How I Roll, uh…Read

It all started a few years back.  My frugality, well, actually…my frugality started many more years than a few back.  Reading, which coincidentally also started many, many years back for me, became of significant interest to me a few years back.  Before this shift, reading was something I did to get specific information.  In and out.  Nothing very satisfying about it…certainly not something I looked to do to pass the time or entertain myself.  Here’s where the frugality comes in.  In late 2008, my employer was providing many reasons for many people to have many real concerns about job security.  This dialed up my frugality to new levels.  Levels that have yet to subside (yes, I am VERY proud of this).  But alas, this isn’t a story about my frugality.  Rather, my frugality led me to explore commuting alternatives ($4/gallon gas prices didn’t hurt either) which in turn directly influenced my new found love for reading.  How you say?  Glad you asked.  I landed on taking the train to work.  23 minutes of pure reading enjoyment one way.  Play my cards right and it is a guaranteed 46 minutes of reading per day 5 days a week.  Not too shabby, right?

Now let me tell you about how I was doing this reading.  At first it was books we had at the house – mainly books Cindy had already read and only the highly recommended ones at that.  Then it became about taking advantage of our local (as in 3/4 of a mile away in the neighborhood) library.  Then toting books became cumbersome – I like to travel in and out of work with just my laptop.  No laptop bag.  No notebook (love Microsoft’s OneNote!).  No paper if at all possible.  That left me with a laptop and at times an awkward book under it.  Outside of the weird fit in my hand, I didn’t like the potential implication it tagged me with…you know, the one that says “you’ve been reading at work, haven’t you?”  So I  got a Kindle, right?  In the famed words of Lee Corso: “Not so fast my friend!”  I took out my iPod Touch and downloaded the Kindle App for the iPod and then subsequently downloaded one of the biggest books I could find.  Stieg Larssen’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.”  And I read and swiped my thumb about 2,400 times.  But I finished it.  Being stubborn I read the next 2 in the trilogy that way as well.  And “Born to Run”.  And Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games.”  And then it happened…

A Kindle 3 with 3G arrived in my life unexpectedly.  My first reaction after the shock of this kind gift wore off was “will it fit in my suit jacket pocket?”  It did.  My next reaction was “will this kill the business case for the iPad that I secretly covet?”  The jury is still out here.  But 2 weeks and 2 books into it and I can easily say I love it!  I can’t imagine reading any other way.  The battery lasts for weeks (with 3G off) and for many days, like 4-6 days (with 3G on)!  The special ink they talk so much about is so very pleasing on my eyes.  Many font sizes, line spaces and other features to fit the device to an individual’s eye preference.  And easily, and most surprisingly one of my favorite features is the ready access dictionary.  Today I found out what ‘quixotic’ means.  Cool.

There’s a future post coming about whether there’s room in my life for an iPad or not.  Right now there is not.  It hurts me to say it because it is so darn beautiful to look at and seems to be the perfect way to get out of burying my head into our iMac in our office (off the beaten path at home).  Stay tuned…

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