Friday, June 24, 2011
I have been unfaithful.
To my Kindle.
You have heard me wax eloquent -- at least, at length --about my electronic reader since I bought it. How I find reading on it far more convenient than a hardbound book. How I can get my old hometown newspaper delivered each morning no matter where I am in the world. How I can carry a full library with me on a trip and never have to worry about heft.
It was not always thus. I brought down a stack of books when I moved to Mexico two years ago.
When I arrived, I started tearing through them. Realizing I could not find a bookstore anywhere near this beach, I started rationing them.
Then came the Kindle. And the remnant sat on my reading table gathering dust while I lavished all of my attention and praise on my new-found love from Amazon.
For some reason earlier this month, I looked at the stack. Probably in the same way that mothers in nursing homes leaf through the birthday cards they once received from their children.
I picked up the largest of the lot -- laughing to myself that I once had to deal with the logistics of books that size.
Then I made the mistake of opening it up. Reading one page after the other. Getting a tactile joy out of feeling the texture of high quality paper on my fingertips.
The next thing I knew, I was three chapters deep in H.W. Brands’s Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I was a little bit surprised at myself when I bought the biography. Roosevelt is not a natural topic for a fellow with a libertarian bent.
But I had enjoyed Brands’s interesting and even-handed approach in Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times. Anyone who can handle the prickly topic of Jackson without causing eyes to roll, while opening those eyes to a new perspective, is a biographer worth reading.
The book is nearly a 1000 pages long. I am about half way though it. And half way is not enough to pass judgment. But it is interesting enough that I want to finish it before I leave for San Miguel.
If I can’t finish it before I leave, I will take FDR with me. From what I hear, he would fit right in to that colonial town in the highlands.