Waiting for Kindle

Well, I bit the bullet. I ordered a Kindle 2 from Amazon. After wandering around online for most of the summer, reading reviews, comments, posts, blogs, and talking to editors and writers that I know, I came to the conclusion that the Kindle must live up to its reputation if so many people whom I respect have one.

My high school friend Rita was horrified. She sent me a message on Facebook pleading with me not to do it. I’ll admit she had some valid arguments. What electronic gizmo can equal the feeling of holding a real book in your hands? The feel, the smell of books is a sensual experience for a book lover. It’s like a bottle of rare wine for a connoisseur.

On the other hand, you can’t take a bottle of fine wine on an airplane. That’s mostly what I like about the idea of e-books. I can carry dozens of hefty volumes in a small space and have them at my fingertips. I get most of my books from the library these days, and I must admit you have to get used to waiting your turn and reading in a hurry when the book you want is in demand. One of the first books I plan to order is the new Pevear and Volkhonsky translation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It’s as thick as the phone book. I’ve had to return it twice. Slowly but surely, I’m working my way through it. Natasha has just broken off her engagement with Prince Andrei. Napoleon’s invasion is about to begin…and I have to bring the book back because someone else is waiting for it!

Once it’s on my Kindle, I’ll have it when I want it. It will also take up considerably less space when we go to Africa this fall. I’m also eager to read Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather and two more by Neil Gaiman: Anansi Boys and American Gods.

The question is, will I enjoy reading them on a screen as much as I’d enjoy reading them on paper. We will see.

My Kindle should be here in another week. It’s coming by truck from Kentucky. I’ll let you know what happens when it arrives.

As for you snake lovers, Lazarus/Pirate is doing well. I cleaned his habitat last night and gave him a fine fat mouse for dinner. He looked like a man trying to eat a pastrami sandwich at the Carnegie Deli in New York. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve been there.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful year with many exciting adventures. I hope all of you are, too.

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