Skip to main content

This space intentionally left blank.


I wish I had an interesting reason why it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything.  The truth is that I’ve been working a lot more than usual (fortunately it is only temporary), and by the time I get home, my brain needs to be turned off.  Besides, as a result of this overachieving, the only thing I have to talk about is work, and (trust me) nobody wants to hear about my boring job.  That’s why this space has been left blank for so long.

That phrase made me think of the blank pages in a book that you find between the final chapter and the back cover.  When I was a kid I wondered why they were there at all, because it seemed superfluous.  Fortunately, having a father in the printing business, I received a detailed explanation on how and why it was required for a book to be properly bound.  A disappointing answer, indeed, for a kid who secretly hoped that the answer would be “so you can continue the story any way you’d like”.

Book binding, I fear, is going in the same direction as the art of letter writing.  (For my younger readers:  Letter writing was the way to keep in touch with faraway friends.  We didn’t have email or skype.  We used a pen and paper, wrote down all the gossip and the details of our day/week/month, folded it, licked the envelope, and put the flag up on the mailbox, and then eagerly awaited a return letter in a few weeks.  It seems preposterous now, even to me, but once upon a time I was really good at it.)  Almost daily I hear people talking about their new Kindle or Nook.  I see Facebook friends polling others on which one is better.  "Which one should I buy?"  they ask.  Although I’ve never actually responded to anyone who asks, my answer would be “neither”.  Buy the book.

I am judged and ridiculed for my refusal to enter the 21st century and buy a Kindle.  People are astounded that a bookworm such as me would reject this electronic perfection.  “The screen looks just like a paper page!”  they say.  “Sometimes, when I’m reading on my Kindle, I find myself trying to actually turn a page because it looks so real!”  But when I ask someone to pull their favorite book off the so-called shelf on their Kindle and turn to their favorite passage, I am then showered with excuses when it takes so long.  “Oh, I forgot where it was because I changed the font size!”  Meanwhile, I’ve already found Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on my own bookshelf and turned to the page where my favorite character, Chablis, is introduced.  If you’ve never read that book, you should.  I will lend it to you.

If I read it on a Kindle, I could not lend it to you.  Well, not unless I was willing to give you the rest of my books as well.  But then how would I finish the four books I’m currently reading?

Once my big sister bought a Kindle, I knew my life would change for the worse.  She’s even more voracious of a reader than I am, and she used to pass her books on to me so I could add them to my ever-growing “to read” pile.  She reads a lot of books that I wouldn’t normally pursue, but I’ve stumbled upon some good ones thanks to her.  Alas, no more.

Even that isn’t the most important reason why I’m anti-Kindle, though.  I never miss the B.I.G. book sales (Books for International Goodwill), and I can’t help but wonder what will happen to such charitable endeavors once the supply of used books starts dwindling.  What about the kids whose families cannot afford books, let alone an e-reader?  How can we get books into the hands of less fortunate young people if printed books disappear?  Small-town libraries (and even some bigger town libraries) rely on book donations from community members to keep their shelves current and to replace worn copies of popular books.

I spent five days without electricity after Hurricane Irene.  I had no television and no way to charge my phone or computer, but I did have a copy of The Help (a paper copy, of course).  I read that book as long as I had daylight since I was unable to watch Big Bang Theory reruns.  If the book was on a Kindle, the battery would have died and I’d have no way to recharge it.  In my boredom, I would have resorted to pillaging the neighborhood and probably would have ended up in jail.

Okay, maybe not.  But think about this:  One good solar flare and your entire e-reader library is toast.  Meanwhile, I’ll be happily reading Sacre Bleu and you’ll be jealous.  You’ll beg me to borrow it when I’m finished, and I’ll probably say yes… but not until I’ve delivered a well-earned “I told you so”.

Comments

  1. 1. I somehow missed that you posted something new days ago! I'm very sad.
    2. I like my Kindle. Mostly because I can get free stuff on it. But also because it doesn't take up much space.
    3. I still like real books. But I'm cheap and don't like looking at things.
    4. Yay, a new post! Keep at it!! Please? <3

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

This will always be my New York.

This was a skyline that represented so much to so many people.  It was my New York.  I photographed it as I saw it every day, many times a day, for three years.  This view was as common to me as my own reflection in a mirror, and, at least in my perception, a million times more beautiful.  Often I would walk or drive by it and completely ignore it.  On nice days, I would sit on the pier at lunch with my work friends, eating folded slices of Telly’s pizza, chatting with the women and flirting with the men, paying no mind to the city behind me.  But while I was in the city, it was my playground.  I didn't waste a moment as soon as I stepped off the subway.  Everyone has their own New York.  That was my New York.

Like my reflection, the skyline was something with which I could peacefully coexist, met most often with casual indifference, and encountering only the occasional frustration.  The moments of glory were the most memorable; like my reflection dressed up for a special event, th…

Just Another Day

At 3:15 I get on the bus and take my seat. I dread the next half hour, as usual, but today I also feel kind of numb. I know as soon as Frank gets on the bus, he will kick my shins or smack my forehead on his way through the aisle. I can’t stop thinking about about Callie, though. Or her empty seat on the bus.

The morning started out badly. Callie was absent, so Frank decided to pick on those of us in the front of the bus. He stole my flute and carried it to the back, tossing it to one of his friends, an older boy. He threw it back to me as we got to school, and it hit my face. I was glad Frank didn't take it to his locker, or worse, throw it in the dumpster. That happened to another kid on our bus.

My friends who ride different buses get along fine with the 8th graders. They have fun on the way home. They always do homework or write notes or talk to each other. If I did homework on the bus, it would definitely get stolen. If I wrote a note, Frank would take it and read it in a mocki…

Cement Shoes

"So?" "Got the McLaren. It's at the warehouse." "I don't care about the car. The ring is worth twice as much." "There's a little problem. It's still on his finger." "No you didn't..." "Had to." "Where did you put him?" "East River."