Elegy for a broken Kindle

Yesterday, after seven years of loyal service, my Kindle died.

eBooks aren’t my favourite reading medium (the order, for anyone who’s interested, goes 1) real books (obviously), 2) audiobooks, 3) eBooks, 4) reading classics on Project Gutenberg on the screen of your computer because you’re too lazy to download them as proper eBooks), but it did hold an important place in my reading life and now it is dead and I shall mourn.

Seven years ago, I had just moved to Canada. I didn’t know how long I’d be here and, at the time, I had a serious aversion to ever giving away books. Even if I absolutely loathed a book, I’d still hold onto it to “build my library”.

[Side note: I’ve long since abandoned this obsessive need to keep all my books, but that’s a story for another time.]

But I had a problem — I lived in a condo in downtown Toronto with barely any furniture and certainly not enough space to store all the books I tend to get through each year. The solution seemed simple, I’d just buy a Kindle and use it until I moved back to Ireland, which would surely be the following year.

One year turned into seven and eventually, I slipped back into my hardcopy-book-buying ways. The to-be-read pile beside my bed grew to unmanageable levels and yet the little Kindle still hung around, often overlooked but never fully abandoned.

It became my go-to travelling companion, ensuring I wouldn’t have to cart multiple books on a plane for fear that I’d finish one novel with five terrifying hours of flight left to go. It could slip into even the smallest of my bags, meaning I never had to face morning commutes on the TTC without easy access to a book. It was meant to travel Canada with me, freeing up vital space in the car for camping gear and clothes.

But now… now it is dead. Stuck forever in some screen-burned limbo, never to be read again.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get another eReader, but if I do I’m sure it won’t be as good as you, little Kindle. I hope you’re kicking back in the library in the sky knowing that you provided some measure of comfort and convenience to an Irish girl who may not always have treated you kindly but always used you well.

RIP, Alex’s Kindle: 2011 – 2018.

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