Counting my blessings
Herself is complaining that I complain too much.
Maybe she’s right. I do seem to alternate between bitching about the gubmint and ranting about Disney? In my defence you have to admit both parties have nicely combined in a perfect storm to completely fuck up my quiet retirement?
Anyhows, this pandemic panic [pandanic?] has brought about a couple of things that have changed life ever so very slightly for the better.
The first is my hair. Herself regularly used to moan that I needed a haircut when my attitude was to just let it grow. I have finally won that little issue and the hair is now longer than any time in the past. I just tie it back in a ponytail and that’s it. Mind you, the fringe still has an inch or two before it reaches the tie so it still flops down in front of my eyes which is a little irritating. Rather than trim it out of my eyes though, I’m just going to be patient and wait for it to grow longer.
The other benefit was unexpected.
In the past I have extolled the virtues of the real live book – that lovely smell of fresh paper and the feel of a solid book on the hand. I dismissed any e-reader as a gimmick to be avoided at all costs.
Because of the pandemic the local library closed [I still have the books I borrowed last spring] so I sacrificed a kitten to appease the gods and bought a Kindle. I am grievously ashamed to admit it, but I have taken to it. I have ploughed my way through around 45 books so far and they keep coming. Of course I am now spending far more on books because of the convenience, but it’s worth it. I liked it so much I even bought Herself one. She loves it too.
What I like is the simple fact that I can read myself to sleep. There is no need to close the book or place a bookmark as I literally fall asleep in the middle of a sentence. It does mean that when I return, I usually have to go back about ten pages because I was too sleepy to take in what I was reading the previous night. There is also the convenience, in that I can finish a book and almost instantly access a new one. You can’t do that with a library [they tend not to open in the small hours?] or with a paper book which takes days to arrive and costs five times more. The one thing that saddens me is that my new library is invisible. I like the look of books on a bookshelf so I have to make do with my old stock to grace the living room.
There is one strange aspect of a Kindle though. It is quite possible to be in the middle of a particularly gripping part of a story when suddenly the screen goes blank because the battery needs recharging.
I never had that problem with real books?
On the Kindle. Amazon will blather on about how the battery will last for a week or more but the reality for the avid (retired) reader, like you and I, the battery is lucky to last 2 days if that. Why is this? Looking at the fine print you'll see that advertised battery life is based on 1/2 hour of reading per day. A half hour of reading? It may me wonder what exactly they're basing that on. What are they reading anyway? The backs of cereal boxes?
I still value my old style Kindle, no backlight and buttons for page turning, but battery life of at least a couple or often 3 weeks even with frequent daily use. Great for holidays (if anyone remembers those). I wore out one and had to find a decent second hand one to avoid the newer battery eater variants.
Gutenberg Project, Gutenberg Australia and Gutenberg Canada are good sources.
After spending a lot of time with my ereader, when I return to a real book I'll occasionally attempt to turn the page by swiping. Then I look around to see if anybody noticed.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that.