Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kindle me this.

I used to be a voracious reader. Then, I discovered television. Television required little eye movement, there were lots of choices and I could do it while I did other things. I enjoyed music too, and among all those attributes, it required even less eye movement, making it even more appealing.
At some point, reading books became less of a habit and more of a chore. I had good intentions. I used to peruse local book stores and pick up something that I thought looked interesting - usually history or some other non-fiction - and I'd run home with it and leaf through it before settling down to watch my favorite TV programs.
The book would sit until I finally decided to place it in my bookcase where it would sit in its original, pristine condition, usually with the receipt as the well-intentioned bookmark at page one.
Over the years, less and less on television and even less music became appealing to me. Television is full of low-budget junk "reality" shows, and music has become irrelevant to the point that re-formed super groups of the 1960s and 70s are more relevant than their contemporaries. But that is another matter.
Then, along came the Kindle. It is both a gadget (I love gadgets) and an electronic book device. It is the movie-rental equivalent of books. When one gets the urge to read a particular book or newspaper, one can order it just as one would pick up a movie or CD, only instantly from the comfort of home. Not only is there the immediacy of the medium, but the Kindle versions are considerably cheaper than their paper counterparts.
As I do with other major purchases, I thought long and hard about whether or not I should invest in this thing. I intended to rekindle (pun) my interest in reading and satisfy my urge to stay current, lest I wither and die, left to the ignorance of today's old folks who never embraced technology and are now lost.
I have had it for a week, and have started reading "The War for Late Night" by Bill Carter, the story of how Leno went to 10 o'clock and Conan O'Brien took over "Tonight." It's a fascinating report of the history of the changeover and documents the backroom deals that led to Leno and O'Brien's moves to earlier time slots.
It's nice to sit in the quiet of my living room after my evening workout and read a chapter or two. Not lost in all of this is that the first book on my journey back to my days of voracious reading is a book about television.
It's a start.

No comments: