Friday, October 24, 2008

Time flies....and thoughts about books and newspapers

I got busy. That's not a bad thing: I've been writing stories for Enjoy magazine and the Record Searchlight, and they've been interesting to do.

And I've been taking a photography class, although I've not been the best student by a long shot -- my cataract surgeries knocked me out of two class sessions, and the strong north wind kept me from the sunrise outdoor shoot (aw KNOW how I love getting up in the morning....not....) But I have learned despite myself and even shot the last two stories' pictures on manual settings.

We're still in caretaker mode with Princess #1, too, which means taking her to various appointments and to her new part-time job. While I don't mind the time, and indeed am grateful that I have the ability to be so present for her, it does take some scheduling.

This afternoon, however, she's with a friend, I finished the last assignment, and I spent the rest of the afternoon polishing my nails and catching up on Oprahs that have been DVRed -- even though I've deleted a bunch of them. It was thoroughly indulgent and relaxing. And my toes look much better.

Today's show featured the Amazon Kindle, an electronic bookreader that Oprah is just crazy about. She had Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO and creator of the Kindle, on the show to talk about it. I'll admit that it DOES sound enticing -- to carry around all the books or newspapers you want to read in a 10", thin volume -- and to be able to download them without a computer.

(And by the way, for this next week you can get $50 off the Amazon price with the code: OPRAHWINFREY ...)

But I have to admit that I'm not ready for that.

I love to read. I have always loved to read, and my earliest memories are of being read to and of reading myself. My favorite gifts have always been books. I love the type fonts, the thick pages, the heft of hardback books. I love the portability and affordability of paperbacks.

I love my red room that has crisp white floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on one whole long wall, and I love that the non-fiction is roughly categorized on one shelf and the fiction is all alphabetical by author on the rest of them, and that I have room for some little treasures, some photos, and my old high school and college yearbooks as well as all the photo albums I got from my folks' estate. I love sitting in the rocker there and feeling the enticing warmth of the stories float all around me.

And I love newspapers. I love the ink smell, the feel of the newsprint. I've read at least one daily paper most of my life, ever since elementary school, and I cannot imagine not having one, even though every newspaper in the country is struggling for its life and thousands of employees are being laid off and solid journalists and designers are out of work. And those remaining on staff are forced to do far more with less time and fewer dollars.

Tony reads newpapers and magazines online. I read blogs, but only read magazine or newspaper specific articles that are linked to from other sources. I like not being tied to the screen.

Which is probably why I'd like the Kindle. I could take it with me and be able to read most anything....


How would you clip articles or ideas? How could you highlight or make margin notes? Tear out pages and send them to a friend or save them in an idea file, or use them to make collages? Share a loved book with a friend, recycling them over and over? Or just randomly leaving a good book for a fellow booklover to find through Bookcrossing?

Yes, it would save trees (which would also cost people their jobs). It would cut down on waste, even though paper is recyclable (but the junk mail we all get would certainly keep the recyclers in business).

I'm just not ready to lose the comfort of the paper and of a book in my hand. Maybe someday.


Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law has fallen in love with her Kindle. But I'm just not sure If it's for me. I actually predominantly buy used books for just cents on the dollar. Can I download books on Kindle for 50 cents apiece.

Beth said...

Nearly three years later and while I don't have a Kindle, I have an iPad with a Kindle app, and I love it. And yes, you can download books on Kindle for FREE -- there are many genres available. In fact, I have not paid for any Kindle book yet, and I've read several.