Yesterday was a long day. I was busy all day at work with training, meetings, evaluations, and projects. I came home in one of those moods that just left me wanting to through my hands up and scoff. Not scoff and explain myself or complain, just keep raising my arms and scoffing, as if to tell the day to get up off my grill.
I put on sweatpants, poured a glass of wine, and joined my roommate to watch a mediocre romantic comedy before retreating to my bed around nine. I wanted to read and thought about continuing The Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I had started over the weekend, but I decided against because it was on my Kindle.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle, but I just couldn’t deal with it. All I needed printed words. A few years ago when I got my first e-reader (the Kindle 3G keyboard), I looked forward to reading on it, because it was truly an escape. In the middle of a Toni Morrison novel, it ceased to be an electronic device and became a book.
Then in October when I got my Kindle Fire HD, that sort of stopped. Instead, it became a tool to more effectively look at pictures like this on Pinterest:
Owning a Kindle went from being an intense and passionate literary experience to a disturbingly efficient pinning obsession. (If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that My “Lolz” board is the most well-developed. It doesn’t take much to entertain me, apparently.)
But last night I didn’t want cat memes. I didn’t want 27 ways to rethink my bed. I didn’t even want a recipe for peanut butter caramel ice cream bars. I just wanted a book. Turning to my stack, I realized how wonderful it was to have so few choices. Instead of having dozens of books, apps, and websites to choose from, I just had three books. And since I just wanted to remember the beauty of words, I reached for Joyce Carol Oates.
For about an hour, I remembered what it was like to read before I owned a Kindle: Smelling the air that escapes from the crack of the spine’s glue, appreciating the thickness of a roughly-cut page as it’s turned, finding the most comfortable way to hold the book (One hand? Two hands? Resting on a pillow?) While deciding whether to reach for a pencil to mark a passage or just dog-ear the lower corner, I told myself I need to do this more often.
I love the portability of my slow-growing Kindle library, but nothing will replace the satisfaction I get from holding a book.
I also don’t think I’ll ever lose that thrill I get from marking anything in a book – a holdover from being forbidden from writing in library books.
Thanks to Jennifer for the idea for this post! If there’s something you’d like me to write about let me know by stopping by the Everything is Blooming Facebook page, writing me a message, posting on the wall, and checking out some of my previous posts. And don’t worry, you’ll get a shout out if I end up using your idea.
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