My husband gave me an e-reader more than 15 months ago. I was surprised. I had not asked for one, but he thought I would enjoy it.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a reader. I feel at loose ends if I don’t have a book that I am reading.
But that was the key word — book. I read most anything.
I don’t like gore. I close my eyes at that kind of thing on the movie screen and television.
As much as I like Kevin Bacon, I could not watch his new series because of the gore.
I really like historical fiction. Sharon Kay Penman wrote a trilogy that begins with “Here Be Dragons.”
The books deal with the Welsh prince Llewelyn and the English King John and continue through the reign of Henry III and Simon de Montfort.
My sister and I wait excitedly each time Penman is about to publish a new book.
Her next should be the third in a trilogy about Richard the Lionheart.
When my husband gave me the e-reader, I was puzzled about the mechanism of the thing.The computer wizard set me up an account with Amazon and did all the necessary things to get me started.
I downloaded a few free games and one free book — an oldie but goodie, “The Forsyte Saga.” I re-read books I really like.
Then I really forgot about it. I had a stack of books my sister had given me, and I had received as a Christmas present “Fall of Giants,” by Ken Follett. I worked my way through that stack of books and “The Fall of Giants” feeling guilty. I kept telling myself I should use my present. And I kept making excuses for myself.
I am too used to books to change, I would rationalize.
Then the Friends of the Library had a book sale. If you have never been to a book sale by the Friends of the Library, you are missing out.
The whole community room at the Covington Branch is full of books. Paperbacks are 25 cents and hardbacks $1.
They are sorted by types and authors. (You know the librarians would not allow them to have books out of order.)
The other two library branches also have sales. Just watch the calendar. Also, if you want to declutter your home or streamline your book collection, take the books you want to discard to the library. It doesn’t matter what shape they are in.
The Friends of the Library will be happy to get your contributions for the next book sale. All the proceeds go to the library. Goodness knows the library needs funds and every 25 cents adds up.
Anyway, I went to the book sale and spent $5 or $6. That’s more than 20 books.
Still feeling guilty about the e-reader, I began working my way through that pile of paperbacks and promising my husband, when he inquired periodically, that I would use that little shiny contraption when I had run out of books.
Then my sister gave me “Winter of the World,” the sequel to “Fall of Giants.”
I read that.
Last February, I finally finished the last of my paperbacks from the library. I liked it; the only problem was that it was the second in a series of four books. It was Sunday; you know how you get a little nervous when you don’t have a book to read. I had that feeling.
Then I had an inspiration. I got that shiny thing, I went to the Amazon store and I downloaded the first book of the series. It was so easy.
It was there instantaneously. I didn’t have to move more than two or three muscles.
Right then and there I became an e-reader junkie. I have downloaded eight books in less than two months.
You think it’s painless to your pocketbook because you just get a little notice from Amazon that oh so politely tells you thank you and discreetly tells you it has charged a certain sum to your credit card.
Then Amazon will tantalize you a few days later by sending you an email that says if you liked the book you just ordered, you will like this one too — and lists a few titles.
My husband just keeps saying there are thousands of free books. I look at him helplessly.
I can’t explain my addiction. Let me tell you, those people who invented this e-reader thing knew what they were doing.
If they gave everyone a device for free, they would still be raking in the dough.
Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at email@example.com.