Thursday, November 20, 2008

Apologies in Advance to Kindle Lovers

I know I'm going to make some enemies here, but I have to say it: I don't want a Kindle. My dad wants one. A few friends of mine have them. I've used them. I see what it's about. If you have been asleep for the last year or two, then you may not know that this white slab of genius circuitry allows one to read books, newspapers, magazines, anything electronic really, on a glare-free magnifiable touch screen. You can access online newspapers, read this blog in fact. You have access to Wickipedia, your own Word docs, and a special website where you can download complete books in under a minute.

Let's face it, the utilitarian benefits are undeniable. And, sure, I could definitely use one. For example, I travel quite a bit still (yes, unusual for a real estate agent, but what can I say?), and having a Kindle in my bag would make life far easier than my last trip where I had the latest Entertainment Magazine (love the reviews in there), the two latest novels I was reading, along with a book on writing. Add to that two journals and the business material I needed for the trip, and I looked like an evicted librarian skulking away with a bag full of loot. Would my trip have been lighter with the Kindle in the bag? Sure. But I still don't want one.

Cue Violins: I have to smell the pages. I have to hold the book, feel the crispness of the corners. I like the paperbacks to have the even creases along the spines after they're read. I get a little giddy when a signed first edition has the glassine jacket protector and it crinkles just a little when you open it to the signature. And I want the bookshelf stuffed full. Gotta have the books.

I like to lay down the book, fan the pages, reread an earlier chapter. Some books I underline, highlight, fold pages. Some I put between bookends, showcase their aesthetic beauty (right now, I have signed first editions of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End in perfect blocked beauty atop an end table). The rest color the shelves.

I am not a Luddite. I just don't want the Kindle. A new book lamp might be nice, though.

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