Friday, June 15, 2012
Column: Just add water
Kindling the flame of a new love
For the past few weeks, I've been smitten. It's true.
For years, I've watched the latest technology develop surrounding the e-reader, an electronic device that stores and lets you read books or other materials at just the push of a button.
Many have embraced this technology with open arms. You can store hundreds of books in a thin piece of metal and plastic. You can buy books at a lower cost, and borrowing and buying them is quick and easy.
I've turned my back on these electronic books. After all, I reasoned, a piece of metal and plastic will never replace the look and feel of a real book.
At times, I've talked to my mother about this new type of book. She is an avid book lover, too.
This new technology won't last long, I would tell her. And true readers such as us would never support this sort of thing. I would reason that there was something quite magical about holding bound pages in your hands while curled up in a chair. I could never find that same magic with an e-reader.
Then it happened.
My mother told me that she had bought a Kindle, a type of e-reader. As I congratulated her on this latest purchase, I couldn't help but wonder what she was thinking.
Over the past two years, my mother has fully embraced her Kindle. She still reads hard-bound books, but only now and then.
One day, soon after she had purchased the e-reader, she pulled it out of her case and showed it to me. I couldn't help but look. I was very curious.
My mother explained the benefits of her Kindle to me. You can store hundreds of books in a thin piece of metal and plastic. You can buy books at a lower cost. And borrowing and buying books is quick and easy, with just the push of a button.
I nodded in agreement. I had heard it all before, but still wondered if she was unknowingly missing out on the magic.
A few weeks ago, my mother informed me that she was going to buy a new Kindle. She still liked her old one, but she wanted to keep up with the technology still developing on the e-readers. She offered her old Kindle to me.
Now, to be honest, I was a little excited to receive this new "toy," and that's what I considered it to be - a toy. I was still quite sure that this would never replace the books on my shelves.
While meeting my parents for breakfast one morning before heading to one of my son's basketball tournaments, my mother handed me a thin piece of plastic and metal. I looked down at the e-reader and noticed the screen-saver, a picture of Mark Twain. Goosebumps arose on my arms and I couldn't wait to investigate further.
Later that day, after checking into a hotel in Georgia, I pulled my new toy out of its black case and turned it on. I found a book already downloaded and began reading. And that is how I fell in love with my new Kindle.