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The Kindle – Love At First Grasp

I held a Kindle.

Yes, I actually had a real, live, working Kindle in my very own hands. My hands shook, my palms sweated, my fingers gripped it tight, so very, very tight. My brown eyes glistened with lust that turned to love at first grasp. But then came the time of horror, of desolation, of pain. My hubby, my own ever-loving hubby looked at me and said, "You have to give it back now."

My fingers held it tighter and I shook my head no, no, NO. And John said, "It's not yours. You have to give it back." He held out his hands, very carefully, like a cop trying to talk a deranged psycho holding a gun into giving it up. I could have made him fight me for it. I could have forced him to pry it out of my clinging hands. But then, the Kindle might have been hurt. I couldn't hurt the precious little device. So I untangled my fingers, and handed it back.

Of course it wasn't mine. Our home economic outlook is improving -- hubby got an honest to God computer job (Thank you City of NMB. You've given the world so much more than Vanna - although she rocks too.) Still, improving is a long, long (did I say long, yet?) LONG way from improved, steady, stable or normal. We're on the right side of the hill, climbing up instead of sliding down, but we haven't arrived yet. So, I couldn't have forked over money to buy a Kindle, especially not this one.

See, even if I'd bought a Kindle, it would have been a Kindle 2, which I'm sure is a device I'd love as well as its younger, bigger, badder sibling. But the one I was holding was the latest, the greatest - it was a Kindle DX. It belonged to my boss who didn't understand it, didn't adore it with a deep and unfettered well of pride and joy and love, yes dammit, love. It belonged to my boss who didn't even really know what it was or what you did with it. He'd gotten two - yes two - of them as gifts from a savvy fellow lawyer who earned a nice fee when the boss settled a case. I won't go into the deep professional appreciation I personally have for this other lawyer. I'll just say he once saved me from myself. To his continuing annoyance, I call him Saint Walt, which amused the hell out of one Family Court judge who'd heard him called many things, but never saint anything.

The Saint understands and appreciates his Kindle. Oh he may not love it the way I would, but I'm sure he at least respects the device. It delivers his Wall Street Journal every morning. My boss, God love him, he's been a personal savior for my family in so many ways, but technology isn't his thing. He didn't even set up his Kindle. My hubby, the computer guy, was working at my office while between jobs and the boss asked John to set up the Kindle and show him how to use it. That's why the hubby had it - and why he (unwisely) allowed me to hold it, oh so very briefly.

To test the Kindle set up, John intended to order samples of a couple of my books, so that I could see how they looked on the actual device I write for and don't own. Because the cursor's home position is the buy button, hubby accidentally bought E-mail Enticement and Brotherly Love. It's apparently pretty easy to accidentally buy something, and Amazon has a quick return system. Since my boss isn't what I'd call a romance novel kind of guy, John returned the fulls and then downloaded free samples.

And I got to see my work for the Kindle, actually on the Kindle. 'Twas truely awesome, mind-blowing and inspiring. Now that the Kindle for PC app has arrived, I can download e-books to my pc, but it won't be the same. Nothing equals seeing the work on the device. Anyone who can buy a Kindle, should buy one. I haven't had an opportunity to hold a Nook in my hands yet, but thanks to SMASHWORDS, E-mail Enticement and Brotherly Love are just now, hot off the presses, available in Barnes & Noble in e-book form. (Stop reading. Go buy them from B&N now!)

The Nook looks to be a grand device, but I haven't had an up-close-and-personal chance to hold it, fondle it, and love it. Frankly, I don't want that opportunity. How many times can I stand having my heart shattered? I guess men do that love 'em and leave 'em thing with ease because only one of their organs is involved in the lovin' and it's not their hearts. My heart was involved with the Kindles at least one of which - if not both - are residing in a shelf in my bosses' office. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and hope the boss is actually using the one installed in the spiffy leather cover that Saint Walt also gave him.

But I know that at least one of the devices is sitting on a shelf in the bosses' office, alone and unloved. He told me I could use it as long as I kept it in the office because he wanted it available for "general office use." Okay, stop laughing. No, the boss did not intend to encourage his staff to read romance novels or mysteries or whatever at work, on company time. Just this week the attorneys got a lecture on the need to bill more hours. Like I said, the boss doesn't understand the Kindle and seems to feel that to be useful, a device must be business-oriented. I'd thought I explained to him that if someone holds your Kindle, they hold your bank account. After all, that's what the buy button does - it, get ready, BUYS. So no, I'm not going to insert my debit card or God forbid, a credit card with constantly slashed lower limits and higher minimum payments. I'm assuming that hubby set up the "office Kindle" with the bosses' credit card. (So maybe I should do some of that general office using, hmm? Nanh -- then I'd have to read whatever romance I bought and then bill for it and it's hard to convince an insurance company to pay my hourly rate for reading a romance novel. It would be a hell of a job perk though!)

I must confess that part of the bosses' confusion over using the Kindle is my fault. In my (misguided) effort to convince him to love the lovely little hunk of technology he held, I pointed out some of the business uses. For example, when the boss travels, we can e-mail him word docs we're working on for approval. I also pointed out that it reads pdfs and he has trouble pulling up those attachments on his cell phone. The Kindle means we could email him several hundred pages of medical records and he could review them on a plane on his way to depose an expert witness. The Kindle even has an experimental feature of web browsing, so he could check his email on the device and do some limited browsing. The device does have some potential business uses, but they are limited and not something those of us who do nearly all of our practicing in the office will ever use. So, poor Kindle DX the 2nd sits and waits.

As for me, I keep recalling the old saying about if you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was. Well, neither of those Kindles was mine. To try to get one, I even entered a contest sponsored by a blog (Lisa and Laura Write) that gave away a Kindle. But like my contest entry said, I knew I wouldn't win. I don't have good luck. I don't even have bad luck. I have anti-luck; I actually repel good fortune and send it skittering away, to land on a less cursed soul.

In their contest, Lisa and Laura state that the universe gave them a Kindle. Okay, universe, I'm waiting............

To paraphrase Hugo, the Abominable Snowman in the Bugs Bunny cartoon - if I get one, I'll say, Just what I always wanted. My own little Kindle. I will name it George, and I will hug it and pet it and squeeze it.......

I guess, the Universe knows that I'd also be hitting the buy button, way too much. (Sigh!)

But someday, my George will come. Hope you get one too!!!