Kindle – Not an Open Book

“Tra li li, Tra li la,” I wrote on Facebook “my kinda’leh has arrived!”

I’ve been wanting one for years, but it wasn’t really a pressing need. At last we decided to get me one for my birthday. Shira ordered it for me from Amazon, then mailed it to me from Toronto, wrapped in an old T-shirt reeking of memories and placed in a padded envelope marked – for customs purposes – “1 used T-shirt, 1 used e-book reader”.  - What? Oh, sure it was used. Not as used as the T-shirt, just very slightly used.

I took it out of its wrappings and stared at it. It did not return the stare. It was totally, but totally, unnervingly blank. No keyboard, no obvious buttons, no arrows, nothing. I pressed the discreet on/off button and it came to life. A dull, muted, minimalistic life.  The design is a minimalist artist’s dream come true. At the bottom, or [slim] base, from left to right, there’s a tiny charger socket, round headphones socket, and tiny (7x2mm) on/off switch. Above the screen it says “kindle”, not even with a capital letter; beneath the screen there are four small (1 cm), delicate, slightly raised “lines”, which give the impression of being a microphone but are in fact the only button on the device, that takes you to the Home screen.

Why go to all the bother of describing the thing, when I can just show you a picture? Because an e-reader is all about reading. About words. It doesn’t want to distract you with decorative doodads or a rich array of features and options. It’s not designed to lure you to graphic entertainment. It wants to let you read in peace and quiet. Unless, of course, you want the story read to you. It can do that. And it can show you the original illustrations of books, if you download the version with the illustrations.

I fell in love with it instantly, all the same.  Getting only mildly exasperated when the menu didn’t take me where I thought it would, and when I had to experiment repeatedly to figure out how to categorize the files I downloaded and put them into “collections”.

At the moment, I have no intention of purchasing e-books. Even though some are really cheap, like a couple of dollars. I keep looking at the list of novels I downloaded, and can’t make up my mind which one to read first. The mere fact that I am holding in the palm of my hand War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Three Men in a Boat, My Man Jeeves, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, plus a few other volumes, is just too heady for words.

On Saturday, I had fun cutting up an old folder and trying to make a protective cover for my new toy:
Kindle cover, closed. Unfinished oeuvre.

Kindle cover, open. Unfinished oeuvre.


One day later, I was finally ready to employ kindaleh for its chief purported purpose.

(... to be continued.)


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