So I got a Kindle. Me. The book girl. I’ve wanted to actually marry certain books. There have been times in life where I felt that if I never saw another person again I’d be alright as long as I had my books. I was going to lose myself in the Scottish moorlands after college with only my books as comfort. Luckily that never happened because I got married and I’m scared of sheep. Just a little bit.
When I was about 13 I volunteered at my city’s huge, downtown main library. They gave me this code to punch in to get into their stacks, the ones with books so old they didn’t put them out anymore. Periodically I would go in there, absorbing the dimness, that old paper smell, and just lean against the shelves, touching the spines of these old words. It’s one of my most enduring sensory memories.
I have a deep love of words. I think in words, situations are spelled out to me in my head as if they were on the pages of a book. Everything sounds better to me on paper. This might be because I don’t speak very well. I’m socially awkward and my speech is peppered with snorts and ums, as well as my voice being a cross between a cartoon character and Holly Hunter in…well, everything Holly Hunter has ever done minus The Piano. Hard and nasally. Plus, I look like Ren Hoek. For you innocent youngsters, here’s a visual:
So yeah, basically everything is better on paper. This is also the reason I’m fond of writing letters when I’m really angry as opposed to “having a talk.” Gah!
I have no shame in saying that it is through books that I am a complete escapist from anything happening in the real world. I will be buying books my entire life, and since I’m only in my early 30s, that might be a long time. My house is already full, and I know that many of the books that I will need/want throughout my life will not be available in any format beyond paper hard copy. There simply isn’t enough space for them, and as the children begin to grow their own libraries, what little space there is will be at a premium. Since we are currently on a much needed, and hopefully permanent “downsizing stuff” cycle, I think the Kindle really fills a space in my life. It can house the many, many books that I enjoy enough to own, but would not be completely devastated to lose lest the world of digitization crashes to a halt.
While I still feel quivery about possibly losing my books in the event of the zombie apocalypse, my sister (a Kindle lover) wryly informed me of what I already knew; there won’t be much lolling around reading the classics when fire is falling from the sky and zombies are trying to eat my brains. I will be keeping my most favourite books un-digitized; the ones I would not ever be willing to part with.
And the Kindle? The thing that makes the Kindle completely worthwhile in every single way? Oxford English Dictionary. It’s in there, people. And while some of you do not know what a hard copy of the OED looks like, I actually have a complete copy of both volumes dating back to the year I was born, 1977. It was my Dad’s. Both volumes are approximately 4 inches thick, the pages thin, like a thread of ancient silk, the words so tiny they need a magnifying glass. Nerd-woman that I am, I’ve been in love with the OED since I was a little girl. And now I can carry around all those delicious words with me. Happy sigh.
What do you all think of e-readers? ‘Cause, when they first came out I cursed them as evil, and now look at me.