Life without book ends

I received a Kindle for Christmas. It was such a good gift to get. I so rarely feel part of the larger pack that having an e-reader made me feel like I might be able to grab a spot in the inner circle, even if only briefly. The first day, I brought it with me to a cafe and placed it on my knees for others to see. No one was looking.

I downloaded Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 because I have been without a full-time job and healthcare benefits for more than a year and a half and thought I could use some kind of power makeover. Turns out it’s a book for members of the pack, and for extroverts at that, but I got some great tips on revamping my resume, which I trimmed to one page from four. I digress. 

I liked trying to read Guerilla on my Kindle, though it was mostly an exercise in fortitude. Now, I am reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s such a smart book, and, from what I can tell so far, I could be its poster child.  

Until today, I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me about reading an electronic book. I knew going in that I would miss turning and dog-earing pages, so I had allowed for that. What I hadn’t counted on was how disorienting it would be not to know when a chapter, or the book itself, was going to end.

With books made of paper, I can plan my life around endings. I can say to myself, there are only _ pages to go in the chapter or the book. It will take me _ minutes to read them, _ minutes to shower, _ minutes to dry my hair, _ minutes to primp, and I’ll still have _ minutes left before I have to go to _ (work, when I have work; my doctor, if I could afford a doctor; the market, when there’s money for food; a shelter, not funny).

They give me borders around my life, books. With Kindle, there’s a sense of free falling whenever I begin new ones. 

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