Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Awkward Savior

I'm married to the Kindle now but it wasn't love at first sight. I thought ereaders were the end of the smell of a good book, used bookstores and libraries. Maybe even publishers and journalists.

But a rolling stone...

My first was a 2nd generation given to me jointly by Cary and my parents. A little while ago, I turned it on to find the paperwhite screen resembling a broken Etch-a-Sketch. My heart sank. Panic set in.

What would I do while waiting for Cary in the car outside his work?

How would I enjoy meals out and alone when I didn't feel like cooking? (Read: heating up soup and toasting toast.)

What would I do right now?

I raced to chat online with the-most-amazing-customer-service-company-since-Nordstrom-would-take-back-tires (Amazon). And soon realized in almost no time at all, I would have a better, smaller, cooler, more efficient replacement for a steal. I promptly ordered a new case too, one that would make the electronic device I used to nervously despise look like a real book.

I made special trips to the post office to check if the new Kindle had arrived, while my old one was tucked away for safekeeping next to Cary's first iPod. When it arrived, it was Christmas morning. Really. Not like when someone uses that analogy for  'fresh powder' or a Lululemon jacket and I agree heartily but also somewhat half-so. It was my Christmas Day. One that's all about what I enjoy regardless of anyone else.

One day I'll find a bookcase I actually like that I'll fill with all my favorite reads. But until then, as we pack and haul and move and unpack and organize and clean and organize again, I'll whip out my 170 grams of reading power that connects me to any book in the world wherever I am in the world and feel content. No matter how long I have to sit in a car or how many awkward meals I do by myself or nights in a bed with only one human in it (and one canine), I don't notice as much that I'm alone.

When I carefully but in a slight rush opened the new Kindle box, I pulled out the more petite, darker electronic, that's gratifyingly not quite a Mac, and moved my hand over its surface. When I turned it on, I squealed at the perfect shine of the latest paperwhite booklight. I tested it out at the base McDonald's, waiting for Cary to get off work and save me a trip. Side note: It's strange but nifty how our NAF Atsugi McDonald's plays classical music, like, most of the time. Anyway, the hour flew by...

When I get a text from Cary that he's ready, I pocket my inanimate best friend, enjoying how this one isn't scratched and dinged yet. Over dinner, I slide the power button on again because Cary is so stressed we can't think of anything to say. The screen illuminates magically to an ideal brightness and I 'one-click purchase' another Jonathan Tropper novel, sucked into a more eloquent and interesting world.

As my friend once said at the end of the movie Gravity: The future is now.