Like most kids growing up in my place and time (1950’s rural S.E. Kentucky), I didn’t start reading until 2nd or 3rd grade.
Those days, we didn’t have kindergarten, at least not in Lee County, KY.
Plus, we weren’t expected to turn up at 1st grade reading, writing and solving math problems.
Our early ‘home education’ leaned more toward learning things like, oh, when to wear shoes, and not letting your mom catch you licking on the cow’s salt block, that kinda cool stuff…
But, once I got the reading knack down, I was hooked for life.
Which was unfortunate, because our entire grade school library topped out at about 40 books…
Eight grades, and 40 books.
Uh, it was a church school, supported & run by a missionary organization out of Pennsylvania, and us’uns was simple, but honest, ‘po folks.
Anyway, our library was housed within a cabinet with 4 shelves, about 36 inches wide…
Many of the books were pseudo biographies of historical American figures like Washington, Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Daniel Boone.
In other words, the kinda stories Bill O’Reilly’s been making popular these days…
Rather mundane reading, for someone my age.
Yet, I read each of those books so many times that I could quote them.
But providence soon made it’s welcome appearance…
Lurking among those musty, superficially written historical
books essays, were 2 Booth Tarkington novels that took me from being a ‘reader who’d read anything’, to ‘a reader who appreciated good writing’.
While the grade school library was slim pickins’, summer vacation was cold-turkey starvation.
That all changed during the summer of 1954 (or ’55?).
That summer something magical happened!
The Lee County Library started running a mobile lending library, they dubbed The Bookmobile!
And, it not only came down my road, Rural Route #2, but it actually stopped in front of my house!
Lordy, the thing was packed with books I hadn’t read.
Heaven on wheels!
Unfortunately, the Bookmobile only ran every two weeks.
And, the borrowing rules only allowed checking out 3 books at a time. Which I could read in 3 days, easy.
Ah but, I had leverage in the form of three sisters.
They too, ‘liked’ to read, but at a leisurely pace of about one book by the time the Bookmobile rolled around again.
And, my sweet sisters, for a price, would let me max out their allotment of books.
Usual costs were me adding their household chores to mine. Listen, I was way happy to wash dishes, and the like, for another book to read.
Until I got to high school, that was how I fed my reading jones.
Even our little country high school had more books than I could reasonably read in four years.
Oh, I tried, but high school classes took more work than did those skinny classes back at my old parochial grade school.
I did get to read writers like Thoreau, Twain, Faulkner, Hemingway, racy Henry Miller, satirist Orwell, and a long-winded Tolstoy, to mention a few who’s words affected me forever.
And, college helped me expand that list.
I still average three books a week.
And, for a long time I’ve been a regular at book sales, used books outlets, Goodwill and Salvation Army bins.
Even shopping mostly discount, still a fairly good chunk of money.
About 3 years ago, I bought my first Kindle, the Kindle Reader keyboard model, with Wi-Fi.
Despite a short learning curve, which could have been shorter if I’d browsed the ‘help’ file a little, I quickly fell in love with… a stupid machine.
Buying a Kindle, hands down, was the best reading investment I’ve ever made.
Books I used to pay $3.99 for at Goodwill, and the like, I now get free, or for 99 cents to $1.99. And, they’re downloaded instantly into my Kindle.
Then, a little over a year ago, I got the ‘tablet’ bug real bad.
Just HAD to have a sexy tablet.
I carefully researched the tablet market on the Internet.
Did a fair bit of hands-on testing in the local retail stores. And, had finally narrowed the list of choices down to a Google Nexus.
Then Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX was released.
HDX’s capabilities changed everything for me…
Compared to the Nexus, HDX’s had faster web browsing features, with more pixels per screen inch, HDX’s had better screen resolution, and they’re linked with Amazon’s impressive video & print libraries.
Plus the HDX was priced less than the Nexus.
I can be dumb, but not so dumb , that I didn’t choose a Kindle Fire HDX over the Google Nexus.
Almost a year later, I still wouldn’t trade it for anything the competition is offering.
More reasons I love my Kindle:
A stand-alone Kindle Fire HDX’s comes with access to lots of feature films & TV shows.
The first time I watched the TV show Justified on mine, I was really impressed with the vivid picture & color quality. And, the sound system was full-bodied and clear.
With Amazon Prime membership, (new purchase of a HDX comes with free 30 day membership) I can get even more free books, movies and TV shows.
Plus, I get free shipping on all my Amazon orders.
Because Amazon prices and quality are hard to beat, I buy from them frequently.
Savings from free shipping more than pays for the cost of Prime membership.
And, pretty soon, I’d also saved enough on shipping, to have paid for my HDX.
Before I bought my Kindle, I was worried I’d miss the feel of a real book.
Turns out that I didn’t, not a bit. The Kindle is just too easy to hold and a snap to navigate.
Anyway, just a few of the ‘top-of-head’ reasons why I love my Kindle Fire HDX!
If you also like to read, you’re missing out if you don’t have a Kindle.
BTW, IF you buy something from the above link, I’ll make a little money (very little, actually).
But, then I already told you I was simple, but honest, ‘po folk, didn’t I?
Ideas for me, your aging related story and your comments are always very welcome.