What’s in Your Kindle?

I had an urge to write about something, anything, that isn’t politics. That worries me in a way. I think the GOP’s most fervent wish is that the Resistance will calm the fuck down and go back to reality television.Then, I reminded my self that I’m not in charge of the Resistance. My 50 Twitter followers won’t miss me. So let’s begin, shall we?

Not to be morbid, but what if we died today? In a totally, non-painful, in our sleep kind of way, of course. What if we just ceased to exist? Imagine our loved ones going through our things. I don’t own sex toys for this reason. Death is tragic enough without the brain worm of your mother’s sex life haunting you. So, in morbid anticipation of an unanticipated death, I try to be careful of the things I leave lying around.

My Kindle is the exception. My Kindle is a study in self-indulgence. My Kindle paints a picture of a woman with……diverse interests. My Kindle is covered in human skin.

That’s a lie. Fake news. But somewhere in its depths my Kindle lists a book that talks about a book covered in human skin, followed by a book on sewing for beginners. A biography on Abe Lincoln follows a book called, “Bennington Girls Are Easy”. There’s a collection of Robert Moss books purchased to help me analyze my dreams, and that phase was followed by a series of alcoholic memoirs. You know who the funniest writers are?  Recovering alcoholics. I’m serious; Augusten Burroughs, Mary Karr, Caroline Knapp, Carrie Fisher...these are some of my favorite books. Actually, by far, memoirs, in general, make up the biggest slice of my Kindle pie. If you are a chef and you wrote a book, I probably have it (Yes, I’m looking at you, Gabrielle Hamilton!). If you were a server in a fine dining restaurant and wrote a book about it, I probably have that, too. My crushes are covered; Bruce Springsteen, I have your memoir. David Duchovny? In there! I seem to have a lot of books about New York. If fans of England are Anglophiles and fans of France are Francophiles, what are fans of New York? Yorkophiles? Also, I’m an Alice Hoffman fan. There are many books about ghosts. I don’t like ghosts but I like ghost stories. There’s a smidgen of self help titles, because who doesn’t need a little help from their books, and a sprinkle of technology titles, because who doesn’t want to publish an e-book and build a great WordPress site, and the obligatory low carb diet tome. I  have one book about talking to animals and another about the hidden lives of trees. So what do these books say about me? Who am I?

HOLD ON HOMER. We forgot about the secret sauce in this Kindle casserole, and that secret is that I haven’t read even half of the books I’ve collected. That’s right. I’m a Kindle book hoarder. If I’m flipping through a magazine and I read a review about a new book that sounds interesting, I go immediately to Amazon and buy it lest I forget and miss out. My favorite part of every day is when the e-book email comes and I can choose from a selection of books curated to my specific tastes, all in the range of $1.99.  Two bucks a book! That’s less than a cup of coffee! Periodically, I get offered a free book and you know I’m not going to ignore a free book. And don’t get me started on samples. Don’t even. Kindle samples are like those little hot dogs wrapped in pastry at a fancy party. You’re so happy to see them, amid julienned garlic on cucumber slices topped with smoked kumquats, and other hors d’oeuvre atrocities, that you take, like, eight of them, retire to a corner to eat them, and refuse to share with your spouse. Or is that just me?

So now who am I? You will have to come to your own conclusion but I like to think of myself as a glorious smorgasbord. Not a Las Vegas all you can eat buffet, mind you, but a sophisticated New York-style spread with beef filet, king crab and dishes containing capers, complete with a martini bar and an ice sculpture or two. And mini hot dogs.

What’s in your Kindle and what does it say about you? Or does the very idea of reading books off a Kindle give you hives? Tell me. Do you long for the weight of a whole book with real pages to turn and corners to fold down? What’s your favorite book? Come on. Indulge me. Be my little hot dog wrapped in pastry for these few minutes we might have left on this earth. How’s that for creep factor? What do you expect of a chicken who has books about books covered in human skin?

Chicken out

  23 comments for “What’s in Your Kindle?

  1. jenny_o
    February 22, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Mostly I haven’t got a Kindle because I am cheap. But if I had one, man, it would be PILED HIGH with books to read. I don’t know what genre the books I like fall into. They’re the ones that tell a story, but not a horror story, not an action story, not a mystery story – just story-stories, about people’s lives. No, not biographies. Fictional stories. And not too weird, please. Am I fussy? Yes, I am kind of fussy. Yet I seem to find a lot of those books. I don’t re-read most books, but a few that I’ve read more than once are We Have Always Lived In The Castle, Mrs. Mike, What Was Good About Today. I like scientific books on the brain and on society also. Non-fiction 🙂 The books I’ve read lately, and I’ve enjoyed almost all of them, are in my sidebar on my blog if you’re still interested after all this drivel I’ve written 🙂


    • jenny_o
      February 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      I just realized that two of the three books I listed as having re-read are non-fiction. What the ??


