Back before anyone had the foggiest notion that a generation was coming that would pay good money for water in a bottle, we belonged to a book of the month club.
Every month, sure as Christmas, we had the opportunity to order the book of the month.
A colorful flyer arrived in the mail on one of the five days that mail was delivered then. It touted the book of the month and some on-sale alternates. “The Book” was sent in a few days unless we let the club know we didn’t want it or ordered a book on sale.
Book and bill soon arrived.
The entire sequence, from notification by brochure to book arriving, took a couple of weeks. It was the latest thing in our pre-liver spot days of yore.
Today, curmudgeons like me, who believe that God never intended water to be sold in bottles, are flabbergasted by the magic involved in having thousands of reading opportunities arriving at their house 24-7.
Just recently my new-fangled Kindle that is encased in an expensive leather cover snagged my latest read from the air, delivered on speed-of-light beams from a satellite in mere nano-seconds rather than two weeks.
My Kindle is about the size of a regular book, but slim as a scissor. It has a lasting battery and weighs less than a half-dozen eggs. Within its svelte body are stored the 36 books I’ve previously ordered, with room for hundreds more. It has a dictionary, so if I highlight a word I instantly learn its meaning, and more.
Actually, my Kindle isn’t really that new. To younger generations who believe cell phones are absolutely necessary for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it’s old-school antiquated. But to my drifting mind it’s as cool as a milk house after wash-down.
My son Matt, who acquired a fancier item as a replacement, gave it to me. As the family’s technologically challenged elder, I’m the logical choice for the family’s obsolete do-dads.
I just think my Kindle is the cat’s meow, which I’m told by my Kindle dictionary also means “totally awesome,” “sweet” or something known as “rad,” a term used by only the very young who believe bottled water bubbles up in various fruit flavors from a forested mountain somewhere in Switzerland.
A few days ago I finished reading “Water for Elephants” and wanted to order another book.
I punched Amazon.com on my computer and zipped into its massive library that had my credit card number waiting for me in the shopping gradation.
I found a book and turned on the Kindle’s wireless control. After a click of the Amazon order button, every word and picture in my new book barreled down some invisible beam, smashing gently through wood, concrete and all 118 of the world’s known elements to settle orderly in my Kindle.
My little device silently gathered the rushing digital mass into spare corners of its skinny frame in less time than it takes to say “rad.”
Mary and I are no longer members of a Book of the Month Club. We now belong to the Book of the Instant Club.
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