Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kindle Nerd

I tried to google the definition of "book nerd" but all I got were a bunch of links to book lists and comic book nerd sites.  I guess I don't need to see the real definition to know that it probably means me.  I've always used the phrase to describe myself because of my obsession with books.  Not just stories, mind you, but the actual objects.  I love books.  I love book stores.  I love libraries.  I love packed shelves in people's homes.  I love the feel of one in my hand.   I love love love love love.  You know?

When my grandfather passed away, no one worried about what to do with his possessions because 96% of his wealth was wrapped up in books, to quote Belle & Sebastian.  All of the relatives went home with many volumes and yet boxes upon boxes still had to be donated to local libraries and churches (he was a minister) to even make a dent in his collection.  (Picture floor to ceiling shelves on every available wall.) It was his habit, as he got older, to give me a book every time he saw me.  I have these precious items in a section of my own library and they are as dear to me as the leather trench my mom wore in the 70s or the brooch my grandmother pinned to her blouse when she dressed up.

Books, to me, mean good things.  Every birthday and Christmas my aunt gave me a book.  She'd write a message to me on the inside of the cover.  Every Easter that bunny dude put a book in my basket, crowding out the jelly beans and Cadbury eggs.  Every night I'd see my mom and my dad reading books in their chairs.  My aunts read, my cousins read, my grandparents read.

Books make me feel safe.  Books make me feel like everything's going to be okay.  I hug books.  I smell books.  I love books.

Okay, so what is this about then?  I like books.  Yay.  Bully for me!  This post is about how I got a Kindle for Christmas and how it's my favorite thing ever.  I hug my Kindle, you guys.  I love my Kindle.  I haven't smelled my Kindle yet but who knows what the future will bring.  It's just so awesome. And I feel guilty, like I'm cheating on books but, doooood, there's this little tiny thing that fits in my purse and it's just full of awesome.  I loved it from the second I rescued it from its box and held it in my hands.  I couldn't help it.

Last night, I stayed up late reading a Stephen King book in bed.  I had the Kindle in a little cave of covers like I'd do with my book and flashlight when I was a kid.  (I was probably reading Stephen King then too.) If I'd had a Kindle back then, I never would have slept.  It's too easy to lie on your side and turn the pages.  It's too easy to see.  It's too easy to read late into the night without disturbing anyone else.

The last book I read before getting the Kindle was World Without End by Ken Follett, a brick of a book that required a lot of balancing and acrobatics to read in bed and otherwise.  As I read last night and delighted in the fact that my arm wasn't going numb, I wondered how much quicker I would've devoured that thing if I'd been reading it on this itty bitty adorable machine.  I patted my Kindle on its little Kindle head.  (The top.  Duh.)  I'm smitten.

This does not, however, mean I'll never read (or buy) another book.  I have stacks I still want to read, after all.  Plus, some books are meant to be bought as books.  (Like the lovely volume,  My Ideal Bookshelf, I got for Christmas.  Books like that demand to be held in your hands and displayed on a shelf.)  But, I'm head over for my Kindle.  I'm ecstatic about always having dozens of books with me at all times.  I'm grateful to my husband for hooking me up with the precious little thing.

I love books.  I do.  But, I don't have to hold and smell all of them.  Because it's all about the stories and the information, right?  Who cares how it's transmitted into your brain as long as it gets there.

*photo by me of the cutest Kindle ever. and books, many books.