Tag Archives: Kindle

“Used and Rare – Travels in the Book World” by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

This cheerful little “book about books” was published in 1997. It’s a reminder how much has changed in 20 years. The Goldstones didn’t carry cell phones and rarely used the internet. Out of curiosity, I checked on their ages. Yes, just about my age…

I wonder if the Goldstones are undergoing the “stuff crisis” (aka DOWNSIZING) that has gripped me and so many of my friends. The “stuff” in question includes books. Many books! I feel that my relationship to the printed word has changed radically.

  • I use Kindle and recorded books
  • I patronize the public library
  • I’m trying very hard NOT to buy books
  • I’m trying to GET RID OF books constructively

So in some ways, its hard to sympathize with these somewhat compulsive book buyers.

A number of bookstores and dealers are mentioned by name in this book. I wonder how many are still alive, or still operating. I am pleased to say that Brattle Books in Boston (mentioned several times) is still going strong!

I was very interested in learning what books the Goldstones really loved to read. Maybe I need to take another look at Dickens. I seem to have missed John Dos Pasos entirely. Unfortunately, there’s no index in this book. I will have to skim through it again if I want to follow up on their literary tastes.


My New Kindle – not a rave review

A few months ago, I promised a review of my new Kindle, the previous device having met an unfortunate end (see June 11, 2014 blog entry).

My new Kindle is a Paperwhite, the kind that lights up. I love that feature! To read easily in the dark is a great amenity. The battery seems even better than in my old Kindle. I can read and read on a single charge.

Aside from those advantages, my new Kindle still feels awkward. For a time, I had trouble with downloads from Amazon. It’s harder for me to know whether or not I have the wi-fi turned on. I get “updates” without “accepting” them or knowing why I needed them, which makes me vaguely uneasy.

I have a whole suite of features and services I don’t completely understand and don’t use.

I got a durable case for my new Kindle. It’s small and I can tuck it into my purse. So I’m still a Kindle user, but soon I may figure out how to meet my reading needs using my phone or a tablet. Then the Kindle (like so many specialized devices) will be history.

My Kindle Died

My Kindle died! Maybe I killed it. I took it almost everywhere, and that included camping on Memorial Day weekend. A thundershower was closing in and we tossed everything under a convenient canopy before taking shelter in my brother-in-law’s Jeep.

My Kindle did NOT get wet! Damp, perhaps… But more likely it got torqued. It was in a bag full of miscellaneous food items… Do not pack your Kindle with canned goods. Half the screen was frozen with black streaks. Turning it off and back on and other interventions accomplished no improvement.

I shouldn’t complain. My Kindle was showing wear. I bought it three years ago, and found it wonderful for travel. Yes, I need six books for a week at the beach. Maybe more. I also appreciated the instant gratification of shopping in the Kindle store and the convenience of not having to remember to drive to a library. (I patronize several, none actually in my daily orbit.)

I was just plain shocked to be interrupted mid-book. For two or three days I compensated by writing in my journal. It’s not as if my house is short of books, but many fall into some inconvenient category –

  • already been read
  • reflecting someone else’s interests
  • I’m supposed to be interested but I’m not
  • purchased by mistake
  • given by someone with good intentions…

You know what I mean. Finally I yanked down a copy of Terry Pratchett’s Wintersmith. Great for bedtime or the odd moment when eating lunch. Pratchett’s wacky humor stands up pretty well. I wish I had a copy of The Wee Free Men.

After a week or so, I snapped out of my funk and ordered a new Kindle, a Paperwhite, the kind that lights up. I also found a stack of relatively new, unread books, and settled down with some good journalistic non-fiction. Stay tuned for a blog entry shortly. And a connoisseur’s evaluation of the Kindle Paperwhite!

A Trip to the Library – Part 3

Three weeks ago, I expressed my happiness at GETTING to the library after a long period of Kindle reading, and I listed the four books I brought home. I finished (and blogged about!) two of the books and wrote a third off as a bad choice. I was greatly enjoying the fourth when I realized it was a “two week book” and had to be returned. I decided to drop the books off on my way home from work.

Bad choice. It was 4:30. Traffic was heavy. I crept past the hospital, on the lookout for emergency vehicles. Past highway construction. Why was there a wood chipper part way out on the road? Traffic lights. Potholes. Turned in at the Library, but there was water across the driveway – bad drainage. I backtracked to another entrance, parked illegally and walked to the book drop. Bang, slam, gone. My trip home was the similarly unpleasant. Forty five minutes! I went on line and downloaded the Kindle version of the book I hadn’t finished.

Now hear this, Library! You are going to have to win me back. At least fix the driveway and put a book drop where I can pull up to it. I’ve become much more of a Kindle fan than I ever expected.

Have Kindle, will travel!

Right now I do about half my reading on my Kindle. I couldn’t do without it.

1. It can’t be beat for travel! This is most important. This summer I took two trips, one week each, to Colorado and Maine. I was under pressure to “pack light” which always seems like some weird joke, when you know you need rain gear and clothes for a wide temperature range. What a relief to load ten books onto my Kindle instead of agonizing over which to bring! I felt positively smug jumping on Amtrak with a little of every genre, romance, sci fi, etc.

2. If I get a book on Kindle, I don’t have to find shelf space for it at home. I also don’t have to get it back to the Library. 

3. My Kindle fits into my handbag. Many books are too big.

4. Kindle is light, which is great for anyone who is bed bound or has arthritic wrists.

Yes, I still love the “feel” of a book. There will always be a few special books I really must own.

I know I read “differently” on a Kindle, but for recreational reading, that’s OK. The worst drawback is the poor quality (or complete lack) of illustrations and maps. I had problems with Into the Silence by Wade Davis, which is about exploration in the Himalayas after World War I. Also, I couldn’t read the genealogy chart that came with the Anya Seton novel about which I posted on August 5.

Sometimes the Kindle books are expensive, (say $15 for a new best seller) so it’s not the best way to get the latest Janet Ivanovich novel. On the other hand, my husband and I have linked accounts, so two can read for the price of one. Classics are free or very cheap, and that includes Jane Austen! I tried getting free downloads at the Library, but the system seemed impossibly clunky. I may have asked the wrong librarian. Placed under the “hobby” category, my Kindle use is not a big expense.

My Kindle is here to stay.