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Something Else My Kindle Does

I like to think I was one of the first people to get a Kindle.  I wasn't of course, but once at the airport two TSA officers took it out of the basket and inspected it.  I felt kind of smug to be on the cutting edge.  Yeah, Madison Avenue types like people like me.  The Kindle is a marvel:  holds 1500 books (then you dump them on your computer and go for more!), only needs charged occasionally and is affordable.  See a book on Amazon, punch a button and zap! it's on your Kindle ready to be read.  

I was never one to re-read books.  Like Ebert on movies, "You can only watch a movie for the first time once",  when finished, I was more than willing to go read something new.  The smell of pages and book binding wasn't an aphrodisiac.  To me a book was an escape or an educational journey.  It was a conveyance, not the destination itself. When done, move on.  And don't spend time re-rereading something when you can discover a new story or land, or world.

I understand I may be unique or in the minority here.  There are people who savor the journey twice, thrice and endlessly.  These same folks generally love the concept, feel and wordage of books so much that they are insulted by the art of the Kindle.  They believe libraries are great halls of quiet reverence, a kind of last bastion of civilized decency and enlightenment.   And I'm very much OK with that.  Its just that I don't despise the new technologies.  I am convinced that in a hundred years or so no more libraries will exist, or perhaps only as museums.  Libraries are just not cost effective any longer.  Nor are book stores.  They cost too much, sell so few, with a lot of money needed to cool, warm, and maintain.  Libraries are costly, digital is cheap.  It's a building that houses books.  Sort of a place, much like an antebellum plantation that still serves mint juleps and non-working people sit around on a veranda and are aghast at unseemly human nature.  They defy progress and "the writing on the wall."   I like pushing the button and getting a book in seconds.  Laziness, pure and simple.  

Novels are my crutch now.  Oh, yes, I have a few biographies I want to get to also.  Washington, and Jefferson and Churchill are on my list.  But like that creepy old basketball player who swats away things on the Geico commercial, "Not today!"  I'm a fairly narrow guy on lots of things.  Narrow taste in music, foods, and old cars.  But books?  I can tackle courtroom drama along with science-fiction.  I can handle a  maritime history novel then dart over and read a dog story from the dog's point of view.  Once I read a novel about Inuit Eskimos then turned around and read about the true story about the whaler Essex sunk by a whale and its survivors reduced to cannibalism.     

I have to say that as a purchase, it is one of my true technological treasures.     I don't have boxes of books in the closet and I try to get cheaper books if I can, and when I do throw caution to the wind and get a current bestseller, I tend to put it on the list and savor my having it, rather than reading it.  My Amazon wish list is vast and expansive, and growing all the time.  I seriously don't think I'll get to all of them;  I'll no doubt die with unread books on my machine.  

I read at bedtime.  It serves a dual function: it gives me plenty of time for a few pages and unwind from anything that winds me up, and it puts me in the mood (read z-o-n-k-s me out) for a good sleep.  That is a dazzling 1-2 combination for ending a day.  


Apparently it has the same affect on little ones who get their little hands on it.  

I suppose with the proliferation of the tablet, the Kindle has become old school.  It remains, however, a part of my daily life, and, in my estimation, one of the great unsung technological marvels of the 21st century, so far.  Sure, books are cool, as a means of communication for a few centuries.  And the Kindle could never replace one with its aesthetics any more than a pet rock can replace a living breathing golden retriever.  But for what they are and what they do, a Kindle is amazing.  They send you on adventures  and even put babies to sleep. 


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