I’ll Never Use a Kindle

…she said snottily. “Using a kindle, or a nook, or an ibook, is to lose the essence of reading. The sensory experience of the paper in your hands, the smell of ink from the pages.”

She repeated this derisive proclamation to many people, feeling oh-so-superior about how she would never succumb to the lure. She prided herself on her intact e-reader virginity. Who cares about being able to get the second book in a series after the library or book store closes?

She didn’t– not for a long time. Until she ran out of titles in her preferred fiction genre, and had to seek out authors not found in either library, or used book stores.

The first romance found in the weight of a paper-bound book became the long-married drudgery of no words to read. Without words to read she found herself two hours into an Operation Repo marathon.


It was 8pm on the evening of July 3rd when she abandoned purity for good. As with all vices and addictions, it began innocently– “just a little taste”, she promised. All the library books had been read (an understandable consequence from staying up until 2am), with none to be acquired the following day. Yet another fault to lay at the feet of the federal government.

Looking for a saved PDF, the ibook program reminded her about a library of books available just right over here, my sweet.

One ibook became 4 ibooks. But the ibook program displeased her; the search feature, clunky and irritating. But the kindle app…

And that’s when the heavy stuff started. Amazon one-click.

How many millions of titles? Combined with the satisfaction of supporting new authors with debut works offered for free. Those authors full of hope and wishing for good star counts. One book leading to pages of recommendations from what has to be one of the largest relational databases in the history of data collecting.

Reading a new-to-her author’s entire series in 4 days? Mourning the end of the last book as if she and the heroine are real life friends?

“Really”, she says to her husband, “what is the quantitative measure of happiness?”

Certainly a $75 few trifling dollars isn’t in excess? She fed the children (sandwiches) and the laundry got done (sort of). She showered (most days) and exercised (once).

Then tonight, as she discovered that when, on Amazon, one sorts by individual genre that the available Top 100 Free books increases? Certainly the three hours she sat, glassy-eyed and silent, scrolling and clicking links– all FREE, mind you– does not suggest a clinical problem?

How could she possibly be expected to resist The Science of Fairy Tales An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology? Or Criminal Sociology? Or perhaps the most aptly named motivational book of all time: The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You?

Built in book light? Auto rotating pages that hold themselves down? These are delightful things.

Bathtub reading is a missed delight. That she is reasonably certain that the light of an electronic device exacerbates her trend of unfortunate bed-timing choices?

No need to focus on the negative.

Sweet, sweet kindle. She eats her (electronic) words.