The Commerce of Reading

A couple of months ago, I left my Kindle Touch at the gym and someone decided to take it home and order a couple of Christian romance e-books on it.

Me forgetting it which then turned into theft (by a Christian romance reading thief) was bad enough, but I also had to worry about what my Kindle said about me. I had a ton of books on it and, I'll admit, more than a few that I purchased just because I could "hide" what I was reading unlike with a physical copy of a book. Being able to read about something I was shy about wanting to read about was what really drew me to the Kindle and why I was horrified that someone, the thief, now had an intimate glimpse as to what was going on in my noggin.

I had also begun to read a lot more fiction, something I tend to avoid when I'm writing. My beside table had become cluttered with New Yorkers, Vanity Fairs, Atlantics and Time magazines (this is only a small sample of what I subscribe to, the rest are picture heavy) because I had become Kindle dependent.

The one thing (well maybe more) that I didn't like about my Kindle was having to use Verso clip-on reading lamp and since I read a lot at night, the battery expense was getting, well, expensive. When Amazon announced the Paperwhite, which has a built-in light, I felt more than a tinge of regret knowing that I'd be stuck with my lamp and batteries for a long time.

Then it was gone. I called into the gym and asked them to keep an eye out for it. That I'd already cancelled my membership because I was unhappy with the place only added to my annoyance. I started looking for a new gym and reading my magazines again. My consumption of fiction dropped off even there there were plenty of books I wanted to read. Including the one I was right in the middle of when it was stolen.

My husband gave me his Kindle Touch as he was annoyed at having to pay for separate subscriptions to The New York Times and The Economist through Amazon even though we subscribe to the digital edition of both and accessed online or on the iPad.

I wiped it and loaded my books on it but it's not the same, it has the ads on it which annoy me to no end but not enough to upgrade to the ad-free version. This morning I sent it off to school with my kid who has to read an autobiography for school. He's a book reader and buyer, as in real, physical books. He's convinced that his collection will someday be very valuable. But since this autobiography wasn't something he was so sure he wanted to treat as "his own" book, he was more than willing to read it on the Kindle.

He promised to take care of it and even took it to school in the Kate Spade iPad case I forced on him (the thief now owns the padded sleeve I ordered off of etsy for it which is the only useful thing about it since I deactivated my Kindle and called it into Amazon who set up a block making it just a sad, dead grey slab of nothing).

If he were to lose it, which I'm sure he won't, or break it, which might happen since backpacks get tossed and kicked around by accident and on purpose, I'd really have no choice but to get that Paperwhite I've been sighing over. Or he might decide he likes to read on it and want to keep it for himself. Again, I'd be forced to order that Paperwhite which has been sitting in my cart since the pre-order days.

As for my Verso lamp, it turns out it works just as well for late-night magazine reading.

1 comment:

Robert Ray said...

hi there candela
we're in the same goodreads group
and early on i checked a couple of your novels--breezy and clever--just like this mini-rant on the electronic universe controlled by the big A--the usual blessing/curse paradox--with kids and husband i don't see where you get the time but congrats anyway on handling all the words--all best,
robert ray (of the weekend novelist)