When I tell you the story of how I got my first Kindle, you’re going to laugh at me. Remember, I was once a librarian and I believe fully in the power of physical books, books that smell of old ink and paper, books that have been read 100s of times by other eyes, held by other hands, books that you can hug to your chest when they get really good. I never wanted a Kindle. I was like that guy on the bus in the commercial–proudly reading my paperback while everyone else stared at a screen. I’m still often that girl, but I have to admit I love my Kindle.
I love the image on the start screen of the little dude sitting under a tree reading a book. I can’t tell you how often I spent my childhood days just like that. It just seems full of promise.
Anyway, when Amazon first came out with the Kindle, my beautiful husband told me he wanted to get me one for Christmas. He said if I could have books on a Kindle, maybe there would be room in the house to walk and we could stop using stacks of books for coffee tables. (That was a mild exaggeration, but if you ever saw my house, it is–even now–covered in books of all shapes, sizes, and genres. I could start my own library.) I scoffed at him. I Did Not Want a machine to read on. Good grief, I was a librarian; I Believed In Books. Get me something I want for Christmas, for goodness sake.
The next Christmas he was harping about the very same thing. Thanks to rummage sales and thrift stores and Amazon, even more books were scattered throughout the house. I adamantly refused. Then he came home from work one glorious day. He told me a woman he works with had a Kindle. “She said you can get all kinds of free books,” he said. Free Books? My head turned. My ears perked up. “She said there’s all kinds of classic novels that you can get for free.”
Free. Classic. Novels?
I began to ponder the wisdom of my obstinacy. And, before that second Christmas had passed, dreams of all those free books dancing through my head (kind of like sugar plums), I agreed. He could get me a Kindle for Christmas.
At first I filled my Kindle with all the Dickens and Austen and Tolstoy (among many others) I could. Not because I don’t already own the paper versions, but so they would all be in the same place. As I trolled the Kindle store for more free stuff, I also began to realize what this meant. I would not have to drive all the way to Louisville anymore to go to the bookstore or wait a week to receive a book from my beloved Amazon. I could order them for my Kindle and they would come right to it! Immediately! Like Magic!
When I discovered the text-to-speech option, you couldn’t tear me away. I began to listen to my books when I was cooking, washing dishes,driving the car. I Loved My Kindle. I Was So Very Attached.
When I bought the Littles tablets for school, I was bowled over that I could hook them up to my Kindle account and they would have access to all my Kindle books. We have used that feature often during read-aloud time (though admittedly, not nearly as much as we use paper books). It was a revelation for our homeschool, though, to be able to access the classics together without having to buy 3 copies of the same book. My love deepened.
I had that first one for about 2 years. The love affair was still strong, till death do us part. Then one day I was mopping the kitchen. I had the Kindle propped up on the counter, listening to who-knows-what-beautiful-story. Littlest walked by me and, being Littlest, promptly knocked my Kindle off the counter. Into the bucket of mop water. I cried. Not quite as hard as I cried the day my glasses broke, but I cried. I called Martin and he said, “Order a new one. Get you a Kindle Fire this time.”
I Did Not Want A Kindle Fire. I wanted My Kindle, with text-to-speech. And all the info on Amazon about the Fire did not mention Text-to-Speech. (FYI, the Fire does have the option, but I had no way of knowing that until I bought Big one for Christmas a year or so later.) Seriously, even though they had stopped making my particular Kindle in lieu of a newer version, I searched the interweb for it and found a new one Just Like Mine. And I ordered it.
I’ve had this one for about 2 years. I still don’t have a tablet of my own. My Kindle is for books and that is all I use it for. There goes that obstinacy again.
The moral of the story is, of course, if you read books on paper and you drop one into the mop bucket, you’ve only dropped one book and chances are you can let it dry out and still read it. But a Kindle has its own kind of magic. Just… you can lose a thousand books at once if you’re not careful. So don’t Littlest around when you’re mopping.
Now for the exciting news, the winners of the Dr. Seuss canvas giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered, but we can only have 2 winners.
The winner of the pink Lorax canvas is Amy M!
I will be contacting the winners via email to get your shipping info, so make sure you get back to me quickly.
Happy Friday, my lovelies.