I wanted my very first e-book purchase for my Kindle to be special and so, I decided to download Abraham Verhese's novel, Cutting For Stone since the authors' parents hailed from Kerala. Yes, when I first saw the name "Verghese" I knew the author was probably some version of a Malayali. And I was correct. Not only that, but in telling Manoj, it came out that his own grandfather's last name was Verghese. No, most likely no relation, but still sort of sweet, right? And then, I discovered one of the characters in the book is named Anjali. Huh. Then, I realized the main character's name is the same as Manoj's maternal grandmother's name. Lovely. Apparently, I made the correct inaugural purchase for my first e-reader.
I have wanted a Kindle for a long, long time. I have had mixed feelings about this device, though. Want! Yes. But still..... What does this mean for books?? Real books with covers and dustjackets and spines and pages and texture and smell?
When I was a little girl in Oskaloosa, KS, there was an odd little bookstore in town. It was ran by volunteers and was only open on Saturday mornings. Essentially their entire inventory consisted of the castoffs and excess donations from the Library System of North Eastern Kansas. When I was little, a book could be purchased for $.10 - indeed, a single dime. By the time I was an adult, they had raised the price to $.25 - yes, an entire quarter. Many of these books were from the 50s and 60s - which is reasonable since they were clearing shelf space for newer books for the 70s. So, oddly - I have a great fondness and lovely memories with books from the 50s and 60s.
Silly Mother by Lois Duncan
Katie John by Mary Calhoun
Growing up, I didn’t just love Katie John, I wanted to BE Katie John. She was so fearless, spunky, and just plain COOL. I was so jealous that she got to live in a big, spooky house.
Double Wedding by Rosamund du Jardin
I just adored the 60s teen romance books - they rode around in jalopies and wore dungarees! How daddio was THAT? Although, I was always wondering why they couldn’t go on dates because they had to stay home to “wash their hair” - what boy would believe a lame excuse like that? How long could it possibly take to WASH YOUR HAIR? It wasn't until years later that I would unravel the mystery (and time commitment) of the Shampoo n’ Set.
Ah yes. Long ago, I swore a Kindle could not replace a book. And yes, that is true. I will keep a healthy number of my current collection of books. And I will continue to hunt down vintage books at garage sales and thrift stores. I will still purchase special new releases. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series? Definitely. The Power of Six? Most certainly. I want these books for my own kids to discover in our shelves.
Before the Kindle purchase, I had looked at other readers, other options (such as the iPad) and I realized that I did not want something backlit and I did not want to buy another toy or gadget - I have a Wii, a smartphone and a computer. I simply wanted to read without distraction.
I have done my fair share of user acceptance testing in the past and my hat is off to the Kindle folks - they did an amazingly perfect job of creating a satisfactory reading experience.It is crazily comfortable to read - there are a jillion settings that allow you to get the font, the size, the spacing down to whatever fits your visual need. The buttons are exactly where they should be. I can read in any position (most importantly, the critical While Lying In Bed position.) But damn, y'all - I could have used this thing when I was nursing mama. I still cringe at the memory of trying to protect Anjali's newborn head as I precariously perched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the side of my chair during nursing sessions.
So. There you have it. The Kindle doesn't smell and is a spineless sort of soul. No matter. Against all odds, I am in love with this Kindle thingie.
Have I not already mentioned my penchant for crow served warm and smothered in Cholula sauce?
Knitted Kindle Cozy/Sock/Glove
My new baby needed a bootie, so I whipped this up over the weekend. Pay no mind to the fact that neither of my human babies received knitted booties from me.
Knitted Kindle Cozy, Finished