(Kruiser’s Permanote Description: This column is intended to be a lighthearted, short-form way to frequently connect with our cherished VIP readers. Sometimes it will be serious. Sometimes it will be fun. Sometimes it will be a cornucopia of intellectual curiosities and fascinations. OK, maybe not so much the last one. Anyway, as this is a departure for me, I’m including this explanation at the top of each post for a while. Also, non-subscribers can see the first couple of paragraphs so I am in desperate need of filler until we get to the private stuff (subscribe here). Please remember that there is a standing invitation to ask me anything in the comments. Once in a while, I’ll answer some of them.)
I have been a voracious reader ever since I was a little boy. When I was a schoolboy, I couldn’t even sit down to quickly eat a bowl of cereal in the morning without having something to read. Not only do I enjoy reading, but I am also a great lover of almost everything about books. I have been telling friends for years that my dream is to get rich enough that I can open a used book store that doesn’t make any money. When I first began doing stand-up, I would spend time in the college library writing material because that’s where I was most comfortable and creative.
Books are my jam.
Having said all of that, I would now like to share something that most book lovers would say is heresy: I love e-readers too, especially my Kindle. Or Kindles. I’m on my fourth one now.
I was all-in with e-readers long before the Kindle arrived on the scene. When Palm devices were all the rage for gadget freaks, one of my favorite things about them was that I could read books on them.
There is a good reason for my being able to swing both ways on this typically divisive issue. I have actual, raging, ADHD. The real thing, not the modern “everybody’s on Adderall” crap. My glitch makes me restless in a hurry while reading. I rarely get through more than ten pages in any book before wanting to pick up a different one. When I was younger — before the shrinks figured out my ADHD issue — I used to marvel at tales of people finishing a book in one day or night. That sounded no less difficult to me than someone telling me they’d just climbed Mt. Everest.
When I first hit the road to do stand-up full time, I liked to read during all of those hours that I had off between shows. I would, on average, bring at least five books with me on every trip, usually more. I kept doing that even after I became a headliner and started flying everywhere.
The suitcase was getting a little heavy after a while.
When I first discovered e-readers and could literally lighten my load, I was hooked.
An old girlfriend bought the first-generation Kindle for me as a gift. It was both clunky and a marvel. It was also expensive. She must have really liked me. Being able to slip all of my books into a backpack and not take up much space was a gamechanger for me.
As the technology got better, I fell deeper in love with each new Kindle.
The Kindle is so amazing that I don’t even have to have it with me. If I’m stuck in a line somewhere I can pull up one of my Kindle books on my phone.
If it’s a particularly long book, I can read it on my Kindle, listen to it on Audible, and my progress will keep synching up on each platform so I can bounce back and forth with ease. That may not sound like much to you, but to someone with my attention problems, it’s one of the greatest technological miracles of the 21st century.
I would say that I have heard all of the arguments that old-school book lovers have against Kindles, but there’s really only one, and it’s not an argument. It’s a two-part feeling, and it’s always the same: They like the feel and the smell of books. I’m not sure if they’re reading them or initiating foreplay with them.
I like the words in the books. How they get to my brain matters little to me. The electronic reader era is heaven here in Kruiser Land.
I feel the same about reading newspapers on my phone or tablet. People are always going on about liking the feel of a newspaper in their hands. As someone who used to subscribe to both The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times Sunday print editions, I can assure you that I don’t miss having ink all over my hands at all.
I never really thought about having anything buried with me until I wrote this. I’m going to keep an updated list of favorite books in my will. When I die, I want them all loaded onto my most recent Kindle and slipped in there for my trip to the great beyond.
I’m going to need something to do in Purgatory.