Kindled Thoughts

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After the Amazon Kindle, reading fiction or non-fiction text is peace. Reading text with math as pdf remains a tease.

After a particularly crazy night of sleeping in firmly crooked positions evolved over the night amidst glop of hard and soft bound printed Word and shambling to work the next day with the resultant aches, I ordered the e-reader online, the moment I switched on my office magic mirror. The e-reader came home inside an unique porous medium comprising solid matrix enveloping the fluid phase (a.k.a. bubble-wrap), crossing the Pacific from China to the USA and re-crossing the Atlantic and additional terra firma, For a Few Dollars More.

Whatever you say, I always like to read only paper books; the older and smellier, the better. I would read them in my favorite spot and position of comfort, be it sitting or s*itting, squatting or reclining. If that be your pledge of alliance for casting (and keeping) the alphabet on dead-wood, I have no qualms or counters. Go ahead, continue to strike that Thinker pose for Aguste Rodin over your favorite commode, with sheaf of dead-wood held on the other hand. It is already a surprise how you made this far into the IntraWeb, unassisted. While you are here, hear me out. Or, my seven year old, who when pricked said these:

E-reader is convenient. Can hold in one hand and flip with thumb clicks; all my favorite books in one place; pages don't flip by themselves under the bedroom fan; I don't sneeze on old books (a disadvantage?); don't have to answer you (me) by loosing pages; can go back to any page in any book without using objects as bookmarks; also, when I go to Srirangam, I take all my books with me, handy.

That is from my kid. Additionally, the e-reader size is compact for pocketing, when you go to cricket matches or attend unwanted professional gatherings of unlikely minds ushering unlikely consequences where tea is served on time (read meetings). Also, book size doesn't matter. Same e-reader weight to reckon with for Jonathan Livingston Seagull or Atlas Shrugged. But this could be a downside. I no longer am given the comfort of completion by sight or weight, before reading a book. I only realized too late that an Anathem has just about begun after investing enough reading hours, while a similar effort has devoured an Athabasca and still had time to complete the Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich. Also, the Kindle or any e-reader for that matter, has its limitation in displaying the creativity of a The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet: A Novel with its maps and text-book mood used in creating enjoyable fiction. But none of these realizations applies to Ulysses or The Rime of the Ancient Mariner — they remain uncomprehending in any format.

The built-in dictionary in the e-reader is good; your forgetful vocabs can no longer procrastinate to slide the cursor over that artful juxtaposition of unpronounceable alphanumerics in any sentence to get the meaning. I no longer am tempted to hop skip and jump over impressive polysyllabics some page-turners are spiked with. I simply delete that book without remorse — a thriller that keeps thrilling you with nauseating verbal grandiloquence isn't worth my e-ink or battery.

You could listen to mp3 format music while you read, although I wonder why I should. I like Kindle because it cannot do a million other things other than mash and show text, to be read without distractions. The nice thing about Kindle is, it could be re-charged with my mobile phone charger. Or my computer of course, through the USB port. Notes and highlights can be QWERTYied while you read, which could be reclaimed as a mega text file. And once you have located the IntraWeb e-book resources and installed the multi-platform open source Calibre for handling e-book format conversions, you are tempted to believe e-readers could be the next revolution in imagination dissemination, after the Gutenberg press.

A few months into e-reading, I realize since all my ten thousands of books are in one place and close at hand, the stories and ideas amalgamate and cross pollinate, suffuse and diffuse, effuse to enthuse, and confuse.

Read in one of those books that according to research conducted by Dr. Stephen Krashen one should read more to become a better writer and one should write more to become smarter.

Yes, I am definitely reading more with my Kindle, but perhaps not entirely as a consequence, have reduced my writing.