intent of posting an entry beating myself up for being shallow, needy and generally worthless.

I thought I had totally destroyed the value and purpose of my blog by being somewhat desolate for the past few days due to the fact that I had gotten used to comments and was finding none for my last post which my internal, somewhat biased, critic thought was not a bad piece of writing.

So, I therefore thought concluded that I finally knew why I had created this blog.  To be petted, stroked and praised.

I've never had those things in my life - except on very seldom and far-spaced special occasions.  I imagine that people cossetted as children can stand not being told "you done good" when they thought they "had done good," but I'm not one of those.

Anyway, there was Michael's thoughtful comment - and my world lit up.  One of those unexpected "you done good" moments which I will press in my memory book.  Thanks, Michael.

There is one hidden horror not mentioned in my post about Patti and Robert - one with which I'm trying to come to terms ..... I read "Just Kids" on a Kindle (oh my god - that looks more blasphemous in writing than it does when it's said aloud).

I have hated and railed against Kindles since they first arrived on the scene.  "They will destroy books."  "They will shut down book stores."  "How can a flat piece of machinery take the place of book with heft and smell and reality?"

There was no way, ever, that I would even consider using a Kindle.

Well, one of my closest friends (who knows how I feel about Kindles - tool of the Devil!) gave me one for Christmas.

She correctly anticipated my reaction and started right in with her rationale, which had merit.

When I went on my Alaska cruise last year I took about 10 books with me.  One of my greatest fears is being caught somewhere without something engrossing to read, so I always take more reading material than I will ever need (and generally buy some more along the way).

That was for a 7 day cruise - in June I'm doing a 14 day cruise and she said that she couldn't imagine how many books I would have to pack - probably need an extra suitcase.  She thought I could travel easier, and lighter, with one loaded Kindle.  (Plus I travel a lot for work and that also requires ensuring sufficient reading material for planes, airports and hotel rooms.)

So, I did not throw it back in her face.  I graciously accepted the foul thing, acknowledging that I would ONLY use it for travel purposes.

She, however, was in league with the Devil and the Kindle came with a book already loaded --- Stephen King's "Full Dark, No Stars."  King is one of my guilty pleasures.  I think he's highly underrated (although his books would all be improved if the length of each was cut by about 30%).  She knew that I would probably never even try the Kindle if I wasn't prodded a bit.

So, of course, I read the book and said to myself, "OK, now I know how it works and that's that."

Here's where the Devil got really smart.

Folks like me hear about interesting books on the radio, on TV, through conversations and through book reviews.  We jot down titles on scraps of paper, tear ads out and put them somewhere and then, if they are anything like me, totally blank out when in a bookstore.  We end up buying lots, but none of those we have written down on scraps of paper, matchbook covers or those covered in torn-our reviews and ads that are lost somewhere covered by other clutter on a table top or desk, or in a briefcase or other book.

I was curious as to how one goes about "buying" a Kindle book.  It's way TOO easy.  Google Amazon and, if you have an account (which I do), one minute later the book is loaded.

Frightening.  Hats off to you, clever Devil.

Currently, I have 10 books waiting for me on the flat little horror.

My house overflows with books - a few months ago I went through them all and ended up with 7 shopping bags full of those I could bear to give away.  Had to do it to make some room so that I could find what I was looking for when I went to my shelves.  Still have way too many but none that can go.

So, the Devil had another way to gain acceptance into my home.  It doesn't take up any shelf space. 

Okay, okay!  I know I'm starting to rationalize.  I am a Kindle user.  There I've said it.  I understand that it will make me a pariah and keep me out of heaven when the time comes, but it's the truth. 

Try not to hate me.

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