I have my new Kindle. I sit in my study at home and every morning I read my Columbus Dispatch and Washington Post and Nepszava, as well as some blogs. And of course, some books, any time I feel like it. While I don't read everything on my Kindle, I use it to read the fat books (Burlingame's Lincoln, for example), and those that I want immediately in hand (takes less than a minute to download a whole book!) because I am thinking about something the book ponders (Ryan and Cantor's Young Gun's). It goes almost without saying that I have many other books on it, from Shakespeare (all of it) to Jane Austen to Tolstoi to Yeats, to the Bible I read into these anytime I feel like it, in airpots and planes, and in my car waiting for snowstorms to calm. Now I know I will never be stuck without a book ever again. I promised this to myself during those lonely ten hours at at the Agra airport in 1987. I have been carrying books around ever since and that's why I have had to use chripractors from time to time. Now I just carry my Kindle. And I am still amazed by this great gift.
Bill Buckley used delight in talking about his visit to the University of Salamanca, the second oldest university in Europe. There was a room, not much bigger than my study at home, which housed the entire known literature of the West, as of the 13th century. The monks and scholars entered the room to do their studying. But they were notified by a sign above the arch, a bull of excumminication, signed by Pope Gregory IX: Remove a book from that library, and you go to hell.
That there are now more than one copy of each book is self-evident. That this is a great good is self-evident. It is good thing to remind ourselves of this massive fact, from time time. And we should be grateful that we have full access to the human mind, almost the whole of it, at any time, in any place. This is amazing.
9:06 AM / December 2, 2010