Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Kindle and Me

Yes, folks, the rumors are true. I've entered into a relationship with a Kindle.
First, let's get one thing straight: it wasn't my idea to get a Kindle. John bought it for me as a birthday gift, and I was more than a little surprised to find it underneath John's rather impressive wrapping job. After all, we'd discussed the Kindle before. I'd voiced my opinion freely: Sure, if I was a business traveler, a Kindle would make a lot of sense. They're light, portable, and on long trips when one might conceivably read more than one book, a Kindle would certainly be a worthwhile investment. But as someone who does most of her reading at home, why on earth would I possibly choose a cold plastic device over a beloved book?
As a writer and long-time lover of books, I was horrified when e-readers first came onto the market. What unforeseen consequences would e-readers have on the publishing industry, bookstores, and the noble book itself? And as an aspiring author, attempting to enter an already crowded and struggling market, what would this mean for my career? As much as I turned my nose up at the e-reader, it quickly became apparent that it was here to stay. When my friend LNRB showed up at dinner one night with her Nook lovingly tucked into a Lily Pulitzer case, I found myself oddly jealous. Presented thusly, it looked surprisingly endearing. It fit so easily into her purse! And it had a pink case! I must have mentioned it to John at some point, because there it was on my birthday, nestled delicately in its humble brown box alongside a power cord and a very thin pamphlet (a positive sign that even the technologically challenged such as myself might be able to manage the device).
Truth be told, I have yet to read anything on my Kindle. The fact of the matter is I'm cheap, and knowing that a book can be mine at the touch of a button is a little frightening. How easy it would be to spend hundreds of dollars on books in just a few short minutes! I took my first baby step and "purchased" a free copy of Madame Bovary, something I've been meaning to read after starting it in Montana over Christmas (I instantly fell in love with Flaubert's description of Charles Bovary's hat). As soon as I finish the other two books I'm working on, I'll start using my Kindle. I've already vowed to download our next book club selection, Sara Gruen's Ape House.
And earlier today, while I was simultaneously showering and conjuring up dialogue for BDC in my head, I started to think of the amazing possibilities of the e-reader. I could insert hyperlinks into the text so readers could view a photo of a Gypsy Vanner:

I could insert music, like Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' "Home," the working theme song for my book.
The possibilities are endless! And now that I have the cutest Kindle cover ever, it doesn't look quite so cold and gadgety. I may learn to love my Kindle yet!


ExpatEliz said...

Hey, I just got a kindle, too (while I was in LA). I immediately downloaded 2 books - which I have yet to read! In fact, I've done nothing with the K except read the instructions. Hopefully, when I finish the 'real' book I'm currently reading, I will unlock its mysteries...

Mara Rae Rutherford said...

that's my problem too! i have all these "real" books i need to read! it's going to be an adjustment but i think once i get used to it i'll love it.