Thursday, February 24, 2011

Contemplating Kindle

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?


Amy said...

My phone has a kindle app. I'll probably never buy an e-reader (though saying this will probably make it inevitable) but I do enjoy the few books I've bought for my phone/kindle.

Anonymous said...

KINDLE, sounds like a nice gift idea, say for someones mother, on, maybe mothers Day?!

randine said...

@ Anonymous: First of all, I know who you are mother. Secondly- A mothers day gift, that's a great idea- I'll tell Geoff to get me that. Thanks!

Terri said...

I have been contemplating it myself. I love buying books though and it does not look as impressive on the bookshelf.

Kristy said...

I love books too, but I also love my kindle. There are still books that I buy or get as gifts, so you won't ever not have the experience of a real book in your hands again. It is great, too that they are much less expensive now. Go for it! It is so convenient. Thanks for the follow! Will follow you! (I'm glad I'm not the only one that can find some mothering tasks to be so....tedious.) :)

Bruce said...

Janet is looking at a reader as well. The iPad is a lot pricy, so I think were going for the Nook. Colour, no glass and all the rest. 3G/4G is not a big deal since it has wifi and can be cabled as well. So many options......... Good luck :)

tattytiara said...

That's why I like the library. They don't care how often the dogs want to go out or what the cats are throwing up on. They want the book back Tuesday, so I know I have to get it finished!

blable_gage said...

My reading is now limited to this blog and facebook status updates. I am lame.

blable_gage said...

This is LEW...not your kid. What the samhell...that little S.O.B. was supposed to be babysitting, not reading his mother's blog, haha!

Stephanie Faris said...

I think bookstores are becoming obsolete not only because of eReaders but because of Amazon. You can usually get books cheaper on there.

I get all of my books from the library. No problems finding what I want and it's free. They do have some I can download to my Kindle app for iPhone but the selection is so far limited. My problem with eReaders is that eBooks are just way too expensive. Look around out there. I find most of the books I want are $12. Cheaper than hardback but I never bought the hardbacks anyway. I was more of a $5 paperback girl!

Stephanie Faris said...

I have the Kindle app for iPhone but most of my books come from the library. I can't afford to pay $12 a book for e-books and the selection of e-books for download from the library's website is lacking to say the least.

As for my reading time, I get up early every morning and walk 40 minutes on my treadmill. That's my reading time. It's the only time I get to read all day, so I find myself looking forward to it.