Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Kindle is... just a Kindle

I like my Kindle…sort of. I like that I can download enough books to get me through every plane ride I will ever take. I like that, in just a few seconds, another book waits for me at the click of a button. I like that my Kindle is small, light-weight, non-bulky and that it fits easily into a purse or briefcase. I like that, for an additional charge, it comes with a made-to-order cover, complete with travel light. I like that it isn’t backlit so I can read in the yard in brilliant sunlight. For me, that’s about it. I’m keeping my Kindle. I’ve even written a book specifically for Kindle e-readers, WITCH WOMAN, but I don’t love my Kindle.

 I do LOVE my books. I love the smell of paper. I love the page numbers in the corners. I love the colors of the covers and the teasers on the back.  I love knowing I’ve read 126 pages and that I have 250 more to enjoy. I love metaphors so diamond-edged, so breath-stealing, so authentic that I simply must highlight the words and go back again and again to reread them. I love doodling my questions and comments in the margins and coming upon them later to relive the place where I was at the time. I love the books authors have personalized for me,…Dear Jeanette, etc. etc. My favorite signing was completely unexpected: Ray Bradbury in the last years of his life, had come to the opening of his play in a wheelchair. When I told him I was a fan he quizzed me on his works. I must have passed the test because, not only did he sign my program, he kissed me. Ray Bradbury kissed me and I have his wonderful, one-of-a-kind scrawl as a souvenir. I love going into bookstores and seeing my name on the spines of books I've written.

A Kindle reader will never replace my stash of books. I can do without a Kindle. I frequently delete the books I’ve downloaded. I have no idea where they end up. I have never thrown away a book. I lend my books and I donate them, but I never throw them away. I cannot do without a book, not now, not ever. I like my Kindle, but I love my books.

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