Contemplation of e-readers: Interlude in a jellyfish dance

July 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wayne’s been bitten by the tablet bug. It’s a bit delayed. He fought them (let’s pretend there were little gnat-sized tablets with wings flying around him) off for a while, having decided that his iPhone and macbook were sufficient and that the hybrid of sorts wasn’t all that necessary. Yet. He waited out the early adopters and first devices, but now he wants one.

Which is why I ended up spending my Friday night prancing around Staples– there was a promotion that offered $100 off all tablets. As he contemplated the pros and cons of the various tablets on display, I performed jetés that could never rival the dancing hippos of Fantasia— though they could have potentially rivaled the jetés of the rejected dancing hippos who auditioned just for kicks– and balancing on one tip toe while spreading out my arms and legs to curl and then straighten and repeat in an effort to be a veteran jellyfish who, despite losing many legs, still had the heart to wiggle and jiggle with the store music playing in the background.  Apparently, not being able to find my favorite Pilot G2 ultra fine pens (0.38mm makes 0.5mm look all fat and blotty) causes me to dance as a jellyfish as both a sign of discontentment and a way to amuse myself since those pens are the only interest I have in Staples.

Until I saw the Kindle and the Nook. I took a momentary break from being a jellyfish to play around with the buttons of the Kindle and the swiping abilities of the Nook. I practiced holding both thin, light, small e-readers in my hand while attempting to lounge at the same time, a difficult feat when the e-reader is tethered to the station with little give. I appreciated the portability and convenience of each e-reader and, for few minutes, mused about purchasing one. I imagined keeping it with me at all times since either fit nicely in all my bags. I toyed with the idea of not worrying about ruining the covers and pages of new books with my manhandling and travel. I pretended that I was Captain Picard seated at his desk reading Moby Dick or whatever else that “Tea, Earl Grey, hot”-guzzling, bald, Borg-bustin’ favorite Star Trek captain of mine enjoyed reading for leisure*. But then, after the moment of consideration ended, I missed my books. Holding, bending, flipping the pages. Gently rubbing a page between my fingers and enjoying the feel of the texture. Running my fingers over the printed words and delighting in the feel of the dry ink. Seeing the pale tan color of the pages. And for some books, being completely enchanted by the unevenness of the edges of the pages and the way they were cut; some cleanly, some roughly. And the weight. I missed the weight. The heaviness. For some reason, the heaviness represents a tangible invitation for an experience, an adventure, like a boarding ticket. It makes me excited for the trip in a way an electronic ticket just cannot.



* Can I point out that I love the fact that Honey Bear** and I have had conversations where she proclaims how much she HATES scifi, while I proclaim my undying love in the next line? Aw, opposites attract! Except in the case of Madewell, because then we are perfectly aligned. Because Madewell is love.

**Dear Wynee, names I call you when you’re not around: Honey Bear.


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