Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bilgere and the Kindle Lending Library

Once in a while, I read the poem of the day on The Writer's Almanac.  I follow that blog on my own main blog page and each day I can see what poem and poet are featured.  Whenever George Bilgere (sounds like the French for train station "gare", or English "glare" with no L)  shows up, I make sure to read it.  The first poem of his I ever read was "Once Again, I Fail to Read an Important Novel."  My favorite course, which discussed the reading adults had done over their lifetime, showed me many people who had meant to read Moby Dick for decades but once again, over and over, failed to do so, while enjoying "Locker Room Lust" or some other hot book many times.  Here is a link to the Writer's Almanac archive of Bilgere poems.  If you read a few, you can see why Garrison Keillor and Billy Collins, former US poet laureate, recommend Bilgere and highlight his work.

At the end of each day's poem, there is a link to an Amazon book containing that poem.  I liked "Tamed", about a young boy/man wrestling with the dual aspects of mowing the lawn, rebellion and dislike of the task on one hand and pride and improving picture of himself as a competent accomplisher on the other.  So, I clicked on the Amazon link.  I like to check to see if any book of interest is in Amazon format.  (There is a link on nearly every book's page to urge it be in Kindle format if it isn't.)  The poem was in The White Museum and that book was free!  

I was very surprised.  On second look, I saw that it was free IF borrowed on my Kindle.  But, it was $9.99 to buy.  Even though I like having books on the Kindle, I am economically astute enough to borrow under those circumstances.  To borrow a book, you have to use the actual Kindle, not a computer or web site.  On most Kindles, the menu include borrowing for a title that can be borrowed, if you don't have a book on loan already.  To borrow, one selects that option.  If you do already have a book borrowed from Amazon itself, not a local library, two conditions apply.  
  • First, you must not have borrowed a book for at least a month.
  • Second, the book you have must be returned.  
The weird thing to me is that a month has to have elapsed, regardless of whether you return the book or not.  If you borrow, don't like the book or finish with it quickly and return it, you still have to wait a month to borrow another.

I did borrow the excellent "White Museum" and read all the poems in it in a couple of days.  Now, I still have the book and can read a few of the better poems to Lynn.  The Kindle lending library has no due dates.  Once borrowed, I can keep the book for as long as I want, a nice feature.  But, I can't borrow another for a month, regardless.

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Main web site: Kirbyvariety

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