I Hate Myself And I Want To Read

I was breaking out in hives. Shaking. Clawing at my skin.

‘What the hell is this?’ I said to Sarge. ‘Red splotches. On my neck. Should I do this? I think I’m gonna be sick. Hold my hand.’ And then I grabbed his hand. Maybe broke his fingers. A little.

No, I was not peeing on a stick. I was not choosing table linens for the wedding dinner (which is actually the wedding breakfast, but never mind). None of those things.

I bought a Kindle. It comes with an existential crisis.

‘Do you think I should finish all the books I have before I buy one?’

‘Then you’ll never do it.’

‘Is that my answer? Do I even need one?’

‘Do you want one?’

‘Yes. ButIfeeldirty.’

Now. I have been openly hostile to e-readers. They are not books. They don’t smell like paper and ink. Real readers read books. So there.

A girl can change her mind. I’ve caught up with the times for a few reasons:

1.  Sarge likes to sleep. I do not. He can’t sleep with the light on, I can’t read without it. And when I read in bed, I sometimes drop the book on Sarge’s face. By accident, of course. Mostly. The last time it happened, he got a paper-cut. On his eye. I laughed. And then I felt bad.

He might have started to wear an eye-mask in bed. To block out my reading light and to shield his face from low-flying books. The mask is a kind of compromise. He used to fall asleep with a pillow over his face. Freaked me out a little.

‘Can you breathe? Are you breathing​?’

‘Oh, aye.’

‘Are you sleeping?’

‘Not right now.’

b.  The last time we went away, we really did take a book suitcase. On the last day, Sarge looked like this:

20130409-130144.jpg

He wants to travel lighter. I do, too. Especially on the honeymoon.

iii.  My personal Amazon boy-cot didn’t last very long. Obviously. I worked for them for about 5 minutes/exactly a month. Or at least I worked for people who employed people to work there. And then I quit. It was all very Norma Rae. Not really. After I left, I wanted to see how long I could last without using them.

I will say that the end of my drought wasn’t my fault. I like it when my book-group books can be locally-sourced. Or something. If not locally, then at least from GreenMetropolis. I found our most recent book-group selection there, and then my order was cancelled by the seller. And it wasn’t available at the library. And so, I ordered it on Amazon. Without looking at the Kindles.

But, I was (trying to) read in bed last week, and I might have given Sarge another paper-cut. Soon after, I broke out in those hives.

‘The built-in light will save your eyesight,’ said Sarge.

‘And yours,’ I said.

The things we do for love.

Are you an e-reader convert? Do you still read real books? Am I evil? (Feel free to not answer that last question!)

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39 thoughts on “I Hate Myself And I Want To Read

  1. I went through this year before last – well, not the eye paper cuts bits! – and I think you’ll be fine! The kindle is ace for all sorts of bits, especially travelling, but I still have/buy/read ‘real’ books too. Co-existence is possible! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Yes! I converted. I gave in. I gave up the smell of paper and ink and the feel of the pages underneath my fingers. But… because I have arthritis I can much more easily hold the lightweight Kindle. And I play with the font size and contrast. I actually read more now. We borrow ebooks from the library and my husband even got the Kindle app on his iPad to read my library loaners. 🙂

    1. I know that eraders can make reading more accessible to people. I’m interested to see if my reading-speed improves when I don’t have to turn pages or think about dropping 700- pagers.

  3. I use my Kindle for cheap books and cheap e-releases on otherwise out of print books. I’m using it to replace some lost book collections. Currently working on getting and rereading the Yurt books by C Dale Brittain. Current series I’ve been reading are still being collected in paperback format. I do still need something I can take and read in the bath.

      1. Unless they are new releases, in which case, they are more expensive than the paperback. I don’t buy hardbacks, so ebooks that are cheaper than a hardback has never been a draw.

  4. Funny story. No, I haven’t gone to the dark side yet, but we’re going on a three-and-a-half week sailing/cruising trip on a 43-boat in Alaska in June with no Internet–and no room for books. We are already talking about what books to load on the I-pad.

  5. Get the beardy one to set up Calibre on your laptop, then you can buy books in ePub format and convert them to Kindle format, therefore not giving Amazon the cash but some other retailer.

  6. My decision was much easier. I broke my ankle and my mom bought me one so I’d have something to do. I still have a library card though, and tend to use it more than the Kindle. My husband uses whatever t-shirt he was wearing that day to block out the light. Much better than a pillow 😉

  7. I fought it at first, too, but now I love my e-reader (I use Kindle on my iPad). As you mention, it’s so much easier for vacation, and I love that it doesn’t need propping open if I’m reading on the treadmill or eating. But if it’s a book by one of my favorite authors, I’m still likely to head to my local bookstore for a paper copy.

