I’m a bit unnerved. My Kindle seems to be developing an opinion about how quickly I finish a book and move on to the next. About two weeks ago I finished reading Willa Cather’s Alexander’s Bridge at the end of my lunch break. Still having a few minutes of my break left I thought I’d start reading Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. Kindle freaked out. It froze, then unfroze, then kept trying to get me to turn on my wi-fi to go to the Kindle store. Did it not want me to read Hesse? Was it trying to get me to pick a different book?
I turned it off and then back on. I got my list of books and Kindle would let me page through the list but when I came to the page with Steppenwolf on it Kindle would not let me move my cursor down the page to select the book. I must have restarted the thing three or four times with not luck before I had to go back to work. I was feeling a bit panicky because what was I going to read on my train ride home? I don’t carry a paper book with me. I sought help from Google. Google told me about a secret restart command accessible in the menu while on the settings page. This was supposed to fix the problem. So I tried it during a quiet moment in the afternoon and it didn’t work.
Going home at the end of the day I sat down on the train and pulled out my Kindle and thought, well, I’ll just try it and see. And it was working just fine. Like nothing happened. Weird.
So yesterday I told Bookman I was almost done with Steppenwolf, would be finishing it today and could he put one of his Discworld books on my Kindle? So he did. And then he made the mistake of clicking out of Steppenwolf to make sure he’d put Reaper Man in the right place. And Kindle freaked out again. I tried restarting and Bookman tried restarting and Kindle refused to cooperate. The files are still accessible from a computer when the Kindle is plugged in so Bookman, what a guy, said I could take his Kindle to read on today and we moved Hesse to it so I could finish it.
This morning I checked my Kindle just in case and it was still in a snit. Bookman tried to comfort me by saying I could get a new one, but that didn’t help me at the moment. Off to work I went. Reading on Bookman’s Kindle was weird. It’s the first version, white and the buttons are all in the wrong places. But I could read, so that was something.
Now, when I got home from work this evening and saw my Kindle sitting on my desk I thought I’d try it and see if it would work and it did! Just like nothing happened.
Kindle must have decided that when I finish a book, or get near to the end, I need to spend some time thinking about what I just read, letting it sink in a bit before moving on to the next book. That after three years — or has it been four already? — Kindle should decide to start asserting itself is annoying. If it were a paper book I could throw it on the floor or slam it down on a table like I had the urge to do. But of course, if I do any throwing or slamming with Kindle that really would be the end of it.
Now I feel like Kindle is tyrannizing me. Do what I want, but not too fast, when I want you to, or else, Kindle seems to be telling me. Suddenly it is in charge and I am tip-toeing around trying to keep it from freaking out again. Curse you technology!
Oh, yes, I can hear you asking why I don’t just carry a print book. I have reached the age when, in order to read comfortably, reading glasses are required. To fiddle with putting on and taking off glasses on the train (it’s only a 20 minute ride) is a nuisance and cuts into my reading time. So on my Kindle I have the font just big enough that I can read without glasses.
I thought my Kindle and I had such a beautiful relationship, but apparently not. What could have gone wrong?