So- I never thought I would say this but lately I've been contemplating Kindle.
As in- getting one.
I know, right.
I'm an old fashioned kind of girl. I love the way books smell, the way they feel. The excitement of starting a new one- I always skip ahead to the last page and just skim it. Ever so slightly. Just to see. And of course I read the acknowledgements, to see who the authors agent it.
But two recent events have made me start to think that it might be time to jump ship.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at Wal Mart and perusing the books. The selection was very minimal. Most of the books had 40% off stickers. Some of the books were in bins, one marked $5 one marked $7. Some of the books in the bin were hardcovers.
"I hate to say this," said a stranger who was standing beside me, in the same predicament. "But I think we're going to have to get an EReader soon," he said.
I nodded slowly. "You may be right," I concurred, with a sad sort of smile, though I wasn't quite sold on it.
At least, not yet.
Although I sensed something. That somehow, this strangers words were important, that things were shifting for me. For us, even, as I felt connected to this person, as book connoisseurs.
And I thought about Under the Dome, which I happened to be reading when I went to Mexico, which was unfortunate, because the book is over a thousand pages, and very weighty. I dragged that ting through the airports, to the beach and back every day. It was cumbersome, even to read, much less carry around. I would have preferred, I told my husband one night, if he had written the book in two parts rather than one that size.
And for all of my lugging it around in Mexico, I read maybe only a hundred pages.
In two weeks.
Pitiful, I know.
But in my defense: this is an example of a day at the beach:
Get down to the beach.
Unpack the kids towells and sand toys.
Sit down to read book.
One sentence later: "Mom, I have to go potty!" Alex says, holding himself.
"Okay," I say, getting up and walking the half block or so to the bathrooms. Along the way we stop and observe birds, his bathroom needs seemingly forgotten. He chases the birds for a while, cries when they fly away once he's within a few feet. Then he sees the outdoor showers, and of course he has to go in, he stands in the shower, playing with the water. Doing a version of the hokey pokey, putting the left foot in, the left foot out. I drag him away.
Finally, we get to the bathroom.
I sit him on the toilet. He has to take his shorts completely off, and his shoes as well. Then he sits on the potty, dangles his feet up and down. Looks at me with an adoring smile and says "all done." as he hops off.
"But you didn't go!" I tell him.
"I don't have to," he says, as he tries to open the door. I hold him back, wriggle his little but into his shorts and his little feet into his shoes.
We make the slow walk back to the beach.
Along the way we pass the bar. "I need a drink," he tells me. So we stand at the bar, order a Spiderman, which is a convoluted drink that involves red Jello and blue ice cream. Alex insists on carrying it himself to the beach. By the time we get there, he has spilled most of it on himself, and it's almost completely melted. He cries that he's sticky, and this necessitates another trip to the shower area. I can't get him away from the shower area. I walk away, thinking he'll follow. He does not follow. A security guard comes over and stands, protectively, beside the shower, observing Alex. I watch from the beach.
"There," I say, as I pick up my book. "The security guard is looking after him." But then I remember that the security guards are all, apparently, crooked and possibly involved in the drug cartel, according to a lady we met who was either the most brilliant detective since Sara Sidle or completely paranoid and deranged. I look at him talking on his two way radio, and wonder what he's saying, feeling vaguely suspicious about it for some reason.
I sigh and put my book down, walk back to the shower, pull Alex away, causing a slight scene in the process.We get back to the beach, I sit down, poised to read my book again. It feels nice.
I feel the sun boring into me, and I look up at the kids.
"Get your hats on," I tell them. I pull the hats out of the sand, shake them vigorously, put them on the kids, who promptly take them off. This goes on for some time. Finally I convince them to wear their hats, and they do so but begrudgingly.
Then I remember that I haven't sunscreened them recently, so I go and rub them down with SPF 50.
Then I sit down, poised to read, finally.
"I have to go potty," Alex says, again holding himself and dancing around, and I think- I think this is for real this time, although I'm never sure until we get there.
"Okay," I say with a sigh, getting up.
And so on and so forth.
Would a Kindle have prevented these problems?
No. Nothing could have prevented these problems, except for maybe birth control, but it was way too late for that.
But, still. I wouldn't have had to cart that damn book around with me, everywhere we went, for two weeks, so that I could read precisely one sentence every day.
So here I am, contemplating a Kindle.
I don't know what's happening to me, somehow, I'm becoming current. I even have a Blackberry now.
I even know how to use it.
Well, sort of. I mean, some stuff I can do.
What's next- maybe I'll read the Hunger Games or watch Inception.
Probably not. But you never know?
Anyways, you tell me: how do you read?