6.24.2013

open letter number 6: e-readers

Open letter number 5: OXI-CLEAN
Open letter number 4: HOTELS
Open letter number 3: LAUNDRY
Open letter number 2: STUDENT LOANS
Open letter number 1: DRAWER UNDER MY OVEN


Dear e-reader,

Or can I just call you Kindle? I am so confused by the way I feel about you. For the longest time I was determined never to like you. But you kept popping up all around me, like a boy who you want to hate but start crushin' on a little.

I would try and look the other way; try and occupy my hands with books-- REAL BOOKS! LIVE BOOKS! The kind I could smell and touch and write on and dog-ear. You see, books have this magic power to me. When I was little I remember being anxious about how many books to pack on a vacation because I didn't want to only bring two but then need three. In those days it was simple plots and easy vocabulary.

I grew out of The Babysitter's Club though and moved on to real pieces of literature, and to hold a copy of Pride and Prejudice in my hands, and feel the imprint of the words on the paper, and think about Jane Austen sitting to pen those very words? It was all almost more than I could take. You see, Kindle, this is when the real love affair began, and you weren't even a blip on my radar.

Then I went to college-- and ENGLISH major no less-- and purchased book after book to study and pour over. I went through countless highlighters and pens, and dulled many a pencil making marks on their pages. I would come back to a book and flip through the pages and see the markings, and remember the thoughts I had when I read them for the first time.

And that's when I heard your name, it started out faint, and I wondered if it was like the Siren songs I had read about in those sturdy mythology books I had held in my hands as a 16 year old. And then my aunt was lured in by your music and I was able to look you over for the first time: sturdy, and easy on my eyes without fancy lights and gimmicks. But as I read that first book on your screen, something was missing. I didn't feel a connection with you.

So I carried on without feeling the need for you in my life. But you kept beckoning, calling out to that little girl inside of me that was afraid she wouldn't have enough books with her: "You can carry 10, 20, 30 books with you from now on if you'd like! I would fit so nicely in your purse! You and I could have a truly wonderful and lasting relationship!" But I kept silencing you. Kept dog-earing and marking and smelling and touching wonderful and beautiful stories in my hands.

But I kept an eye on you in the distance.

And then that ole rascally husband of mine went and just got you for me-- brought you too me like a warm pie saying, "I know you have mixed feelings about this, but I think you'll really like it." So I plopped down with a cup of coffee and charged you up, tried to figure out the weight of you in my hands.

Our relationship has been a slow one, rocky in places. I sort of love you. I sort of hate you. When I finish a book I hate that I can't see what I've accomplished. I miss writing in margins and, though I know I can highlight and write notes for you to file away, it's just not the same. It's hard to go back and look at your "pages." Your smell doesn't conjure up memories.

But, you make it easy to love you too. You let me just touch a word and you show me the dictionary definition. You let me download library books, for free!, without leaving the comfort of my couch. And just like you promised, you allow me to carry a plethora of books around with me at all times-- a handful of authors in my purse with me wherever I go. And please don't laugh at me, Kindle,  but I appreciate the minimal effort it takes to hold you and turn your "pages" when I'm tucked under the covers or laying out on a blanket or when I nursed my daughter.

I know I am sometimes a fickle lover, and my feelings for you wax and wane, but thanks for sticking with me, Kindle.

Love sometimes,
Kelsey


* Do you have an e-reader? 
Do you like it?  What are your favorite features? 
If you don't have one, why don't you?*

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3 comments:

*carrie* said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts on this Kelsey. I'm not there yet, but I do see some perks of having one.

Sue said...

Kelsey-I completely agree. Kyle bought me a kindle 3 years ago specifically for when I travel (because I was deciding which clothes and supplies I could leave home to make room for my books) and I started using it. My kindle has died but I own so many kindle books I've gotten FREE thanks to awesome one day promotions and gifts that I now use the kindle app on my iPad. I ADORE reading books this way. I still have my favorite 'real' books I return to, but I realized I can visit the library and borrow books from friends with minimal interruption in my life (thanks to wifi) and I grew even more enamored of my iPad/kindle/e-reader. What a marvelous thing this is!

momiss said...

Oh, woman, you have done it now. I had no idea you could touch a word and it would give you the meaning. Do you know how wonderful that would have been when I read The Prince of Tides? What am I saying? Of course you do!
Thanks a lot for making me wonder about this thing that I had already made up my mind against!! At least 3 times!!
KIDS!!! Why do you have to do this to old ladies who are comfortably set in our ways? WHY???
;)