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Like a Kid in a Candy Store!
Chinese proverb: A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Some days are just better than others. Last week I made the decision to buy a Kindle, Amazon's electronic book technology. I had to have it right away and had it delivered in one day, and I have been busily downloading the free classic books now for days. It is like the old show "supermarket Sweep" where you get a few minutes to run the aisles and grab everything you can for free. And you almost drive yourself crazy in a frenzy to do it!
I am a bibliophile. A Great lover of books. My dad would buy me a new Golden Book each weekl when we went to JJ Newberry's on his days off, and I collected them with great relish. This love gave way to Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins and young adult fiction, then spread wildly to non-fiction, metaphysics, fiction, memoir, biography, and the classics. My house is a library of books that have been moved no less than 25 times over my lifetime. I simply MUST buy them. A bookstore is like a treaure trove to me, and each week, at least once, I have to get a fix. And while I love the smell of print, the feel of the book in my hands, I now the time has come to consolidate.
It took me a long tim to release any books that I had on my shelves. I knew there might come a day when I might re-read them, or at least refer back to the information contained on the pages. All along the sides of the pages are notes, and post its of my feelings while reading them at the time, and sometimes I tuck in pictures as bookmarks. I know this because when I went to sell some at Half Price Books recently, the manager gave me back a photo of my son, laying on the floor in a red bathrobe at age three.
As a teacher of Literature, I need to carry many books with me to school, and if I had multiple classes, I would have to bring a rolling backpack to accommodate the heavy load of all the materials. Now, the light nature of the machine will take care of the issue. And since I new I would need one that held many books, opted for the 9.7 edition that holds 3500 books. I am not disappointed. Now, I almost want to head out on a vacation and just spend time reading on this valuable piece of equipment!
Amazon offers the best value on this type of technology as it allows you to download immediately from a whispernet wireless anywhere you might be, so you are never more than a few seconds away from a new wonderful adventure. Classics, due to their copyright releases after a certain period of time, are free to download and right now Amazon is offering them free to all who take advantage of the downloads. I not only got some great classics free, I also found some childrens books free so if I ever have grandchildren, or am reading to a child, I am going to be all set!
While I am thrilled with this new innovation and eager to continue downloading a reading the works I find, there are some not available on Kindle yet, and some that would not be enjoyable or quite as effective to read as those books we can hold in hand. One such work is the newly released "Red Book" by Carl Jung, and I got that this week too. The book is HUGE, and full of beautiful images and German calligraphy. From the middle to the end of the work it is translated into English and it is a delight to the lover of archetypal psychology and literature. I am pleased the decendents of Jung have allowed it to be published, as it is a critical book in inner reflection that many will find confusing if they do not know of Jung's work.
If there is any truth to the idea that we are inspired by what we see our parents do, than I am pleased my parents were readers and lovers of all things written. As such, I took my love of the book and have inspired my children as well over time. The two adult children I raised are both bibliophiles and proud of it. They enjoyed and still enjoy rambling through bookstores and both of them turn to great Literature for their reading pleasure. It is a joy to see this in this time of instant gratification.
Kindle comes in two sizes and is a tad expensive. But I have a cell phone that was free, have not taken a vacation in a long time, and work three four jobs at a time, so this is a treat of major proportions for me. In the long run the Kindle will save a few trees, save me carting a load of books hither and yon, and save me lots of money, as the e-books typically run 50% or more cheaper to buy. There is something about getting swept up in worlds of long ago even when accessing a work on a technologically savvy product! As Kenko Yoshida once said:
"To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare."
Amen to that.