Thursday, October 7, 2010

Handsome, Dark... and fits in my purse

Say what you want about the feel of a "real" book. The smell of paper, the way it feels in your hands. You can keep your dead trees and sniff all the glue that your heart desires because I'm in love with Mr. Kindle. I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's "The Lacuna" on my Kindle, and after I "turned" the last page I went to "My Notes and Marks" to re-read my favorite parts. Things like,"This is what it means to be alone: everyone is connected to everyone else, their bodies are a bright liquid life flowing around you, sharing a single heat that drives them to move all together. If the shark comes they will all escape, and leave you to be eaten." Or, "The past is all we know of the future."
Imagine my surprise at the next item on the Kindle menu, "View Popular Highlights." Yes. The favorite passages of other readers who have enjoyed "The Lacuna" on Kindle. Everyone is connected to everyone else--in a good way. Or at least those of us who read a book on Kindle and like it enough to mark the sections that mean something to us. From the top ten of  the most popular highlighted passages, there is this: "The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know." And this: "Mr. Shepherd, ye cannot stop a bad thought from coming into your head. But ye need not pull up a chair and bide it sit down."

My daughter M. and I once shared a paperback copy of "The God of Small Things" by Arundati Roy. M. read it first, underlining liberally and then gave the book to me to read. I loved seeing her markings-- knowing what had moved her, which bits of prose had leapt off the page and into her heart. I made my own marks and notes as I read, and then she read the book again, taking into consideration what I had noted. Reading as dialogue. Reading as love of a book and love of a person who loves the same book.
Okay, so maybe my experience today with my Kindle doesn't have quite the same depth as that. But the sea of book-love with Mr. Kindle is wider and has more fish. As both a reader and a writer, I have to say it's pretty big stuff to feel the ripple of a beloved writer's words and know immediately that other readers, even anonymous ones, are being encircled by those ripples too.


Elizabeth said...

Thank god Mr. Kindle is cloned because I'm having an affair with mine right now and lord knows, I couldn't STEAL your man...

Jules said...

I must check out this dude. Still working the old fashioned method: ink on a page....pass it to the next reader.