Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My new toy...

I got my new Kindle in the mail today.
I was given one for my birthday from a friend. I am quite excited about it, but I am also a little nervous about it.

If you are not familiar, Amazon has put out a nifty new device to read books on. You can download books and read them on this contraption that looks vaguely like a “tricorder” from the original Star Trek series. With the Kindle, there is no need to buy another book again, you can simply press a button and have the book downloaded and read it on the screen in front of you. You can also buy subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals to read on this amazing machine.

This is why I have a bit of anxiety about my new toy, the Kindle. I am afraid I will not like it as much as reading a “real” book. First of all, I love books. I like how books sound when I read them, esp. when the spine of a new book cracks like the shell of a lobster I am about to dig into. I like the feel of the pages when I am flipping through a text looking for something; I like the sliding feeling of the dust jacket. I love how they smell. I actually like to smell a book and determine how old it is, if it is new it smells crisp like celery or a new dollar bill, if it smells dusty, weathered and smart I know it is an older volume.

I like the pressure of a big book on my chest when I read one in bed. Now I am holding something in my hands that is more akin to a giant calculator than a novel. It is impossibly light and so thin it’s nearly two dimensional. It doesn’t make any sounds. I smelled it. It doesn’t smell like anything.

As I read the directions, I feel some of my anxiety melt away. It seems rather easy to use. No secrets or surprises. Admittedly, I am not very tech savvy, however, it seems to fall somewhere between the I-pod and a cell phone in its complexity. These are acceptable parameters, so I think I can handle it.

As I get familiar with my new Kindle, what I have come to realize is that more than loving books, I love to read books even more. Books are great and I will always continue to enjoy them, but what I now know is that I love a great story, a clever turn of phrase, or a fantastically placed word even more than the actual book. I enjoy a creative metaphor or an emotional evocative scene more than I love the pages of a physical book in and of itself. And if any device that makes the experience of reading more accessible, more convenient, and more efficient than I am willing to give it a try.

So hello new Kindle. I am happy to make your acquaintance. Let’s get to know each other a little better, shall we?

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