      • February 23, 2017 at 2:21 am

        Ha. Well surprise surprise…you non-fiction maniac. I’m going to check out all the ones you mentioned and just maybe I’ll see if I can get them through the library. Little challenge for myself.


    • Anonymous
      February 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Mrs. Mike, about the young woman who marries a Canadian Mounty? OMG, I loved that book as a teen. I haven’t thought about it in years. I wonder if it’s available on Kindle……:)


      • jenny_o
        February 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm

        Yes, that’s the one 🙂


      • February 23, 2017 at 2:03 am

        Hi Anonymous, well now the two of you have peaked my curiosity. It is on Kindle-I just ordered a free sample!


    • February 23, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Hi Jenny, I got my Kindle for Mother’s Day a few years back. At the time, I didn’t really feel the need for one. I wouldn’t have bought one for myself. But once I realized how convenient they are, I got hooked. I noticed recently the prices have gone way down, or maybe I just caught a good sale, but I got a Kindle Fire for my son this past Christmas. I have checked out your sidebar a few times to see what you are reading. We have a lot of the same tastes. Another author I like who tells stories about regular people is Ann Tyler-do you like her? Can’t remember if I saw any of her titles on your sidebar.


      • jenny_o
        February 23, 2017 at 4:28 am

        Yes! I read The Accidental Tourist and really liked it. It was one of my book fair cheapie wins! I have to make a list of the authors I discovered this way and look for more of their books at the next book fair.

        By the way, I just read an excerpt from Tom Nichols’ book that he linked to on Twitter and this looks like a book I’d love to read. Thanks for the heads up.


      • February 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        Accidental Tourist is one of my favorite books of all time and one of the few I’ve read multiple times. SickChristine mentioned a book you’d probably like, too, called “Going Clear”.


  2. February 22, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I am more of a purist, I prefer a physical book in my hands. My kindle didn’t get much use in the beginning, but then I discovered that you can borrow library books from it. That was a game changer for me. I’m currently reading Going Clear and I’m a little nervous that David Miscavige knows my thoughts and is going to have me killed once I’m done with it.


    • February 23, 2017 at 2:06 am

      Hi Christine-thanks for visiting. I was like that, too. I got my Kindle as a gift but at the time, I preferred the real thing. I haven’t figured out the library thing yet-I have to try it. Amazon Prime does have a borrowing program now, too, I believe. I’ve used it to borrow magazines a couple of times but haven’t borrowed any books yet. Going Clear looks super creepy. I think Jenny up there might like that one.


      • jenny_o
        February 23, 2017 at 4:29 am



  3. February 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I have a little MP3 player that I load with audio books, and listen while I’m sewing. I used to have an extensive library of books on CD, but when I downsized, I donated them to my library, where I find them in circulation.I donated that MP3 player, so they’re no use to me now. I decided that having donated thousands to the library (literally), they did not need to know if I erased Little Dorrit from my little player. I added book after book that I’d loved and given away. One day it was full. I spent $80 for another one, with a little tiny 20gig extra chip. The chip didn’t work in the old player. The new player seldom worked properly. I had to erase old books to put new books on the old player. One day I realized it was all a pint of water over Niagara Falls. I could download it from CleveNet anytime. So, I’m back to being an honest CleveNet customer.


    • February 23, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Hi Joanne-I have never heard of CleveNet. I’ll check it out. It does sound like you’ve been putting yourself through a lot of work, though. I’m confused just hearing about it:-)


