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Tough Time, Lent

     So I decided to give up my Kindle for Lent. “So what? What’s so hard about that?” you say.

     Well, I guess you don’t know me—I’m on my third Kindle already. And I got a bright red cover for it so I can find it when I’m rummaging around in my purse, trying to find it among the debris of an unremarkable life: the worn credit card holder, the cellophane around one lonely pocket Kleenex, somewhere at the bottom is an orange rattail comb—remember those?—and a bunch of un-trashed receipts.

     I’m addicted. If I leave home without my Kindle, I have to, HAVE TO, turn around and go home and get it. When I’m going out to eat, my Kindle’s ready—for those times when I’m sitting there, waiting for the others to show up, or if I’m eating single, my Kindle entertains me while I enjoy my blueberry pancake smothered in maple syrup and melted butter. The flexible cover sets up neatly, placing the electronic page upright before me.

     You have to understand. I retired. I never had time to read while I was working, raising a family ’n all that. I got a Kindle and reintroduced myself to the art of reading. I started out slowly, bought a few books and WOW! They download in a nano-second and appear in your list of books, ready to be opened—or, shown up on the screen, you could say. By the end of the first month, I had to go to the library—books there are free. Books on the Kindle cost a lot of money when you buy one every other day.

     The library gig didn’t last long—a few months as I recall. Trouble was, when I was hankering for a good book to read in bed and I’d finished reading the three I’d checked out, there was my Kindle—just waiting to sell me a fascinating new book. And I could get it in seconds.

     The final step in my becoming a Kindle Addict was when I signed up for Amazon Prime. Or you might say the final step was when I bought the Kindle Light. That’s a Kindle you can read in the dark. The pages light up, unlike the pages of a real book, so at night you can snuggle up against your pillow and disappear into the lives of stranger people than yourself.

     For a small annual fee, Amazon Prime gives you lots of freebies to keep you coming back to the Amazon bookstore. You can borrow up to ten books at a time for free; you get a choice of one of four new releases—free—at the first of every month; and daily deals appear on your screen every time you pick up your Kindle Delight. Oops—Freudian slip—your Kindle Light. They’re not free, but only cost two or three dollars, Click! One more book!

     I’ve been sticking to my Lenten sacrifice. I haven’t touched my Kindle since Ash Wednesday. Not once. It’s tough, though. Really tough. I’ve been reduced to watching the Republican primary debates and all the profound (?) commentaries that come after. I watch the Democrats, too, but you gotta admit, they’re not quite as entertaining. I read a newspaper now and then, do a crossword puzzle or two—not very well—and sometimes I just sit with my cup of coffee and watch the people around me.

     Now that’s something you’ll never find on a Kindle.

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