Daily Archives: January 5, 2011

A Kindle tragedy

Oh no.

Setting my new Christmas Kindle atop the mound of books on the nightstand beside my bed last night precipitated an avalanche. Books and Kindle took a tumble onto the hardwood floor.

The books, of course, were fine. None the worse for wear. But this morning when I launched my Kindle, something was very wrong indeed. The screensaver image—a bird, some warbler or meadowlark gripping a reed—stayed pasted over half the screen.

I’d been deeply engrossed in Jonathan Franzen’s amazing blockbuster novel Freedom, careening through the book’s last act like an overloaded West Virginia coal truck with cooked brakes. And thanks to my Kindle’s Progress Bar, or whatever it’s called, I knew last night when I paused for sleep that I ‘d reached “89 %.”

Not anymore. The coal truck crashed. I called Amazon, and for a small fee (not so small, actually, but Kathy’s reading my blog so I’m gonna be vague) they’re rushing me a new device and I’m sending mine back to the Kindle mothership.

I’m going to refrain from pointing out, again, that a thirty-inch drop left real books unfazed but left me holding my Kindle in a painful state of reading interruptus. After all, I’m lovin’ my ereader, especially while riding an exercise bike, and feeling so thoroughly modern at last.

Oh, Kindle, I hardly knew you!

This reminds me of my Computer Incident two summers ago just after I’d finally, proudly, migrated to a laptop. In that case it was the dog’s fault for knocking my Mac off my bed onto the hardwood and breaking the motherboard. Though, as with any disaster worth the dignity of that name, multiple factors were involved. As one of the great characters in Freedom says in her memoir, Mistakes Were Made. (What happened in the case of Jack vs. the Mac is fascinating only to me and my family, but too tedious to relate here, even for me.)

This time it was a pile of books, destabilized by a slender paperback, Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy—really—that was the proximate cause. And my latest new Kindle is going to take care of that problem. Right.

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