On the up side


Okay, one of the more miserable months of my life. I won’t recap, as it sounds too much like whining. However, I will say that I’m especially glad that August 2010 is over and done with.

On the up side; hey, Kindle! A birthday present from my sister. I piggy-backed on her account for the first month, and have just now liberated my device and downloaded my own choices for the first time. I’ve budgeted a certain amount each month for building up my Kindle library.


One of the things I miss most about my old place in Boston is: books, books, books, books of all sorts, books in every corner of the apartment. When I moved out, 10 big boxes of books went to the neighborhood library, where I hope they are doing all sorts of good, and inspiring people to deep thought and plans for world-spanning adventures.

But I miss being able to just put my hand out and step into alternate world; or curl up with a cup of tea and science book, and seeing how many ideas I can spin out of it; or read something for the second time, and realizing what I missed the first time; or for the third time, and suddenly seeing how its bones work. Or reread something I’ve had since I was a child, and remember the first time, and who I was then, and what the world meant then.

Moving into a much smaller space meant losing about 80% of the books I had. Many of them I don’t miss, not by name, not as individual, specific volumes. Some I do… But what I really most miss the feeling of… I don’t know — wealth? Connection to culture? Security? I’ll have to give this more thought; but there’s something special and wonderful about actually owning books.

Now, owning them in digital form won’t be quite the same thing… but when space is a problem, it’s a nice solution.

Good ol’ 21st century. Gotta love it.

Hand update: Fingertips still numb. Seeing the doc next week. My strength is mostly back, my dexterity is all the way back, but numb fingertips just feel weird. Like zombie fingers, which is not as interesting as it sounds.

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4 Responses to “On the up side”

  • Sean Fagan Says:

    Somewhat amusingly, you were one of the first author I looked for on the Kindle store :).

  • Sabine Says:

    Me too, Sean! First book I bought was the Language of Power. I was thrilled to be able to buy an ebook by my sister. We’ve come a long way!

  • Sean Fagan Says:

    But what I really most miss the feeling of… I don’t know — wealth? Connection to culture? Security? I’ll have to give this more thought; but there’s something special and wonderful about actually owning books.

    I’ve been thinking about that for a while now. I generally have the same feeling — I’ll throw out lots of things easily, but books I have to work to do. (It was a big accomplishment for me, a couple of months ago, when I took a bookcase’s worth of books — two Prius trunkfuls — to the library.) I specifically did so because of ebooks, and the ability to have hundreds of books on a device that takes up less space than a single hardcover.

    They were all books that I looked at and thought, “I don’t love these.” But I’d kept them for years, because I might want to read them again. I wouldn’t call this an instance of hoarding, but I could be wrong. I think it’s more that I could use all of them — some as examples of bad writing, some as examples of good writing, some for specific scenes in them. But part of it was also that I place a very high value on books, and I was afraid that giving them to the library, or Goodwill, or even trying to sell them to a used book store would result in them simply being thrown out.

    But, I looked over my ebook collection, and decided — if there were any of them that I loved, and I could get in electronic form, that was the way to go. And any that I didn’t love, I could reduce clutter.

    I think I was left with, well, a compendium by you 🙂 (you should be able to guess what book that is). Also two Robin McKinley books, and the Enchanted Forest books by Patricia Wrede.

    Related to the lack of clutter, the ability to actually find any of the books I want is a huge win for ebooks. Only two of the eight bookcases I have left are alphabetized; the rest are just bad organization.

    I’m sorry, I’ve rambled a bit, haven’t I?

    • Rosemary Says:

      Sean —

      Well, your rambling has inspired me to ramble in turn — So much so that I put my reply up as a post instead of tucked into the comment thread….

      So, thanks! Bonus post!