Me. Talking to Me.
You should have guessed you’d be talking about e-reading. What planet are you on? Doesn’t that just sound weird: E. Reading. Anyhoo, you figured it was coming, like that train you see in your nightmares in the distance, barreling toward you in the dark, red lights glowing, flashing. You with your big boot caught in the tracks, unable to escape. You just didn’t think it would happen. Not so soon. Not this year. Certainly not this month. Yet here you are. Red lights flashing. Boot stuck. Train barreling.
Here’s how it went down:
I own an iPad.’My friend Averil has an e-book coming out (a bodice-ripper, hello) which I can’t wait to read.
Someone told me I could download a Kindle App onto my iPad (for free).
And here I thought I was so strong, so tough, so resilient, steadfast against the techno-devil.
- Instant gratification. See book on-line. Read about book. Book sounds awesome, a must-read. One click more and for $9.99 or less I can have said book NOW, this instant, no waiting.
- I’m away from home with only my purse and iPad in tow. I have some minutes to spare. I can open my iPad/Kindle and voila, there are some books to read, all book-marked right where I left off.
- Enlarging print means I don’t need to wear my glasses to read. I have bad eyes. Cataracts at 45. Yet, I can read without glasses. A flaming, fucking miracle. (angels sing, can you hear them?, even though I’ve used the f-word)
- Without even asking, I got the following for free: TREASURE ISLAND, The OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY, AESOP’S FABLES, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I recently posted that I’ve never read any Jane Austen. This, I’m sure, is a sign.
- I can read in black-on-white, white-on-black, or with a sepia background.
- Did I mention enlarged print?
- I read my first story with a black background, white letters. It felt soothing, a relief.
- If I’m reading book I don’t want to advertise in public (your bodice-ripper, Averil!) I can do so without worry.
Interjections (Well!) show excitement (Oh!) or emotion (Hey!).
They’re generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point,
Or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong.
– from “Interjections!” School House Rock
- The iPad is heavy. Really heavy. Holding it long enough to read my first short story – “The Staying Freight” from VOLT by Alan Heathcock, maybe a ½ hour – exhausts my wrists.
- I miss the feel of paper. Of turning thin pages. The look and smell of virgin velum.
- I’m never quite sure where I am in the story. For example, I’m reading a short story and can’t flip ahead to see how many page are left, if I have time to finish.
- I hate – hate! – the percentages. “You have read 4% of this book.” Who cares! Reading is supposed to be relaxing. Always has been. It’s my escape. This is just one more ‘something’ to obsess over, one more number to watch that tells me I’m not doing enough.
- How when my fingers touch the screen, I have no clue what will happen. Will the page turn? Will I be presented with the side-bars for magnification, note-taking, viewing options? Or will I lose my place? Does this get better with experience?
- Paper. Touching, turning paper.
- The heft of a book. I don’t like hardbacks. I am enamored with trade paperbacks, pages with smooth edges, the ability to flip through, to fan the pages like playing cards. To see said book lying on my coffee table, bedside table, bathtub ledge, stuffed unwilling into my too-small purse.
- No marginalia. No turning down corners, top or bottom. I’m a bottom-turner. I like to write in my books. So shoot me.
- Instant gratification.
Are you E-Reading? What excites / saddens you about it?