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hour with a kindle [May. 1st, 2009|04:44 pm]

6:13 am: While pouring out the dregs of yesterday's coffee to make a fresh pot, remember the part in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn where Francie pours her ration of coffee down the drain every day because it makes her feel rich to have "something to waste."

6:14: Wonder where your copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is. Theorize that you have loaned it to someone you may never see again.

6:15: While pouring coffee beans into the grinder, turn the wireless on to your Kindle.

6:17: Locate Kindle edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but it isn't free. Wonder whether it is worth spending money on. Download free sample. Turn wireless off and start reading.

6:32: Get to the part where Francie asks the librarian what book she would recommend for an eleven-year-old girl and the librarian gives her If I Were King, which pleases her because "it had been Beverly of Graustark" for the last two weeks and "she had had the McCarthy book only twice."

6:33: Turn wireless back on and search Kindle store for "if i were king mccarthy" and "beverly of graustark." Locate and download both for free. Turn off wireless and go back to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

6:45: Read the part about Flossie Gaddis working in a kid-glove factory. Try to remember what kind of a factory Lily Bart worked in at the end of The House of Mirth. Remember that you don't have a copy of The House of Mirth because one time at Goodwill you got it mixed up with The Age of Innocence so now you have two copies of The Age of Innocence instead. Turn wireless back on and locate 99-cent Kindle edition of House of Mirth. Download free sample chapter. Go back to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

6:48: Read the part about Henny Gaddis having consumption. Try to remember if the thing about Ruby Gillis getting consumption was in Anne of Avonlea or Anne of the Island. Decide it was Anne of the Island, which also introduces Philippa Gordon and Rusty the cat. Locate 99-cent Kindle edition of Anne of the Island. Debate whether to buy it since you do have the paperback but it has been read so much that the cover has fallen off and it is coming in two at the part where Aunt Jamesina talks about the yellow silk dress. Download free sample chapter.

6:51: Notice with considerable pleasure how incredibly long the free sample of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is. Wonder why Overqualified's "free sample" ended with the dedication. Decide not to buy Overqualified. Delete the sample.

6:54: The description of Katie Nolan's cooking reminds you of the second chapter of If on a winter's night a traveler, of which you have a very nice hardback copy, somewhere. You didn't lend it to somebody, did you? Theorize that it is at your parents' house. Wonder if it is on Kindle anyway.

6:55: Fail to locate the Kindle's apostrophe key, if any. Look up Italo Calvino instead.

6:56: Locate a critical work that compares Calvino to Borges, and click on it with interest. Customers who searched for this critical work were also interested in Infinite Jest, which you have not read but have been meaning to ever since the New Yorker published that weird excerpt of the novel David Foster Wallace was working on when he killed himself. Download free sample chapters of the critical work and also Infinite Jest.

7:00: The scene where Francie and Maudie go to confession reminds you of the other Betty Smith book where the girl washes her hair with castile soap and compares it to going to confession. Maggie-Now. You don't have a copy of that; you read it in the library. Search for it unsuccessfully on Kindle, and then look up Joy in the Morning even though you already have the used paperback that was clearly previously owned by a brokenhearted woman based on what has been underlined in blue ballpoint.

7:05: No more Betty Smith on Kindle, but the phrase "joy in the morning" has reminded you to search for The Wind in the Willows. Locate an omnibus with Kenneth Grahame short stories you have never read, including retellings of Greek and Roman myths, for 99 cents. Download free sample.

7:07: The shroudmaker who gives Francie scraps of satin from her work reminds you of the part in Life Before Man where Elizabeth gets the scraps of fur by claiming they are for dolls' clothes, but you don't remember why except that it was something to do with Chris and you don't have a copy of Life Before Man even though you really like Lesje. Search for Margaret Atwood, but only locate her most recent books; they don't even have Alias Grace, which you need a new copy of since the person who borrowed yours in eleventh grade has since moved to Japan to teach ESL. Oh, though; you haven't read Moral Disorder yet! Download free sample.

7:13: Time to leave for work. Turn off wireless, but continue to read as you leave the house, pausing when there are streets to be crossed, and when you read reference to a "childlike bride" and stop for a couple of minutes to turn the wireless back on and look up The Neverending Story.

[User Picture]From: spectralbovine
2009-05-01 08:56 pm (UTC)
Heeee. You should sell this to Amazon. It almost makes me want to get one of those damn things, which I have no desire to get because I like real books made of paper. Yet, your experience here is pretty awesome.
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[User Picture]From: robinmc
2009-05-01 10:49 pm (UTC)
I was apathetic toward Kindle, vaguely leaning toward anti-Kindle, but now I kinda want one.

And you can borrow my copy of Alias Grace if you want.
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[User Picture]From: ashfae
2009-05-02 06:32 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: incidentist
2009-05-04 06:18 pm (UTC)
It sounds like the Kindle makes your experience of reading books similar to my experience of reading blogs -- instant gratification for the wandering mind, lots of clicking around. Which is tempting, in a way that makes my work ethic go wide-eyed with fear.
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