Notes & Stories: Kindle Edition

I finally tried reading on a Kindle this week. I have resisted getting one, because I really, really, really like books. And I really, really, really like libraries. Like, a lot. (Take a look at one of my bookshelves, and you’ll see that I love books in an intense way.)

These are the bookshelves of someone who loves books.
They do not indicate a propensity to read onscreen.

But in December, I finished reading a book and wanted to read the second in the series. When I went to the library website to request a hold, I saw that the sequel was only available as an eBook. What the heck! If that’s how things are going, I decided I’d have to give in and try reading onscreen.

Harper gave me a Paperwhite for my birthday, and I broke it in last weekend. It took me a few chapters to get used to it, but once I figured out how to reduce the font size so I didn’t have to “turn the page” every three sentences, reading got better.

My current assessment: Nothing beats the physical pleasure of reading a regular book. It’s easier on my eyes to read printed words on paper; I much prefer turning a page to touching a screen; books smell good. I still don’t like the size of the Paperwhite; I guess it’s small enough to be easy to carry around, but even with a smaller font size there’s still too much “page-turning.”

But holy moly, the Kindle wins for convenience and instant gratification. I finished the book I was reading, and was able to go online and borrow the sequel, immediately. I didn’t have to request a hold, or wait for the book to come to my local branch, or drive over the hill to pick it up. First book finished, second book started within ten minutes, and I was still in my pajamas, and it was awesome.

I’ve always hated the feeling of not having something to read. I hate when I’ve read my last library book and know that I won’t be able to get to the library until the next day. Now I will never have that feeling again.


My sister-in-law Kate sent me this list of LGBTQ sci-fi and fantasy novels. All them are going my reading list.

I’ve been trying to understand new-school social media. This NYT article about (young, straight, white, and what’s up with that) TikTok stars living in an L.A. house together and creating content all day long, every day, was fascinating. (Also, I’m old.)

And then there was this one in the LA Times, about how social media is leveling the playing field for dancers—as it is for writers, artists, musicians—as more diverse dancers are making it into the industry after building a following on social media.

Li Ziqi is a Chinese internet celebrity—8.5 million YouTube subscribers, 22 million on Chinese platform Sina Weibo. When her grandfather died, she moved back to the country to take care of her grandmother, and started posting videos showing life—mostly cooking—in the countryside. Her videos are incredibly soothing to watch, with background flute music playing during scenes of harvesting, foraging, and cooking. Good lord, I love the idea of having a giant iron wok over a wood-burning fire in my backyard.

The Bitter Southerner had a well-researched and well-written article about something I’d never heard of: steamed hoagies, a regional specialty in Knoxville, TN.

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