Monday, January 4, 2010


It is hard to say when it all began.  The day we could no longer stand piles of books on every side is probably a better starting point than when some sort of fish first crawled out of the sea.  The overwhelming stacks and shelves of books got to us in the summer.  It was the following spring that I thought the Kindle would be a good way to get books without taking up space and without the need to dust them and lift them.  Then, I found how many books are free on the Kindle.  Nearly all books are cheaper on the Kindle than on paper.

The next push Fate gave us was the part of our Hawaiian trip when we drove down the mountain we had just come up.  The driver wanted to introduce us to Hawaiian music and played his tapes and talked about it.  The gentleness, the rhythm, the tunes were captivating.  Next, we asked our guides about good Hawaiian musicians and first heard of  Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole.  I made a mental note to buy some of his music when I got home. 

At home, I did order some of Iz and some Keali'i Reichel.  I order from  They are fast and convenient and they seem to have good prices.  While buying my first Hawaiian music, I saw that the audio downloads, like the Kindle books, were cheaper than the CD's.  My green, enviromentally-conscious wife helped me be aware that the cost of shipping, handling, packing, driving and delivering are removed when something is downloaded, too.

Well, you know how it goes, down music and you get an MP3 file.  My computer can play such a file but I like to get away from the computer every now and then.  What is the world's most popular MP3 player?  The iPod!  So, we are now learning about iPods and iTunes.  Like the classics on the Kindle, many of the really great music is very inexpensive.  For me, that is means Mozart, Beethoven, Bizet, Rossini and that group.  Like the Kindle files, the songs and pieces of great music fit into a very, very small space.  No shelving needed, no dusting.

I love audiobooks and they may be the next thing to fool with.  I am a big fan of Lisette Lecat, the reader of Alexander McCall Smith's No.1 Ladies Detective Series, and of Ian MacKenzie, reader of Smith's Love Over Scotland series.

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