Death of books

Morning sunshine hits the bookshelves in the living room. Those were functioning bookshelves for years but not anymore.  Now they just sit there and make me look kinda smart.

That typewriter, a 1923 Royal, belonged to my father and his father too.  I typed my citizenship application on it in 2005, and it hasn’t been used since.

Since I got my new Kindle weeks back, my child bride has inherited the older Kindle, so we both have abandoned books made of paper.  There is a sizable digital selection in Spanish.

You’ll stick to paper books, you say.  You’re old-fashioned that way.  Sure, go ahead while you can, but paper books are doomed.  And when you do flip to a Kindle or Nook or whatever, you’ll love it.

And your bookshelves will become decorations too.

The framed photos sitting on the shelves are mostly of me and my child bride.

The one on the top shelf where the sun is shining is me sitting on a stony riverbed in the California Redwoods with Isabel Allende, her husband, Mickey, and a friend with whom I have lost touch.

That 1998 photo makes me look kinda smart too, the company I keep.

24 thoughts on “Death of books”

  1. I have downloaded the Kindle to my ipad and am loving it. One of it’s great features is the option to make the font very big… no more eye strain. Great number of free books from Amazon also, all genres. And the sample books give you an edge to buy the whole book or not. I’ve already bought a few. Reading while traveling with my own chosen library of books will be a treat.


    1. Andean: I thought the Kindle is the hardware, the item, so I don’t see how you have it on your iPad, but perhaps the word also applies to the software. Dunno.

      But, in any event, you are quite right. It’s wonderful and has all manner of great bells and whistles.


  2. It’s a Kindle app you download on your ipad — just like having the reader. You can download any Kindle book to it. If you look up Kindle for ipad may better understand.


    1. I too have the Kindle app on my iPad, but have just ordered a Kindle to be muled in by a friend in the coming weeks.
      My reasons are the battery life on the iPad is much shorter than on the Kindle, and the iPad is already loaded, in fact I just had to delete stuff to do an OS upgrade.
      Who knew!


      1. Debi: Getting it muled in will work, and you’ll save some money. I’m not big on muling, so I just had Amazon send it to me, which they do quickly. Takes 3-4 days by express mail to my door. You do have to pay import tax and the shipping. For the $140 Kindle, I paid about $180 total. I hope you are getting a cover too because it is NOT optional. You drop that baby, and you can kiss it goodbye. Amazon makes its own Kindle cover but I heartily recommend one, also available on Amazon, by a company named Marware. Much better.


          1. Debi: You must order a cover ASAP. If you got the touch model, which I imagine you did, it’s a little tricky to handle because you cannot touch the screen without having something happen, usually turning the page, and the rim of the tablet is not wide and it’s a bit difficult to hold without touching the screen, making it even more likely that you’re gonna drop it because you’re trying not to touch the screen picking it up, putting it down, whatever.

            You really, really need a cover. I’m not exaggerating.

            I ordered the Kindle and the cover at the same time, thinking they would come together, but Amazon, in its frenzy to rush, sent me the Kindle alone by DHL. The cover went out a week later, got lost somewhere in DHL’s pipeline, and then Amazon sent me a replacement four days ago. I’m still waiting for it, and handling my Kindle like it’s a fresh egg.

            Interestingly, the $79 model, which has the ads, is not available to be shipped to Mexico. I would have bought it except for that.


            1. because of the iPad, and my familiarity with the touchscreen, which I do love, I opted for the 5-way controller. While reading on the iPad I did experience all the unintentional moving, shifting, and page turning. I’m sure I can find a cover here somewhere and I will do so with all due haste.


  3. I, too, have piles of books, and I have a couple of beautiful old manual typewriters I hate to part with.

    When I was still teaching school in Alaska maybe ten years ago, I brought in an old portable typewriter so my first grade kids, who were learning to read and write, would have an additional interesting activity that might encourage their interest. They were interested, because none of them had ever seen a mechanical typewriter. They all wanted to know where the display was and if it had internet and games. Although it would “only” write, they loved the thing. It was not in very good shape and eventually broke down, so later in the year I gave them some tools and let them take it apart.


    1. Marc: If you hate to part with your manual typewriters, then don’t!

      Interesting, but not surprising, about the kids’ reactions to a typewriter.

      I got my Royal after my father died in 1991. He had used it on a regular basis, but it was in pretty lousy condition. In the late-1990s, I shipped it to New York City from Houston to have it renovated. It was almost impossible to find someone who knew how to do that even in the 1990s.

      It was returned to me in almost-new condition, and it still works pretty good. I simply have no use for it anymore, but it’s a great art object.


      1. It is a great art object, wish we still had my father’s! Only place they exist to view now is antique stores and museums.


  4. Felipe,
    You don’t need the bookshelf or the photos to prove you’re more than kinda smart. You’re writings attest to that. However, when reading your progressively more grumpy anti PC stance, and some of your conservative political views, I sometimes question your common sense :^) In the end, the pretty smart outweighs the diminished common sense. Checking your website and the comments section remains a daily pleasure… most of the folks who comment seem kinda smart as well.


    1. Señor Joseph: I don’t agree that my anti-PC stance is progressively more grumpy. I think it started out about as grumpy as was humanly possible and continues at that extreme.

      As I’ve mentioned before, I am conservative only in the areas in which it is desirable for world peace and contented lives, which are many. In some areas, I do swing left-handed. The Left is correct at times.

      And, yes, the relatively small percentage of folks who leave comments, like yourself, of course, are quite smart, more than kinda. And I love them.


    2. Anyway, Señor Joseph, where’s the fun in getting old if you can’t start swinging your imaginary cane at the menacing horsemen charging toward you, interrupting your naps?


  5. When Linda retired this past June we decided give her teaching materials to Goodwill (yes,one of those evil teachers you love to bash). They ran to about a ton of material. It freed up a good bit of space in the room where we kept them, enough for a pool table to crawl in. I still buy books, most of what I read is out of print and has never been scanned.


    1. Norm: You have totally misread me. I do not bash teachers, never have. I bash teacher UNIONS, which are dedicated almost entirely to protecting jobs of all teachers, even the many lousy ones, often to the detriment of students.

      My mother was a school teacher. Got nothing against teachers. My nutty sister was a college instructor for a spell. Bill O’Reilly was a high school teacher too.

      Pool tables are good too.


  6. Saw a piece on PBS or somewhere just recently about a man who refurbishes old typewriters. Been doing it for 50 years — says he’s busier then ever because the younger generation, in the USA! is fascinated by the manual typewriters. Who knew?

    Love seeing yours in the photo. A romantic kinda look.

    Sorry if you think books with paper are going away. I pray not. I haven’t BOUGHT a book in at least eleven years. Have friends both in Mexico and Texas who save them for me. Just picked up about 24 this weekend. Happy days of reading.

    Actually today someone offered to lend me an extra Kindle that they have. I’m hesitant to try it cause I know I would like it — but can’t afford to buy the books as time goes by.


    1. Oh, Babs, paper books are as doomed as buggy whips, tape cassettes and vinyl records. In time, and not too much more time, they will only be in antique stores and libraries for literary archeologists — and on a few old fogies’ bookshelves for appearances only.


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