The only books I buy are poetry books, and I’m very possessive of them. I’ve been thinking of getting an e-reader to be more environmentally friendly. What is your opinion of them? And which one is better for reading poetry, the Kindle or the Nook? — Austin

 

Well, first things first, let me make a disclaimer by announcing that I am not tech-savvy. Here’s what I know:  I got a Nook for Christmas and promptly returned it after discovering how few poetry books I could read (not one contemporary book and limited canonized books). The only allure was that I could read Llama, Llama Red Pajama in color. On the Kindle, however, I discovered that I could read The Best American Poetry anthology for 2008, 2009, 2010, as well as Noose and Hook by Lynn Emanuel and Human… More…

 

I just bought a Kindle. I am surprised at myself for doing so. Despite its cute retro name, the Kindle is mostly bought by people who are techno-centric, which I am not. It’s true that I now live with a large flat-screen television — but that wasn’t my idea. I also happen to have five computers in my home — but search me as to how they got there (for all I know, one of them procreated with the printer to produce the other four).

Of course, the Kindle was designed to fool people like me. The name Kindle suggests a homely frontier staple (re: spindle) with a spiritual patina (“let us now bow our heads as we kindle the Sabbath lights”). It’s clear the marketers were interested in attracting the Whole Foods crowd and a good… More…

For several years I lived up a rutted, single-track dirt road on an island a 20-minute ferry ride off the coast of Maine. And each morning at my front door I beheld a small miracle of commerce: there lay The New York Times, neatly encased in its jaunty blue plastic bag, undeterred by distance, rough seas, or substandard road maintenance.

That miracle was repeated right up until the day my perpetually put-upon delivery person somehow got her car wedged crosswise in some ruts, then knocked over the neighbor’s garbage in the getting out, loudly sending a couple dozen beer bottles caroming across the road. When I pulled my newspaper from its bag that morning, a scrawled note on a scrap of brown paper fluttered out: “This road sucks,” it read. “I will deleiver here no more.”

She was good to her word.

I thought of her this summer,… More…