  8. George’s kindly specter will smell the wretched smell of betrayal on you before you’ve even turned the corner of the Rue de la Bucherie next time you visit our Parisian mecca. I fear for the safety of your soul. Yet, still love you. Just.

  9. I bought a Kobo, and I love it. I resisted for a long time before I caved. I love that I have over 100 books at my fingertips with I have my Kobo with me. So many choices! But don’t ask me to BUY ebooks. I personally think they are freakishly expensive.

  10. I have not converted YET, but I keep getting tempted as I can see the advantages. My sister has the Kindle App on her phone and I am more inclined to buy a fancier phone and get the app rather than buying a Kindle, mostly because I am very very bad at charging things. We’ll see. I will never give up the beautiful smell and feel of books though.

    1. Hi Natalie, I have an iPad with the kindle app on it, but I prefer reading on a kindle because it’s easier on my eyes… PLUS a kindle holds its charge for weeks, even when you use it every day like I do! Of course I still can’t pass up a real book when it’s a beauty, but I’ll never give up my kindle!

    2. I read one book on my phone before this, didn’t last long.

      The Kindle paperwhite is supposed to last eight weeks on one charge, but I don’t know how many reading hours that’s based on. I guess I’ll find out!

      1. Thanks :-). It’s useful to know everyone’s opinions on Kindles, although I know I’d never be able to make up my mind until I tried it. It would be interesting to know how many reading hours rather than weeks!

  11. I have a Kindle Fire since the hubs decided he was into my Kindle Paperwhite. I still read paper books quite a lot, but it’s nice to have the option to take several ebooks with me wherever I go. Reading is always good.

    1. See, I got the Paperwhite because it’s the one that’s most like a book. I don’t need a tablet and Sarge might get one, eventually. The non-Apple, android kind.

      What do you think of the Paperwhite?

  12. G&L,
    Thanks for the follow, after all it led me to your blog. I have read the two About pages and this post. I smiled and chuckled…A LOT. Thanks for that.

    I used to be a voracious reader. Then my two oldest kids grew up and I was going to return to school. Then a rabbit died. Then a new baby. Then almost three years of a nursing Velcro-child. Then bad eyes and prescription glasses. They broke, followed by a myriad of readers, which I constantly misplace.

    In the midst of all of that my addiction and loyalty to books got compromised. I started my blog and got an iPhone. Kindle reader got downloaded. I can resize the screen to read print my sad eyes were unable to. When the child yanks on my arm and the phone goes flying, I can find my place easier.

    Now, mostly I read pre-school books. Otherwise my reading is on a screen. I miss books. One day, I hope to read a real book again. When the child grows up more. When I get the right glasses again. One day.

    Blessings,
    Kina

  13. I am DEFINITELY a kindle convert. I read real books once in a blue moon, but to be honest with you, I’ve purchased a digital copy of a book that I already owned in hardcover just because I didn’t want to hold up the big book while I read in bed. How spoiled am I? I LOVE my kindle!

  14. I own a kindle. I don’t use it very often. I love books and yest I have read some on Kindle and even have one published on Kindle but I’ve not made the full conversion, yet. Visiting from Sharefest. I like your post. My husband is the one who reads in bed. I like to sleep in bed. He has a kindle, a light by his side of the bed, and I don’t wear a mask, but sometimes I do ask him to turn off the light. It’s a compromise. On our last trip the Kindle went and not books. That I find is the best use of a Kindle. Enjoy your day.

  15. I haven’t bought an ereader yet, but I’m sure I will eventually. I sometimes review books and the only format offered is electronic. I like you love the look feel and smell of books. I wonder if reading via an ereader will prevent me from sneaking a peek at the ending.

  16. My Mister bought me a Kindle last April. Advice? Up your download-from-Amazon budget for buying books and then gag at the end of the month. To cut costs, I now drink heavily while reading as I fall asleep faster…so it takes me longer plow through those books. A hangover headache is better than a Oh. My. God. How do I explain this to Visa slash Mister headache. 😉

  17. I am seriously considering converting. I love paper books but I find I have the attention span of a gnat. I look at a screen all day anyhow when reading blogs or futzing on Facebook so I suspect I’ll have a better chance at actually finishing a book by buying a Kindle or Nook. I’m leaning towards Kindle. Now I just need to find that money fairy so I can go buy one. LOL

    Stopping by via SITS Sharefest.

  18. I am an e-reader convert, I read on my iPad. But I also read “real” books, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading them. And no, buying a kindle doesn’t make you evil. Promise! 😉

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