Friday, May 27, 2011

Outside of a Dog

I am a book person. I love books. Love them. I love reading them of course, but I also love seeing them neatly and colorfully arrayed on my giant bookshelf. I love the crisp crack of a brand new hardcover opened for the first time. I love the gentle susurration of pages turning in a well-thumbed paperback. I love raised lettering and deckled edges and the velvet softness of well-aged paper. I love the dusty, musty smell of old books - breathe deeply on entering a used book store and you'll know the one I mean.

Thus it is with some remorse that I finally joined the 21st century and bought a Kindle.

In an ideal world I would have a house with a Henry Higgins-style library, with a fireplace and overstuffed armchairs and a second level reached by a wrought iron spiral staircase and the whole thing stuffed with books. In the real world this ain't gonna happen. Not only does junior officer-level government housing not generally come quite so well appointed, trying to move all the books every two to three years would be a total nightmare. I have already been advised that the upcoming packout of my half of our modest apartment is likely to take a full day primarily due to the sheer quantity of literature involved. Clearly I can't really keep acquiring books at my present rate. Hence, the Kindle.

My new Kindle will certainly lack some of the sensory joys of the old-fashioned paper-based format (it's also rather less well suited to reading in the bath) but for portability it's beyond compare, and portability is something I need. Perhaps I'll feel better about it if I spray the cover with a little paperback cologne.


  1. I feel your pain. I am slowly coming around to the new digital idea of books online. I still love bookstores and libraries though!!! How perverse will it be to take my Nookbook to a library???

  2. my sister has heard that it works really well if you put the kindle in a ziplock bag for reading in the bath. makes sense to me

  3. Laura told me something similar the other day: She has a Kindle, recognizes that she needs it because of her nomadic lifestyle but doesn't like it. she wants a library with a sliding ladder where did she get that idea?

  4. Beth really likes hers though, so maybe I'll warm up to it in time.

  5. I'm a big fan of ebook readers if you travel, saves space and weight! And I actually have used my nook at the beach and bath by sticking it in a plastic ziploc-- works just fine (as long as you're not purposefully submerging the damn thing) --rita