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Like a Kid in a Candy Store!

Updated on May 1, 2010

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! AsĀ  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.


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    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 

      8 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Aley, great hub. I also love being surrounded by books. Haven't gone over to kindle or iPad yet, but it will probably happen in the foreseeable future as I also love gadgets. These combine my two loves!

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      There is something about having a new book in your possession that is exciting! I saw the ipad idea too, but did not want anything but a reading machine, and I did not want it in color...but I hear they are wonderful...so I hope you get one and enjoy!

    • Lee B profile image

      Lee Barton 

      8 years ago from New Mexico

      So fun to read this hub! A Kindle was on my wish list, but I think I want an ipad now. I used to have many, many books, but now they must be cycled in and out of my life via libraries, used bookstore exchanges, and borrowing from friends. A kindle or ipad would be the best of both worlds for me, and I do think it's the way of the future. However, books will never go away. Remember when "they" said that email would replace all communication on paper? Yeah, right.

    • profile image

      Sierra Greer 

      8 years ago

      Aley

      After a phone call from my son, who's in the Navy and had just purchased a Kindle, he had me sold, too! I'm waiting for mine as I write.

      Like you, as a child, I so looked forward to my little Golden Books, and one time, I had to wait months until my mother could afford to get me Porky Pig and the Hidden Treasure (it was a thicker, harder-bound book). Oh, yes, the Bobbsey Twins. . .you bring back fond memories.

      And, like you, my bookshelves are jammed. Keeping those signed-copies or rare finds on a bookshelf, yes. But, as for the others, what are we saving them for other than to remind ourselves we've read. . .hmm. . .how many books is it now?

      Sierra Greer

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Good hub about the Kindle and all the attributes it offers.

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thank you Lorlie!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      I've not seen the "Red Book" yet, but am chomping at the bit to even have a glimpse of it! I have seen some of the images and am so excited!

      I read an article on the publication of this sort of diary of Jung's in the New York Times not too long ago and was amazed at how controversial it was for the family as well as editors.

      Oh, well, back to your hub, Aley! :) I've never seen this Kindle, but I do remember bulging backpacks, and can imagine what an improvement this little machine would be!

      Thanks.

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