Escapism, Education, And The Kindle Experience

I don't recall how it came to be that I started reading while still very young.  It wasn't as if books were a part of my family's lifestyle. I just remember that I have been reading since for as long as I can remember.  When I was young, it was a way to escape the abusive hands of my father, or the horrible fighting that was taking place in my parent's bedroom. It's not like I didn't have an active enough imagination, but reading gave me such great new experiences to escape to.  As my education became the primary focus, I read educational books, along with ones to escape the world. Even though I am no longer in school (for the moment, mind you), I still read educational books.  Whenever I find a subject about which I have little knowledge, I will pick up a book to read about it, or scour the internet until I have at least a talking grasp about the subject matter.

Last summer, I decided I wanted a Kindle book reader.  It's crazy!  I have several hundreds on the Kindle!  At least having it keeps me from tripping over all the books that I used to keep by my bed, under my bed, or nearby!  My desk was a constant revolving door of new, unread books, recently finished, some still in the process of being read, or my favorites.  The Kindle now goes with me everywhere.  From the doctor's office, to lunch out, it's always in my "bookbag".

Occassionally, I feel the need to have a book in hand. As a matter of fact, yesterday I found a book that I wanted to read while I was waiting for the lines to diminish at the local Walmart.  Mom and I detoured to the book aisle to wait for Walmart management to decide to open other lanes, or for the lines to negotiate to less than a twenty minute waiting time.  Hand in hand, we perused the aisle, noting something new or even something that one of us read that the other may find interesting.  I even have an application on my blackberry that will connect me directly with Amazon!  I saw a book that I'd never heard of and wanted to keep it in mind for purchase later.  The cool thing about this particular app was that it would allow you to take a photo of the book, upload it and keep it as a reminder for later.  I decided, while waiting, that I would look up this book's information on Amazon.  To my astonishment, the book was less expensive in Walmart, than it was as a download on Amazon.  Since it had been almost a year since I'd held a book in my hand, I decided that it was time to reaquaint myself with the feel of the paperback novel and buy this book in question.

Sometimes, I miss the feel of the paper or the smell of the ink, or even the heft of the books, due to my Kindle having taken place over books in my bookbag. The pure joy of reading a "book" last night that wasn't electronic was intoxicating.  I occassionally have a tendency of turning down a corner of the page and in my worrisome way, I will roll that corner in between my fingers until the corner is soft as tissue, starting to come apart in my hand.  That's before I even realize what I have done to my current friend, rolled the corner in between my fingers.  There's no regret in this, but it's a testiment to how engaged I am with the book.  How much I have lost myself in the characters and story.

Recently, I went through a run of reading Zombie books.  It was so engrained in my mind that I went to bed one night, after having read probably the twentith book on the subject, thinking to myself, "How would I possibly prepare my house against the onslaunt of zombies, should there be an outbreak?"  I knew then it was time to change to a different subject.  Maybe something humorous or less gory at least!  That's the great think about owning the Kindle, it allows me to switch to another book, without having to get up and look on the bookshelf.  I can go to my homepage and find something to remove my need to erect electric fences and check the shotgun for shells, in case of an attack!

Even with the Kindle by my side, I still have a collection of books next to the bed, but at least this time, I am less likely to trip over the multitude (as there are less there now).  I often wonder if other people are like me and have to charge their Kindle more often than they do their cell phone?

NowhereNomad NowhereNomad
41-45, M
2 Responses Mar 6, 2010

Thanks for commenting... to answer your question about reading informational books: it depends on the subject, but for the most part, I like to learn new things, so I don't view it as reading like I would a text book. I see it as expanding myself as a person. Granted, you cannot escape into another place reading a textbook, but it does allow you to expand your mind, which in itself is a version of escapeism. I agree that the Kindle isn't the same as having books surrounding you, but my living space is now limited, so it's definitely a great way of being able to read my books. Still, I have some of my favorites around me; a first edition hardback of John Knowles "A Seperate Peace", an illustrated "Dante's Inferno", and a few others (don't get me started on the journals that are nearby!). Again, thanks for reading and please feel free to keep in touch.

I don't think I could ever allow myself to buy a Kindle. As it is, I had to look it up while I was reading your story. I don't think I'd like it very much since it isn't an actual book, and I'd go a bit crazy buying everything I can with it. :) But I prefer the real books you can touch. Besides, I like it when books gather around me and every where I turn I see a book! Makes me happy!<br />
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I had a question if you don't mind my asking...do you enjoy reading informational books? I can't, for the life of me, sit there and read a book that teaches me things! I have high school to deal with, with all the nutty teachers, to be able to read a book in which I learn from. To me it's just to darn close to reading a textbook! A textbook is not a book, you cannot escape into another place reading a textbook, because every time I crack one open, I'm still sitting in my room, on my bed.