For as long as I can remember, I have been addicted to reading. I mean, it’s not like I was born with a book in my hand. That would be gross.
I distinctly remember reading Tom Clancy books for Mrs. DuPree’s sixth grade class. The Hunt for the Red October got me started, but I ended up reading all of his books even though I only needed one for a book report. Tom Clancy doesn’t write simple little 100 page books, either. The man can spent an entire twenty page chapter describing, in intricate detail, the step-by-step process undertaken when a nuclear bomb is detonated. I’m pretty surethe teacher thought I was full of shit when I told her I read them. Most people in class were reading “age-appropriate” books, whatever the hell that means. And I read them a number of times. Sometimes in a single weekend. I probably should have undergone an intervention at that point, but that wasn’t really fashionable then. Or maybe it was, how the hell would I know? I was like 12.
Reading in high school was a bit boring. It was all required reading and school textbooks and such. When I got to college, it was more of the same thing. I was only there for like an hour. But reading the classics didn’t quite do it for me. Tom Clancy wasn’t writing books fast enough for me. Probably something about being a big shot author or something, who knows. Maybe he had a life? I know he bought some sports teams or something. Whatever, my dealer wasn’t giving me my product fast enough!!
For the next few years, I was still reading, but usually the same Tom Clancy books. Every once in a while I would pick one up and fly through it on the weekend. Then I had kids and started a business. Wasn’t much time left for reading. Then I decided to really go back to college again, and there was even left. But every other weekend, I’d start reading. Sometimes it would be a new book, sometimes one of my go-to books. But it kept me sane through some really tough stuff.
About a year after starting school, I picked up an iPhone. Then I picked up the Amazon Kindle app. Have you ever tried to read a book on an iPhone 3GS? I have. I probably ended up reading 40-50 books on that screen. Nobody believes me when I tell them that, but it’s true. I had the text size up a lot, and spent a lot of time swiping pages. It is a bit tricky, but definitely possible.
After a while, I finally decided to give in and upgrade to an Amazon Kindle. I had resisted, only because I knew what it was. It was a crack delivery system. Totally a razor and blades business model. I never do well in these scenarios. They totally know how to get to me. So of course, I bought one. I had received a gift card for $50, so I bought the device and a cover with a light on it. It was great, and I still use it all the time three years later. Probably one of the better investments I’ve made.
One of my main motivations for purchasing a dedicated reading device was the fact that I kept getting distracted when reading on the phone. It’s the same reason I don’t usually read on a tablet today. It’s just too easy to read something that then causes me to want to reference something on the Internet. Next thing I knew, I lost a half hour of reading time surfing Wikipedia. (Another addiction?). Staying on the dedicated device allowed me to focus on reading time.
Lately, the addiction has gotten pretty bad. I’ve been reading anywhere between five and ten books in a month. Random fiction is the current thing. Amazon Prime grants you two free books per month. One is from the Kindle Reading Library, and the other is a newer option called Kindle First, which lets you select one free book before it’s released. Pretty cool.
In addition to that, I’ve realized that spending between $6 and $10 per book can of course get expensive. Amazon is always offering books for a temporarily reduced costs… sometimes free, sometimes a dollar. Much better on the wallet. Sometimes it’s worth springing for more.
Oh well. I’m not giving it up, either. You can’t make me.