The big brown UPS truck stopped at our house yesterday afternoon to consummate the delivery of my Amazon Kindle a mere 24 hours after I placed my order on the bookseller’s website. Now, less than a day after breaking the seal on its container, the device has reinvigorated my passion for reading.
I began investigating the Kindle store immediately after my purchase on a quest for free books to download to the ebook reader. My search uncovered works by Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and other classics including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and even further back to the works of Aristotle and Plato.
I finally blundered across portions of the Kindle store I had cordoned off as “off limits” (in other words, the books that cost money), but dared to glance at the New York Times list of best selling books and peek at other lists maintained by Amazon.and was drawn to the first book I should read on my new device.
My Reading Life, by fellow Georgia native Pat Conroy, caught my eye with an Amazon sales ranking of #951.1 It’s a book about the books and writers and people and places that shaped his life; a collection of experiences that splashed from the nib of his fountain pen onto the yellow legal pads before being typeset and shared with the world through his books.
My Reading Life was the perfect first book for me to read on my Kindle. Reading Mr. Conroy’s work from those virtual pages wasn’t like reading at all, but more like meeting the writer out on a North Carolina beach to talk about life while the sun dips blazing behind the sea.
While reviewing some of my notes and annotations I made while enjoying My Reading Life I remembered the following perfect quote:
Though I’d always turned to books for completion and solace, I had become aware ever so gradually that I was one of those rare readers—I could change the direction of my life if the right book came my way to offer its subliminal powers for my inspection.
1 My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy, had an Amazon sales ranking of #951 as of December 29, 2010.