With the promise of being able to download a library book, I asked Santa for the new Kindle (cheap version, not the Fire) and he delivered early – before an overnight flight to Germany. Like many libraries, the Hawaii State System recently connected to Amazon to offer free downloads of their electronic books. Unfortunately, the system had a long wait list for most books, and clicking on the “books ready to read” offered slim pickings – My Father’s Tears by John Updike or Christina Dodd’s Move Heaven and Earth.
The plane ride was bumpy and a movie I had missed – Martin Sheen in The Way – offered a pleasant distraction (beautiful scenery and worth renting if you haven’t yet seen it), but I managed to read through Dodd’s medieval romance – an easy formula read with the swashbuckling hero and the intelligent yet beautiful maiden. Since Dodd’s Move Heaven and Earth was like following a Middle Ages soap opera, the book was a good primer for learning the assorted buttons on the Kindle. If I pressed the forward button too long and skipped a chapter or two, I really didn’t miss anything.
Amazon’s marketing was successful; I’ve now purchased a few books for my Kindle. The convenience of a thin pocket-sized contraption that can hold thick books and pages of story is hard to pass up – especially if you are trying to carry on luggage. But, I did bring a few actual books along (just in case), and bought another in the Heathrow terminal en route. The Kindle is nice, but turning pages is still better than pressing an arrow.