I gave my mom a call a few weeks ago to discuss her Kindle. I know hikers have conflicting perspectives about whether or not to bring electronics on the trail, but in this case, I’m for it. I like to read and don’t see anything wrong with bringing an e-reader along. They have long-lasting batteries and store gobs of books while adding relatively little weight to a pack.
Well, my mom has been kind enough to offer her Kindle for my trip since she now prefers her iPad, so I called her to confirm the details.
Jor: What kind is it again?
Mom: It’s the one with the keyboard and the 3G.
Jor: The one with the monster screen or the standard size screen?
Jor: Oh. Hm, it looks like that one is 8.7 ounces, and the most basic one is 5.98 ounces. It also adds an inch in height. Significant difference.
Mom: I was reading in the news recently that they’re coming out with a couple of new Kindles. You might want to check it out.
OK, now let’s stop here for a second and take stock. I’ve mentioned before that I have a well-earned reputation for being a recycle-reduce-reuser, i.e. family and friends give me their outdated hand-me-down goods when they upgrade. My collection is pretty impressive, I must say. In addition to the standard clothes/shoes/purses, I have five old iPods, hair straightener, 32 inch television, DVD player, and the laptop on which I am typing, just to name a few of my fun used toys. In fact, I even have a Kindle Fire that was a generous gift from some wonderful friends, which I use on a daily basis (but would not be right for the trail). It’s not that I don’t appreciate these luxuries once I have them, but I don’t usually miss them enough to buy them for myself.
So, when my mom implied that I may want to purchase a newly improved and lighter style Kindle than the one she had to lend me, I responded,
“Um, did you hear what you just said? Let’s think about that for a second.”
There was a palpable pause.
And then we laaaaughed. And laaaaughed. And laaaaughed.
Silly goose, I have no intention of buying a new Kindle for my trip. I mean seriously, an additional 2.7 ounces. No big deal, right? (I reserve the right to rescind that statement later, be aware.) Over 2,000 miles an ounce becomes a pound and all that higgledy piggledy. But for the time being, I’m thinking a free Kindle – with an extra few ounces and all – sounds like a pretty good idea.
Oh hey! That reminds me. I discovered something amazing the other day. So I already knew that you can get e-books from Amazon for books that are out of copyright, such as Pride and Prejudice (blech! Why is Pride and Prejudice always highlighted as a classic must read? So tedious…unless you like it, of course, in which case, yeah, cool, I know what you mean) and such. But now I know that I can go on my local library’s website and check out e-books through a nationally administered system called OverDrive. Exciting on so many levels: the convenience of not having to go to the library, being able to read recently released books, and using the system is free with a library card. Whoopie!
There is one itty bitty downside. I checked, and my library doesn’t have any e-copies of my favoritest book of all time, ever, “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore. How am I going to re-read over and over?
“Joshua and I played at being rabbis….my mother caught us trying to circumcise my little brother Shem with a sharp rock….Overall, I think it was good for little Shem. He was the only kid I ever knew who could pee around corners. You can make a pretty good living as a beggar with that kind of talent. And he never even thanked me.”
Oh well. I guess I’ll have to break from tradition and (gulp) buy an e-copy of my own.