Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I Own A Kindle, And I Feel Dirty

I own a Kindle, and I feel dirty. Dirty like a spineless slug. Dirty like a sell out. Dirty like a book whore. Dirty like the cause of the downfall of civilized society. Here's how it happened:

We were on our way to the airport for the long trip to Hawaii, and we stopped at Best Buy because Husband wanted a Kindle. We would be doing a lot of reading on the beach, and the iPad isn't conducive for that. The screen is glossy glass and shows a lot of glare in the sun, but the Kindle's screen has the perfect texture for daylight reading. Those commercials with two people sitting by the pool, and the one reading an iPad is struggling, are accurate.

Husband chose the one he wanted and headed toward the cashier, all the while I was wandering around that part of the store touching everything like a kid in a candy store because that's how I am at Best Buy. And then Husband turned around and asked if I wanted a Kindle, too. Of course, I didn't because I had my iPad and a paperback, and I would be fine. But then I started looking at them sitting there like new toys on the display counter, and they felt nice, and I suddenly had to have one.

I chose the same one Husband chose because he knows about these things, and we walked away with Kindles. A little later, we picked Eustacia up from her dorm that is very close to the airport and went out for dinner, and then we went to another Best Buy because she needed a tripod for a photography class. As I was wandering around the store touching everything, I discovered these tactiley pleasant Kindle cases, leather like a finely bound book. Ironic, eh? We bought a brown one for me and a black one for Husband so we wouldn't confuse our Kindles, and we were off.

Before we even left the ground for Honolulu, I had charged my Kindle, set it up and downloaded books—it only takes a minute, you know. I bought Bossypants by Tina Fey and The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale. Then I bought Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

I tapped into my archives with Amazon and downloaded the Intellectual Devotional biography edition and Pride and Prejudice just in case I might want to read it from the comfort of my cabana with a mai tai in hand. I didn't, it turns out, but I couldn't be sure ahead of time. You know, I have never read that book, but now I have it handy for some day.

At one point, I marched into the hotel room and announced how much I love my Kindle and how ashamed I felt about that. I feel disloyal to books made with paper even though I have occasionally been reading from my iPad. I also have issues with Amazon, the source of all Kindle books. Their tax situation is bothersome, as are reports of how they treat their employees. Amazon is the new Wal-Mart, as far as I can tell, shutting down smaller businesses like book stores and other retailers who struggle to compete with a monster-shop that sells cheap stuff tax free.

But, darn it, I love this Kindle. It makes me feel dirty, but I love it.


Speedway said...

I want a Kindle, plan to buy one in a couple weeks, and I feel dirty, too. Already. I've loved the printed word since I was little and, on occasion, have designed a few books.

Now, I'm plotting my dirtiness like a little e-perv; it makes me feel as though I'm betraying my kind, from the monks who labored to illuminate pages to the illustrators and typographers who design fonts I love to play with.

How can anyone learn to love books who hasn't known the smell of ink and paper, the musty odor of a library? What does a Kindle smell like?

Scout said...

Speedway, I've designed plenty and always enjoyed choosing cover materials, matching the book color with the leather for the spine and the head and tail bands. Is it going to be deckle cut or straight, will there be gilding on the page edges and will there be a ribbon marker. Will I use serif or sans serif. Will I lean classic or edgy or romantic or fun.

None of that matters with e-books, and it's a shame. Maybe the answer is to own the paper-made book AND the e-book, best of both worlds.

Maria said...

My sister says the same thing. My other sisters and I bought her a Kindle when she earned her masters degree. She was hesitant at first, but now ADORES it. But, when she was at my house a few months later, standing in my packed to the gills library, she said, "I feel as if all the books are judging me. Like I've gone to the dark side..."

I haven't purchased one yet, although Bing and Liv both have them.

Mark said... about all those scribes we put out of work with the invention of the printing press? Nobody cares about them.

Shannon and Paul said...

Welcome to the dark side. It is truly a wonder for vacations, as if you are getting into a read, you can always change your book without leaving your spot. Plus room in the luggage!

I justify my Kindle love by keeping things varied. Reading Cutting for Stone in paper now, just finished another on paper, but will read a manuscript revision on the Kindle next, because I need to read fast.

Your paper and e solution is coming... bundles will be sold, just like they are doing with Blu Ray and DVD.

Amazon is the devil, no doubt. But history is peppered with devils and someone will eventually replace them as the Big Bad.

Thanks for the lamb recipe. Paul loves lamb and I need a good prompt.

Come drink white wine with me... too many red-lovers out here.