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Making the best of it

This from a touching and dramatic story --  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/too-young-to-have-a-heart-attack/  -- about a woman too young to have a heart attack, who did.  This bit is an irrelevance and threw my attention the wrong way for a moment.

"The night before we left for our summer vacation in Michigan, I accidentally stepped on my Kindle — which, like my heart, I cannot live without — and broke it. Reduced to reading novels on my iPhone, I made the best of it."

I then reached the end of the tale, which draws the moral:

"...people brought dinners and well wishes for weeks on end (not to mention commiseration about trying to read a book on an iPhone, a heart-attack-inducing event if ever there was one)."

I.e., stick to the paper-and-cardboard items, large print if required.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
Over the holidays, one of my family members announced her love of her Kindle because she enjoys reading but doesn't like having books in her house.

Edited at 2012-12-27 12:25 pm (UTC)
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Well maybe that accounts for the weird lack of books in some fairly upscale households I've been in lately: Kindle. Rather than... what I thought.
Dec. 27th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
I have other family members who are non-book-owning avid readers that get all their books from the library, so there's that, too. (My public library is not all that convenient for me to use other than its downloadable audiobook program.)
Dec. 27th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
Among the people I know who are not readers, e-readers appear to have made no difference in their literacy. Some of them have e-readers (often received as a gift) and use them more as tablets or accessories. They have a few bestseller type things on there, but they're not building a library.

Among the people I know who are readers, e-readers seem to be allowing them to acquire many ebooks and stockpile them (and eventually read most of them). For various reasons, buying secondhand books over the internet (which can be dirt cheap) is less attractive to the avid readers on a budget than accumulating ebooks.

Dec. 27th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you're not fond of e-books :-)

I love genuine "dead-tree" books, but I live in a tiny urban apartment with a husband who also loves them, and we're at the point where we have no more space for physical books. So... yes, I buy e-books whenever I can, because that way I'm not forced to get rid of some books to make room for new ones.
Dec. 28th, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
I too buy Kindle books (though I don't have Kindle) when my interest is limited to research or when I have to buy a book I wouldn't otherwise for some reason; also I like it that I can annotate and copy passages for other uses (at least when reading on a computer.) But for pleasure, for books I want to read from beginning to end, no. (For one thing -- I know you can check to see how far into a Kindle book you are -- but you can't grip the mass of pages to come and feel it.) The houseful-of-books problem, like the deficit, increases without exactly ever coming to crisis, so far.
Jan. 3rd, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
I prefer to read on a Kindle because of the linked dictionary (yes my vocabulary is poor - a book written by Mr. Crowley can be a challenge jumping to a dictionary every few seconds). I am currently reading Little, Big in Kindle format - which I am really enjoying, roughly 53% through (a Kindle statistic :) ). e.g. the Kindle dictionary had an entry to Barbarossa (I am roughly at the point of Auberon / secret agent :) )

Another great new feature is a time estimation for what the remainder of a chapter will take to read (based on your reading speed).

My preference for book formats :
- official Kindle version
- bootleg digital version (for which I personally also buy a paper copy)
- no digital version - I have only hit a few books with this problem
Jan. 3rd, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Kindle
Liberty magazine, a general-interest mag of the 20s-30s, was famous for posting at the beginning of each article the estimated time it would take to read, an efficiency for the busy train commuter or lunch-counter sitter. Also a joke for those who thought up-to-date efficiency had its silly side.

Oh and -- Shame on you for reading bootleg digital copies -- I hope not of living writers deprived thereby of royalties.

Edited at 2013-01-03 04:44 pm (UTC)
Jan. 3rd, 2013 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Kindle
Interesting - the best days are when I can dedicate hours and hours to read and then I ignore the 'remaining time' info, but with kids it it not so easy!

And I try to offset the bootleg part by buying a print copy of the book (as mentioned in that bullet!) - I'm sure it is still not fully legit in some way, but hopefully it deals with the royalties/fairness problem. - I'm just too dependent on the in-line dictionary :/
Jan. 6th, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: Kindle
Bless you. Royalties paid, you may go on downloading and leafing through the dictionary (at least so say I).
Jan. 5th, 2013 12:01 pm (UTC)
Test, just a test
Hello. And Bye.
Jan. 5th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
Repost attempt; I think including URLs triggered LJ's spam filter:
"there was a woman in Queens, New York who was tragically murdered while trying to prevent muggers from taking her cell phone. 'She was very sentimental. She really cherished our text messages,' said [her husband] Khan, 29. 'She has four cellphones that are full. When she doesn't have any memory left, she gets a new phone' (Simeone). She could've perhaps backed the messages up, but I could see how that might feel like a photocopy of a love letter when compared to the message on the phone that received it, even the cases aren't truly analogous. My point in sharing (...) being that physical things are better than digital ones in many ways and intangible things like love and the memories in our brains can be better than physical things. And people should still send letters to their family, friends, and lovers."
Simeone, Jessica. "Newlywed slain saving hubby's texts." New York Post. March 15, 2011. (quoting a blog post I'd made)

