For the Love of Books

22 Oct

By the always amazing Maria Papova at

I can’t deal with my Kindle.

I don’t think it’s fair to call me an old-fashioned reader. I believe myself to just be a reader. Part of that love of books is the books themselves. Nothing fills me with more optimism than browsing a bookstore: all those stories, all those new things to learn, new characters to meet. In a tiny bookstore, one can find whole new worlds, universes! The covers (soft and hard), flipping through the chapters, using a special postcard to hold my place. I just love books.

Ebooks are essentially the same thing in a less attractive package.  And in my life they’ve been a life-saver. When I traveled around Japan for a week, it was a relief to only carry around my Kindle instead of four, heavy books. But recently, my Kindle and I have had a falling out from which I don’t think we’ll recover.

I had been reading a lot of hefty tomes this summer. It was also a hot, humid summer in which I got cranky when the five pound book in my bag pulled on my shoulder. So when I went to the library to pick up “The Count of Monte Cristo” and the librarian slammed that beast on the counter, I knew I couldn’t do it. I ran home and downloaded it onto my Kindle.

When I haven’t used my Kindle in a while, I’m always amazed by what a pleasure it is. So thin and light. A built in dictionary. One-handed page-turning! I was so happy in love and dreaming about all the large public domain novels I could download for free.

Then, as happens with technology, things started to go wrong. Sometimes when I would go to turn the page, it would take a couple of seconds. Not that big of a deal, but when you add up all those seconds between all those pages, that’s a lot of quality reading time down the drain. But I could forgive. I was 40% through my book, and I didn’t want to stop. Then my Kindle decided that it would randomly freeze and shut off. I would sit and wait for it to reboot, watching all that time slip through my fingers. And I began to get angry. Books don’t freeze! Books don’t need to reboot! When you pick up a book, it never tells you it needs to load first.

So my Kindle has been temporarily shelved, and I do feel that I’m getting a lot more reading in when I can turn the page as rapidly as I do.


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