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Step into my library. Ben Levy 20, March

So, I own a kindle now. I’d like to take a moment to talk about how this happened.

I love reading. There may be some of you out there who don’t know how to love, and so cannot appreciate the depth of that statement, but for the rest of you, please understand that I’m not making a euphamism. I love the act of comprehending the literary word. It holds for me a special magic.

Now, I’ve got nothing against glue and paper books. Nothing at all. They don’t require charging, they’re generally easy to carry around, and the larger ones have a comforting weight to them if self-defense becomes necessary.

But.

I take the train. And it’s a half hour each way for my commute. And so I would go buy a physical dead-tree book, and finish it in a week. Then buy another. Then another. Then feverishly reread the last them all in an attempt to stop funneling money directly from my bank account to Barnes&Nobles. The success of this tactic can be measured by the need to purchase a second bookshelf.

Feeling desperate, I decided to see what sort of classics are free online these days. Turns out, damn near all of them.

I started with Lewis Carol. Then all three Sherlock Holmes anthologies and Hound of the Baskervilles. Then Dracula. This was amazing. This was fantastic. This was all being read on the 3.5 inch screen of my Droid Incredible, and I was getting eyestrain.

It’s one thing when I was reading for half an hour twice a day, but once I caught myself reading my phone before bed, I knew something had to give.

And so I went out and bought a Kindle. And so I now own every classic work of literature. They take up zero space in my office. I can read them without eyestrain even after staring at computer screens for 10 hours straight.

I love the future.

There is one thing in all this that bothers me. I don’t think I’ll miss dead-tree edition glue-and-paper books anymore than I miss reading a newspaper. But I will miss the ability to browse someone’s bookshelf to see what they own. I’m not 100% clear on the etiquette with these things yet, but I suspect it’s poor form to turn on your buddy’s e-reader and start scanning through the content. But I’ll try it at least once just to be sure.

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