Helen Lowray Snow (1842-1845) headstone in Troy, NY, lettering obscured by literal snow and 160+ years of natural wear and pollution: (see findagrave website)

Particularly proud of the headstone mystery largely solved here, helped by strangers, identifying a boy's name and his parents' names when both were completely chiseled away, and the stone wasn't on the cemetery's lot map, and was a mystery even to the family whose plot it is: John Augustus Baum (1840-1842) at findagrave.

A couple others that would have been impossible without the assistance of another correspondent I've never met, who paid for an Ohio archive to copy their incomplete burial records for a little NY cemetery in my hamlet, which I then matched through what little could be read on the stone and through process of elimination in the cemetery: Milton Marks (d. 1883) and Charles Smith (1821-1875).

Sad stories (suicide, accident, murder? - still don't know): Pauline Fox (1869-1894) andimpressive ones (early Jewish NY state senator): Myer Nussbaum (1855-1952). You'd never know by looking (though one can presume both are to be found in many cemeteries).
Jan. 6th, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
Do you do this holy work out of mere compassion or is it your job? Are you a sexton, a genealogist? Very interesting occupation.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
Is it holy work? I might have been born in the Collar City, but I have no collar and certainly no halo.

Compassion might be part of it. Not until in my late 20s did I learn who my own biological mother was, and not until my 30s did I learn who my biological maternal grandparents were. I may never learn who my biological father was. My (adoptive) father & (adoptive) grandfathers also died relatively young, so I didn't get to know many of my immediate relatives as one adult to another, much less even ever meet more distant ancestors. I'd suppose that might contribute to empathizing with those who face significant hurdles in their own ancestral history, like unreadable headstones.

I'm unemployed, & likely to remain so indefinitely since the US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights ruled that my university's retaliation against me for reporting an untenured visiting assistant professor for academic dishonesty, sexual harassment, & retaliation was AOK with them. The retaliation included the university forbidding me to contact the Registrar for my own official transcript. If I ever need to do so for a job or grad school, I'm SOL; it's as if I'd never attended, despite graduating summa cum laude as an adult learner with disabilities.

OCR has so far refused to provide me a copy of the data request they'd supposedly sent my university, or the university's reply, or anything pertaining to how they addressed their potential conflicts of interest in the case. The provost, one of the people I'd reported problems to who chose not to respond to me at all, had been appointed by the US secretary of education to a national committee concerning integrity & quality in higher education on the recommendation of the chancellor, who I also contacted, and who also refused to reply to me. Given their involvement in my case, & the potential embarrassment to the secretary of education may have predetermined the decision I was sent.

One mystery I've gained headway on, but still pretty far from solving: an Albany police officer killed by a train while on patrol in 1889. Nobody's ever heard of the cemetery the newspaper reported he was to be buried at. I think I've found his widow's headstone, and that of the son his widow was pregnant with when the officer died, but the officer (and the cemetery): still missing. I'd contacted the Albany police, but they didn't care to even reply. They could've at least told me that there's some historical records of the Albany police at the Albany County Hall of Records, but I had to find that out on my own. Turned out I had more info than the 1889 Albany police scrapbook had, though. I posted a little draft of a piece about that case at "Gravely New York: Memorial Snapshots" (Google that, since posting links seems not always to work).

There's another post there about an African-American family in the Albany area, which I should try to polish off what with it being Black History Month, "A sword-cane, a steamboat, a parade, and a memorial." I also need to ask Albany Rural Cemetery why they have a section labeled "Quick Sand" on one of their maps (an image of that map detail is in the blog post).

Also, appallingly, the remains of some exhumed people believed to have been slaves of the Schuyler family are still in boxes on shelves, a year after there'd been a public forum about where to reinter them. A local cemetery offered a beautiful spot on their cemetery's "Founder's Hill," and offered to cover the burial expenses and the cost of a memorial for them. Unnamed people objected, despite not having anything better to offer - in fact they had no land or money of their own at all to offer. Their objections overruled the only offer that was made. I think the offer should be accepted, absent a better one.

At the weekly vegan/vegetarian potluck dinners I attend, when asked what I'm up to, I tell my friends I'm working on solving cases so cold they were never opened in the first place, & answering questions nobody's ever cared to ask.

Edited at 2013-02-03 06:22 am (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )