Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Buying a Kindle made sense.

Living in 120 square feet means my home's short on space. Hell, I already pay for a storage unit in Arizona which is filled mostly with books - signed first editions and advance readers copies.

Because those 120 sq feet are movable, towing weight is always a factor (books weigh a lot).

There are no bookstores in this little fishing village.

The trailer park office has bookcases filled with paperbacks the snowbirds leave behind - mostly Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts - which, even in desperation, are not to my liking.

Without a local bookstore I've had to learn patience but mostly I'm an instant-gratification reader: when I want a book, I want it now.

So the Kindle made sense. Even though I felt like a traitor, a whore, a politician, by selling out independent booksellers to amazon dot com.

I've had the little bugger now for three days and if I were to write a review on Amazon I'd give it three stars.

Right out of the box I did not like the way the ink stayed on the screen when moving to the next page. I sent an email to a friend and asked if this was normal or a glitch. He said it was normal and it never bothered him. Now that I'm 22% into my first book (no such thing as page numbers in the Kindle) I've grown accustomed to the screen change.

I can't quite get the grip right. Maybe it's because my hands are small that they sort of cramp up. Also, I keep accidentally hitting the page back and forward buttons on the lefthand side of the reader.

The 3g version is nifty. The book I bought - Devil by Ken Bruen - arrived in seconds even though there were only 2 bars for signal strength.

I'm worried about dropping the thing should I doze off. Reading in the tub is not a problem because I don't have one. How do you keep the screen clean?

When I ordered the Kindle I worried that all my old books would wind up as kindling, that I'd be so in love with the thing I'd burn them in the fire pit to save that 32 bucks a month. Not so. There's still nothing like holding a book - flipping through the pages, reading the jacket cover. And there are books I will definitely buy in their hard cover editions when they come out like Luis Urrea's followup to The Hummingbird's Daughter (Queen of America) and Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

When I move back to the States, I'll go back to my independent bookstores - if there are any.

On that note it's not surprising that the bookstore in Tubac closed. The people who bought Tortuga Books in Tubac put in an espresso machine, made the place comfy. But their big big mistake: They shrink-wrapped the books!!!! No reading the inside jacket or the book's first line. (Whenever Bob at 23rd Avenue Books in Portland had a book he knew I'd love, he'd shove it in my hands and say "here, read the first sentence.") Why in the world have coffee and sofas when you can't browse the books? I knew I'd never buy a book there. I guess I wasn't the only one who felt that way.


  1. Powell's just sent an email today that they have 20 e-books for only $.99 each, if'n you want to take a gander at their list.

  2. Get a cover. They sell one with a nifty pull out light that runs off of the Kindle. I didn't get that one, though I wish I had.


  3. There's something wonderful about turning real pages, feeling the heft of printed material. Long live books and newspapers! (But I love my iPad too)

  4. Only place I've ever seen shrink wrapped books was in SE Asia because it's so humid but in the desert?? That would be a definite turn off.
    I have ibooks and Kindle on my iPad but haven't read too much on it yet, It takes some getting used to . I find it easier on the eyes in some ways though but definitely strange holding it. Was surprised how much the ebooks cost. Right now our library gives away paperbacks so I've been grabbing those.
    Thanks for the Powell's tip Ms S.

  5. so here's a dumb question - can i read ebooks on the kindle? i thought it was proprietary. and i may just get one of those covers but, damn, they're expensive. $60!!!

  6. I THINK, Annette, that with a Kindle you're stuck with Kindle-formatted ebooks. With other readers, that isn't necessarily the case--some allow you to download and read ebooks in a variety of formats. Same is true for at least some of the tablet computers (iPad and its kin). But as you noted elsewhere, the tablets still aren't cheap.

    Not great news, I know, now that you've make the commitment to the Kindle. Sorry. :-(

  7. not really bad news, Ross. i figured my "commitment" to the Kindle would be short-lived once i could afford some kind of touch pad. they're gonna get cheap and the Kindle is gonna be obsolete. que sera sera.