Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kindling Earth Day




Here in New York Mother Nature is giving a big thumbs up to Earth Day. Sunshine illuminates the city streets, filtering through the budding branches of the trees in front of our homes and businesses. The air is warm and sweet with the scent of magnolias and daffodils. Yes, there is plenty of traffic, even by my humble garden apartment--NYFD down the block, Glen Oaks Ambulance Corp several blocks from them and the bikers across the street are polishing and pumping the chrome and the pedal. Lilies I planted in the fall are pushing through the soil and my five year old three dollar sunset orange rosebush is full of new growth. So, how am I acknowledging Earth Day? Why with a new Kindle, from Amazon. My love/obsession with books has created a huge collection which I am having great difficulty culling. In my heart I know I will continue collecting books. The feel of a book in my hand comforts me. The scent of books fills me with anticipation. Walking through a library is a sensory delight, the sight and touch of the books and the wonderful smell of old and new books mingle, tantalizing and exciting. Just an aside, after reading The Historian, I had a deja vu experience similar to showering after the scene with Janet Leigh in Psycho. I found myself looking over my shoulder in libraries for quite a while.


Something about vampires lurking in the Research Area was quite unsettling...digressing again. I read about the Kindle, a reading device for e-books and thought this may be an asset in my search for consolidation. It can store about two hundred books, download newspapers and blogs and even store MP3s and photos. Two hundred books in a small, paperback-sized, device. My dilemma was, where's my paper to touch, my pages to smell? The solution was waiting for me on my return home yesterday evening. Two packages were delivered, one from Amazon and one from Perceval Press. I opened the Perceval Press parcel first. Skovbo, a hauntingly beautiful collection of photographs and poetry by Viggo Mortensen was in my hands. The touch of the cover, the look of the photographs, the words of the poems and that heavenly scent caressed my senses. Next, I opened the Amazon box and found Kindle packaged in a cardboard book. I enjoy new technology, I'm oh so geeky! I think I'm going to like this baby. It took me one minute to download A New Earth and subscribe to the the New York Times. Web access, e-mails and all that jazz are incidental to me. Books. Instant access. Yay!


I reach for Skovbo and smile. As practical and convenient as Kindle may be there will never be a substitute for holding a beautiful book in your hands. But saving some trees and some energy by consolidating books in this type of device is great. Remember your book bags from school? Think of all of those books in a Kindle. I guess it's just as cool to have someone carry your Kindle home from school for you.
Skovbo by Viggo Mortensen~Perceval Press
Kindle, Vickie's new toy, amazon.com

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