While on our recent “hiatus” from social media, Lana and I went to Maine. We stayed at a house kindly lent to us by some blog friends of Lana’s. We had a great time and I’ll post more about that journey later. Today I want to talk about my addiction—to reading. And about the problems it caused me on this trip.
I used to travel with a suitcase of clothes and a briefcase of books. I’d take ten or twelve different paperbacks so I’d have a choice in reading material. I no longer do this because I have a Kindle loaded with hundreds of volumes. As we headed to the airport Thursday, I took only the Kindle and the one paper book I was reading, Three Blind Mice by Ed McBain. I finished the McBain on the flight so, after arriving at our vacation home that evening, I pulled out my electronic library and turned it on. Nothing happened.
I had just charged the battery so I didn’t think that was the problem. Still, I dutifully hooked up the charger. Again, nothing happened. Not even the indicator light came on. I tried a reset. That didn’t work. I hopped on the net with my laptop to research solutions. None of them worked. I initiated a chat with Amazon support but they couldn’t help either. My Kindle, which I’ve had since February 27, 2009, was dead. I was without reading material.
I began to shake, and even though I’d been reading only a few hours before I felt immediate withdrawal pangs. Just the thought that I couldn’t read if I wanted to was enough to undermine my equilibrium. Despite this, I somehow managed to sleep.
Lana and I were up early Friday and hit the shore to explore and take pictures. On the way back we passed through the town of Winter Harbor and stopped at a 5 and 10 store. They had some nonfiction stuff, mostly birding books and local geographies. I certainly read a lot of nonfiction but my “addiction” is to fiction, to “stories.” Fiction is my heroin. Nonfiction is more like methadone. I did find a book on the ghosts of Maine, which I bought. I also asked every place we went if there were a local bookstore. The checkout lady at the IGA told us there was. It was only two blocks away and was called Serendipity. Serendipity indeed!
Within minutes we arrived in the parking lot of Serendipity. I could see a book display in the window as we walked up and my withdrawal pangs began to dissipate. Then we came to the front door, which was locked, and found a sign that read: “Closed Friday through Monday.” We were in town precisely from Friday through Monday.
I did not panic, though. On the way in from the airport on Thursday afternoon we’d seen a used bookstore along US Highway 1. It was a long drive but we needed to go into a bigger town to find Lana some photography stuff anyway. So, we headed out. I parked almost in front of the door of the bookstore and immediately noticed two things. First, the big plate glass windows were chock full of books and I could already see numerous titles that I wanted to read. My fingers and eyes began to itch with the need. But there was a second thing to notice. This door too had a sign. It read: “Closed at Three Today.” Our car clock read 3:20. No fiction for me.
To Be Continued: