Sunday, January 20, 2013

Say! I Like Them

Maddie made green pancakes for breakfast this morning.

You can't taste the spinach at all!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Indefinite Subway Reading Commitment

2013! A year far in the future!

One of my more makeable new year's resolutions is to start reading more. Specifically, I mean reading more while I'm on the subway, as opposed to doing the NY Times crossword puzzle app on my iPhone with my left hand while hanging onto the overhead bar with my right hand. I got hooked on this commuter behavior shortly after purchasing the iPhone. Then I looked up at Christmas and realized I'd only read like two books since springtime, and I got sad.

(Noted in passing: one of my other more makeable resolutions is to start writing more again, which means writing at all, and which means here on the blog. Hello again!)

Anyway, I of course immediately adjusted my behavior with no difficulty. Since I got a Kindle for Christmas (thanks, parents!) I can impulse-buy reading material now. I've been skeptical about the whole Kindle thing, basically on account of being old-fashioned about books, but I like the impulse-buy angle. For example, all the political blogs ran obituary appreciations of Richard Ben Cramer a last week, who I'd never heard of, but I could immediately impulse-buy What It Takes, which I'd just learned was a classic account of the 1988 presidential primaries. Just a couple of screen taps, and boom, I'm into the Amazon store and automatically charging ten dollars to Maddie's credit card somehow.

So that's one aspect of Kindle book buying. Another aspect is that it's not extremely apparent how long a book is. For example, I got about five chapters into What It Takes (which starts out with a kind of intertwined biography of George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, which is a lot more absorbing than it might sound) before getting curious about its length. In real life, the book is famously long, 1,072 pages long; the paperback edition weighs a pound and a half. Who knew!

I'm enjoying myself with it immensely, so no complaints (I'm into the initial encounters now with the personages of Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart), but it's funny to only catch on to an Indefinite Subway Reading Commitment well after that commitment has been made. And it still doesn't feel like physical size, just an endless procession of page-turning screen taps.

Meanwhile, Maddie goes on standby this week and she gets the Kindle, since I told her back when I was still skeptical about the whole Kindle thing (i.e., sometime before a week ago) that she can take it any time she wants. So I guess I'll pick up a New Yorker or something? I dunno, man, resolutions are hard.