Monday, April 2, 2012

hiding in plain sight

The human heart can be a willful and rebellious creature. When prodded by an overactive mind that bears the taint of delusion, it can become a monster.
          -The Madness of a Seduced Woman by  Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

Two years and four months after purchasing my kindle, I have now accumulated more books on it than I ever owned, not that I will be burning the physical books that SB's parents are storing for me in their climate controlled basement.  For one, most of those books are architectural and art books whose images and diagrams don't work in Kindle format and secondly, I do enjoy holding the really, really old, leather bound classics that I have picked up at garage and library sales over the years.  My suede bound, miniature sized Ivanhoe and metal covered Kaddish are among my most precious of the collection.  Of course neither of those books, nor any of the large and voluminous architecture books travels as well as a Kindle.

While the Kindle isn't good for certain illustrated books, it is great for another reason: it is the "ultimate brown paper wrapper" for readers of embarrassing books.  The Wall Street Journal has reported that Kindles are fueling a boom in the romance and erotica industry.  I am included in the group of readers who wouldn't want to be caught dead by my esteemed colleagues with anything less than a Booker winner but now I am allowed to indulge my less cerebral self with titles that can be safely hidden behind the orange dimpled, leather cover of my Kindle.

In high school I had a classmate who was a voracious reader of romance novels.  She bravely (or obliviously perhaps since she was very engrossed in her reading) sat on the bus and at her desk reading paperback books with colorful images of Fabio tearing the bodice of a swooning, big breasted heroine.  Sometimes I would peek over her shoulder to see what was so captivating that she never seemed interested in talking to anyone in the class.  Fifteen years later I have my own copies of The Madness of a Seduced Woman and a other titles that end more Happily Ever After.  I am currently considering adding Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series to my secret Kindle stash, which I have hidden under a category titled, "Lilith."  It boasts about thirty books, much less than the two hundred titles in the "20th Century Literature" category, but twenty-nine more than I would own without the Kindle.

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