  4. Doug in Oakland
    February 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I don’t have a Kindle, mostly because I’m kinda poor and a Kindle has never made it into the “purchase queue” in my finances. Somehow that was true even in 2015 when I got a small inheritance. I have a strange relationship with books lately. I only seem to read them when I don’t have internet access, but when that happens I really go to town on them.
    We moved into the Foundry building in May of 2013, and by the time my friend Sara had got me internet in July, I had read over thirty books. Also, when she got me back online, there was a 6 GB/month data limit, so I did two things: First, I went to Project Gutenberg and downloaded enough books to keep me in reading material even when the 6GB were used up, and second, I started reading a lot online, as opposed to watching videos or streaming music. Text doesn’t use up much data. In the process, I took to reading the Bloggess’ comments, which are often a half-hour’s worth of reading. But there in those comments, I started to notice all of the links to other blog posts at the bottom of the comments. Links to blogs with interesting titles like The Chicken’s Consigliere, Rubber Shoes In Hell, and Hacker, Ninja, Hooker, Spy. You get the picture. So now I have a zillion blogs to keep up with that make my day a better thing than before.
    So then came November of 2015 and the fire in the Foundry building that took out the electricity. I don’t know exactly how many books I read before we got out of there in February, but it was more than forty. Only that time I had a few coins to rub together from the inheritance, and I hit the bookstore. Hard. Both of Jenny Lawson’s books. All three of Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael” books. A William Gibson book I’d never heard of. Etc,etc, etc.
    Then, knowing I needed to get us moved out of there, I spent some time going through my belongings and throwing away everything I could bear to part with, and I ran into my books. I still have crates of them. So of course I read a bunch of them again. A really excellent science fiction anthology I can’t recall the title to just now, ,”The Windup Girl,” by Paolo Bacigalupi, “A User’s Guide to the Brain” by John Ratey, “Crime and Punishment”,”Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, and a book about how music affects us neurologically, and a few others I can’t recall just now.
    I don’t seem to have the aversion to reading on a computer that some of my friends do, so I probably won’t get a Kindle, although they sound like they’re awesome.


    • February 23, 2017 at 2:19 am

      Hi Doug! I wouldn’t have bought one, either. My kids gave me one for Mother’s Day a few years back. Once I realized how convenient it is to store, buy, and travel with, I became hooked fast. The thing I love most about the Kindle, though, is being able to change the font. That way, I can read in bed comfortably without glasses. I am a Bloggess fan, too, and when I’m looking for a new blog to follow, I often do check her comments or sidebar for suggestions. I’ve read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”, but I haven’t read, “Furiously Happy” yet. I’m going to order it. I remember you telling me about Ishmael a couple of years back. I feel like I did get it, but I’ll have to go back and look. If I did, I haven’t read it yet. I have read Water for Elephants, though. It was really good.


      • Doug in Oakland
        February 23, 2017 at 3:50 am

        The book I was trying to think of but couldn’t remember earlier was “The Soloist” by Steve Lopez. I’ve known people like Nathaniel Ayers, maybe not Julliard students, but top flight players, who couldn’t get or keep their lives together to do anything with their abilities, so that book really resonated with me.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. February 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    My Kindle is like a virtual junk drawer. I have the app on my Android tablet, and because I’m cheap, I only download free and mostly-free books (or samples). So you can imagine. If you can’t, though, I’ll tell you. There’s everything from Friedrich Nietzsche to the Beyond Desire Collection and all points in between. Aesop’s Fables, Wuthering Heights, Slave Narratives: A Folk History, 11 Sewing Room Ideas, Paleo Crock Pot Recipes, Bertrand Russell, Marcus Aurelius… You get the idea. I’d say at least half of what’s there hasn’t been read, or has been skimmed and that’s enough. Most of the stuff I *really* read is piled on my nightstand or on shelves in the closet. A lot of nonfiction, memoirs, philosophy, etc. I prefer an actual book with pages to turn and bookmarks to lose and covers to smear with lunch under the umbrella on the deck. It’s a respite from staring at a screen, which I do for a good part of the day because I have to.


    • February 23, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Paulette-virtual junk drawer-that’s good. I think I do it because I have a phobia of being stuck somewhere with nothing to read. That used to happen but no more with all the devices I have tucked alway. As long as my battery holds up….oh no


  6. February 26, 2017 at 7:27 am

    No Kindle. Crazy old farmhouse insulated with book shelves. Most recent purchase: Dr. Alex Lickerman’s “The Undefeated Mind”, which combines modern science with Nichiren Buddhism. It fits nicely in my coat pocket.


    • February 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Geo-that book sounds exactly like the kind of book I picture you with. It also sounds like a book that Doug from Oakland would like.


  7. March 2, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Okay, I MUCH prefer an actual book, but I also have a kindle app on my ipad that really comes in handy when I’m traveling or have to wait in a doctor’s offie and don’t want to lug a book with me. I have a variety of things on there, fiction and non-fiction, some of which I may never read. I’m also a sucker for free and cheap downloads. I did read three books on my ipad while I was on vacation – one a Sam Harris essay on lying, one a silly sort-of romance novel, and one a mystery.


    • March 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Sounds like you like a good mix of reading material, too. The think I like best about a reading app is the ability to change the font. The thing I like least is that I often have to go back a look to see what the book is about because there are so many titles, I forget, and because there are so many choices, I jump around like a kid in a candy store. I picked up an Ann Hood book at the library last weekend. It’s due back in seven days, so I’ve really focused on it and I’m getting more pleasure from reading it than I have any of the recent books I’ve read on Kindle. I may have to revert for awhile. I want to read the Sam Harris essay you mentioned.


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