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11 Dec

Pardon my absence. I have rediscovered reading. I received my Kindle Keyboard on Wednesday (and I was conveniently at home because next week is final exams.) I followed its progress from somewhere in Guangdong province to Shenzhen (four hours), and then to Hong Kong (four hours). Would I receive it in a day? Four hours to Incheon passed like clockwork.


So, this is why it takes three to five days to deliver. My wife receives a phone call from a South Korean customs official. He needs my passport number, but both my wife and I are out of the house. Who remembers his/her passport number? Hours later, she calls back with the information. The clock still doesn’t run.


14 hours.

Another phone call from another customs official asking why I need a Kindle. My wife stifles her irritation and responds as she always does, “He’s an American.”

“Oh, right.”

Three hours later the kindle arrives. I’ve waited all these years for speedy service. It took three days. I bought the Kindle, because I didn’t want to buy a South Korean tablet PC and have to sign contracts for connections and the device. I bought a more expensive device because the cheapest Kindle is forbidden to enter South Korea. I didn’t want to buy a device that involved more than I needed. I don’t need to pay for bandwidth for video and games I don’t play. The Kindle is mine.

I babied it. I wanted to wear gloves. I kept the protective wrap on it. I poured over the instructions. I had one goal that consumed days: to convert my older .epub, .pdf, and.pdb files into .azw files. I have only ben partially successful. The.pdb files refuse to convert. That was Saturday, when I abandoned that project for now. I was reading a .pdb file I had bought years earlier before my Palm Tungsten EZ broke, and I’ll finish it later on the PC. I converted a backlog of .pdf files I had bought from Powell’s, and read a few chapters. Suddenly, I was reading again, and not blogs, or bloggingheads.tv. There is clearly a therapeutic quality to the practice of reading I had been missing.

And then, last night, while my wife and mother-in-law were making winter kimchi, I discovered sampling. I could download selections of books I might want to buy. Today I sampled another chapter of another book tied to a bloggingheads.tv diavlog, and then listened to the author expand on what I had read.

Forgive the adolescent euphoria (and shameless plug). I am, after all, just an American man.


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