Friday, April 17, 2009

How the Kindle SAVED My Life! Hallelujah!

Reposted from Kindleboards

Before the Kindle, there were BOOKS - big, beautiful, bodacious BOOKS, with all manner of fonts sizes that regalled me from an ever growing library that crept from one end of my living space to another. When I left the house, be it for a train commute in the 1970's or a "what to read at lunch time" tote (now), I would need to SELECT, and since I read more than one book at a time, I had a backpack filled with books chosen from the sagging shelf. Heavy on the back. And when carried under the arm, a balancing act. And when I dozed over my books, as I eventually do, they slipped out of my hands and jettisoned across the train or the lunchroom floor. And in bed, they would crash on my face and tumble to the floor. Oh, what troubadours we are - those who read the BOOKS.

Then - the Kindle. Now, with my entire library of 3,700 books contained in a StarTrek size (or more like an etch-a-sketch size) device, I no longer need to backpack it or tote or even make decisions before the hallowed shelves. Before the Kindle, I read about 2 hours a day, maybe three books on the go. However, as an author, I am suppose to read as many hours a day as I write, and I write for four hours a day. With the Kindle, my reading proclivity has risen to the appropriate requirement for a writer. I also have six or seven books on the go. And for a reader who has only one good eye (the other is as dumb as an olive), the Kindle's capability of resurrecting small print to Olympian sizes (and at will), has resurrected my reading life.
But there's more. I can publish on the Kindle, privately to edit on the fly, and publicly in tandem with my print output. But most of all, the Kindle has put me in league with a host of other readers and authors, who have been touched by this Promethean commodity. True, I have a TV and a DVD and a Blackberry and a YouTube capable Computer - BUT the written word can take you to the ends of the earth and the beginnings of the first spark (which last time I looked was called, a Kindle). Just to be able to hold the wealth of the world in your hand is to be given opportunities beyond thinking - an imaginative voyage that doesn't need dusting shelf-space, but just the occasional recharge and new battery. I am never without my Kindle. It is the first thing I pick up in the morning (NY Times) and the last thing I set aside at night (beside my besotted spectacles). And yet, there was life before it. I read before it. I wrote before it. I even got my hands dirty with newsprint before it. However, with it my life is changed - supercharged. It has helped get my thoughts out into the community and it has cloaked me with a bounty of the language's best. What more can there be? Well, one might hope for Hogwarts and Middle Earth to join the ranks Narnia, but even if they don't, I'll find room on that darn shelf that I call a shrine now, for the reticent and the recalcitrant, in a format that is now a viable alternative.
How has the Kindle changed your life?

Edward C. Patterson
author of The Jade Owl

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