May 26, 2010 12:44
My daughter learned at the BEA that the “matures,” or the over-60 sector, are “beginning to embrace devices.” Count me as very mature, very much over 60, and not interested in reading books on a battery-operated light box.
Every time I have dinner with a friend, he pulls out his Kindle Reader and brags about the many titles he has downloaded but not yet read. When we last met he gleefully reported the number had reached 15 unread books. He lives in Westchester, so he spends over an hour a day traveling to and from the city, and, in addition, his job requires a lot of travel around the country. And he likes to be up to date — not keeping up with, but keeping ahead of, the Joneses. A Kindle is a good buy for him.
But long ago I learned that I was happier ignoring the Joneses and not trying to keep ahead of them. Vacations at St. Kitts are wonderful for them but not for me. I'm over 80 and spend most of my time at home. These days I rarely fly because it's not much fun getting to an airport hours before departure time, standing in line before emptying my pockets and taking off my shoes in order to be allowed to pass through a security device. And being retired, I spend no time traveling to and from work.
I enjoy holding an attractive hardcover book encased in a well-designed dust jacket. I enjoy looking at all of my books stacked against each other in the bookcase. Also, I like being the sole owner of the book, able to lend it to my daughter or my grandson or anyone else I think will return the book to me. Why surrender all of these delights in order to purchase an electronic device that stays alive on life support, that I know is going to stop breathing when the battery dies? I don't want responsibility for reviving it.
This grandpa is happy living with my wonderful old-fashioned books.