Yes, Ellen…a Kindle…Without Pages…

Yes, Ellen, it’s a Kindle. No pages, not like a fuckin’ book. (An earlier post referring to Ellen Barkin’s tweet concerning Kindles is one of my favorites.) I live in a house filled with books. Bookcases line the walls in the living room, dining area, entertainment room (wherein they share space with my whips, chains, manacles, and other devices of entertainment), the headboard of the bed and my office. There’s even a bookcase in the workout room. I never considered myself a candidate for a fuckin’ Kindle, which doesn’t have fuckin’ pages like a fuckin’ book. I like the tactile sense of touching a book. I like the permanence of the ink and paper, unlike Kindle’s whisper-net, a 3G mobile hookup that provides the little machine with books without pages.

OK, OK…the image at the top of the page is my new Kindle, wrapped in it’s pebble-grained, leather, protective cover. To the left is the screen of the booger. I bought the little pig. Ellen will never want to see me again. She’ll be ashamed of me. Well, maybe not ashamed. She never met me, probably never will, and her tweet indicated she owns a Kindle, she just doesn’t use it because it doesn’t have fuckin’ pages like a fuckin’ book. I figured I might do the same. Why buy one if you’re not going to use it? In Ellen Barkin’s case, it’s likely because she loans money to God when he’s short. One more gadget more or less doesn’t matter. In my case…welllll…a client wants me to transcribe a publication for Kindle. I know that .mobi, the Kindle file format, is a form of html, which I use for site design. Still, I’d like to see the final displayed on a device as it will be seen in use.

I bought a like-new-in-box Kindle–the one without ads–from a supplier for $90, about half of what Amazon wants. Then I began exploring. I discovered Project Gutenberg, a repository of thousands of out-of-copyright books that are preserved to be downloaded free. Hmmmmm. How many books have I purchased, some of them for exorbitant prices, and used maybe a page or two in my research? Resell them? For pennies on a dollar? Nah, I’ll keep ’em. They’re good insulation and they look nice.

OK, I downloaded a couple of 1899 publications dealing with the Spanish-American War. One was somewhat useful; the other is a real gem, both from its value for a research project I’m involved in and for enjoyment in reading.

God damn, Ellen. There are hundreds of thousands of books available on the Kindle, free downloads of publications that I’d likely never find in a bookstore. The Kindle has a built-in Oxford American Dictionary that pops up a definition whenever I want to know what a word means. My memory has turned to manure, and this beats dragging the giant dictionary from the headboard of the bed or one of the Shorter Oxford volumes from off my desk. My concern with having books whisked away in the dark of the night by the nefarious 3G system is obviated, too. I can back up all my electronic books on disc. The internal memory of the Kindle is supposed to be good for about 3,500 books but I think I prefer categorizing in folders on a hard drive.

I admit, I like the Kindle. I can fold its leather cover back and read in bed. It’s not as heavy nor as awkward as many of my books. No, it doesn’t have fuckin’ pages like a fuckin’ book (I love that phrase) but the screen is reflective so I can read it in daylight just like a piece of paper. I can adjust the font size to be more comfortable. It will not replace my library but it certainly augments it.

Will Ellen ever want me now? Nah…she didn’t before…why would she now?


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