Buoyed by the news of my first book being released in e-format, in November of 2007, I bought a Kindle. I soon learned I’d been “lucky” to get one for the holiday season, that they’d sold out much faster than Amazon expected.
But once I got it opened and downloaded a couple of books, whether I was lucky or not was up for interpretation. I found myself more focused on the e-reader than the books, which seemed to be defeating the entire purpose.
Three years have passed. I’ve downloaded the occasional book, particularly those available only in e-format. I’ve figured out the basics: how to move around, change the font, convert .pdfs, etc. But still, the Kindle would sit quietly for weeks and sometimes months on a shelf. Did I like it? Not really. But I didn’t exactly dislike it, either.
Now, I need to add that I’m a big Sophie Kinsella fan, and her book, Remember Me? was the test-case I had used on my Kindle. But as time has passed, I realized that I barely remembered the story at all, and last month, I decided to power the Kindle up and give that book another go. And was I glad I did. Without focusing on the nuts and bolts of the e-reader, I found the book absolutely charming!
So when I got a call last week that my son had been in a snowboarding accident, in my rush to get to the hospital--and knowing there’d likely be a lot of downtime in my immediate future--I’d had the wherewithal to grab my Kindle.
And right from the first night, while he slept and I tried to stay calm and focused, that Kindle kept me company. I used the internet function to deliver a virtual bookstore to the hospital room. I looked over Top 100 lists, then at different authors’ books, occasionally pushing the “download the first chapter” button.
Over the next week in the hospital, as he grew stronger and my concentration improved, that Kindle stayed with me. During down periods, I read through those first chapters and purchased and read a humorous memoir by Nora Ephron (perhaps best known for penning “When Harry Met Sally” and “You’ve Got Mail”). I texted friends for more recommendations, and checked those out, as well. I re-read a Stephen King novella I’d downloaded early on (which I didn’t remember very well, either.)
The short of it being, when I needed it, the Kindle was there for me. Offering me the best of all distractions: a world of books.
Now we’re home and my son is doing great. While I am threatening to take an ax to his snowboard, I am also thinking of upgrading to the newest Kindle. Because while I know my love will never lessen for paperbound books, having a virtual bookstore at my fingertips in a time of great stress was “just what the doctor” ordered for me!
How about you? Have you "made friends" with your e-reader?
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