Thursday, February 21, 2013

Light My Fire

Back in the mists of antiquity (uh, November, last year) I left off saying I wanted to talk about the Kindle. And I still totally do, but I've forgotten the world-shaking things I was going to blog, so we'll see how this goes. Har! Har!

I didn't want a Kindle. It wasn't one of those things that really fired me up (snort, giggle) and I had bookshelf space to spare, anyway. To be fair, I wasn't being all technophobic about it. It was just a gadget that held little appeal.

On the Inter-webz, there is always a vast torrent of opinions, swinging from one extreme to another about any given subject. E-readers were in there, just as polarizing as gay marriage and global warming, somehow, and reading all of that just makes me tired. Rhetoric, propoganda, slippery slope arguments, blah blah. Whatever. The reality of my situation was such that I didn't need one, and that was about it.

And then my situation changed.

I travel for work. Typically, I could carry as many books as I needed for the duration of my hitch. My hitch length changed, as did my travel arrangements. Instead of a ten-hour drive where music was my companion, I had a ten-hour flight. And a day at a hotel before heading to work. And hah, a weight limit on my bag.

So my first hitch in new circumstances was a bookless affair. Oh, I'd brought a book, The Three Musketeers. That seemed like a weighty enough tome to keep me occupied, right? That was old-situation thinking. I finished that book before I even got to work, from reading on the plane and in the hotel. It was that hitch that I began to entertain the idea of getting an e-reader.

I mentioned this to my most wonderful Better Half, and she said, "Okay," and kept on with what we had been talking about before I interrupted. I thought no more about it, and I thought she did the same. But when I got home, ta-daa! I had a new Kindle. Because my wife is awesome.

Now that I've had one for going on three years, I can't imagine not having one. A gazillion books at my fingertips, and it fits in my pocket? Yeah, I wear BDU pants a lot, but it fits in my pocket. So awesome.

Since then, I've found other reasons to like it. I'm a writer, if you didn't know, and when something is done I like to stop looking at it on my laptop. Printing out a novel seems pretty wasteful, but putting it on the Kindle... well, that smacks of fabulous. Reading the work on the Kindle somehow changes the way I see the books. It's as if they're more fixed, less work-in-progress, and it helps me find problems I might have glossed over several times in Word.

I also participate in a novel critique group, the same applies to these works. In my opinion (Should I even have to say that? Anything that isn't fact here is my goddamn opinion.) it makes my critiques deeper. YMMV.

And you know, I take it to other places, too. In my thigh pocket. It goes with me to the mechanic's when I need work done. It goes with me to the dentist. It goes with me to anywhere I might have to stand in line for more than five minutes. It definitely goes with me to the bathroom.

I still buy deadwood editions of stuff. That will never stop. But I can be choosy about it now. Only the mostest especial books go on the shelf. (Shelves.) And the classics (my classics: Grendel, House of Leaves, Dune... you know me) get a place of rarified honor, where only the strong survive.

So that's it, I think. Man, look at this wall of text. Can you believe I coulnd't find any natural places to just drop a picture somewhere? What a mess. I can fix this. You guys should know how much I love it when things bleed together, right? Here are some images that do just that. Huzzah!

Next time, I interview Dave Dunwoody!

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