I’m admitting this now because my conversion to e-books was so complete, so effortless, so transforming that I’m ashamed it took me so long. Yes, I was a traditionalist. I wanted that physical book in my hands. I wanted to feel the weight of it, hold each leaf between my thumb and forefinger to turn each page, gaze at the cover and then decorate my bookshelves with the treasure when I had finished reading.
Though I saw all the road signs along the way about the e-book revolution, I had been a teacher of English lit-era-ture! Someone in good standing with Thoreau, Hemmingway and Orwell had to stem the tide. What would those poor ‘ol dead white men think if we just allowed their medium to become extinct?
However, I relented and bought a Kindle Fire. Why the Fire, you ask? Well, if I ended up not reading e-books on the cute little thing, at least I could use the Internet and surf, check email and watch Netflix movies on it. But shortly after I purchased the 5×9 heretic, I downloaded a couple of novels. The first was Dorothy McFall’s A Wizard for Christmas. I was addicted before I got to the middle of the first chapter.
The lighting allowed me to read in bed at night with no lamp (not that I have to worry about keeping anyone awake at night these days, but there was a time…); I had the ability to take notes and even to use an interactive dictionary that pops up when you touch a word! Did I tell you I was addicted at this point? Oh, yeah. Anyway, I loved the way I could brush the screen ever so lightly with any finger of my choosing, and there it was–the very next page was revealed to me. Oh, and I almost forgot about the most amazingly cool feature–the automatic bookmark thingy. Every time I leave my Fire, it remembers where I had last left the novel. How cool is that? No more thumbing through page after page to figure out where I had been when my bookmarks fell out or when I forgot to place one in the novel.
In fact, that bookmarking thing reminds me of my most favorite feature–the automatic off when I stop turning the pages. When I slip into sleep and my Fire falls silently from my fingers onto the mattress, there is no fanfare of marking the page, placing the novel on the nightstand and turning out the lights. There is only silence and sweet dreams.
Did I tell you I was addicted?