Reading time (and energy) are not in huge supply at the moment so I’m trying to limit my reading goals to five books. It has been quite disheartening to see the reading pile on my side of the bed growing each week while I have managed to get through a paltry 10 to 20 pages a night. Getting a Kindle temporarily stopped the acquisition of new paperbacks but then, inexplicably, my Kindle vanished. I had just finished Silver, Andrew Motion’s sequel to Treasure Island and I was deciding what to read next when the Kindle just disappeared. Not magically, as in Harry Potter, but very annoyingly. I thought if I just kept looking for it I would find it. But no. And of course, unlike with a cellphone, you can’t just ring up your Kindle and see where you’ve left it.
This was just before the Easter weekend and as we left For Betty’s Bay that Friday I had to admit to myself that the Kindle had well and truly gone. There was a small chance that some opportunistic thief had fished it out of our bedroom window but far more likely was the option that it had fallen out of Leah’s pram on a walk and that someone had picked it up.
On Easter Saturday I started getting text messages that someone was buying content on my Amazon account. I was sitting reading in bed when the first message came through, letting me know that somebody had bought an Adam Phillips book. I was shocked. What are the chances of a psychologist picking up my Kindle? Then I realised what had happened. The finder was playing around with their new toy and had read a sample of a book (On Balance) and had clicked on “Buy now”. I managed to de-link the Kindle from my Amazon account and then went back to bed, a little nervously, hoping that this was the extent of the damage.
Sure enough, less than a hour later, another message came through telling me that the finder had bought a musical biography on some rock musician I hadn’t heard of (Jerry somebody). Anyway, to cut a long story short, I managed to take my credit card details off my Amazon account and that stopped the purchases. The second purchase was probably shortly after the first and the message was delayed in coming through. I also went on to Gumtree and found a second-hand Kindle for sale which sounded exactly like mine. I sent a few messages to the seller who didn’t bother to reply. I tried calling but he didn’t answer. So eventually I gave up and went back to the compuer store and got another one.
It’s been great to be re-united with a Kindle and also to be re-united with the books that I had bought (since they remain available at Amazon to be downloaded again). I did feel terrible about being stupid enough to lose it in the first place. I know exactly where it happened as well. I was taking Leah to L’s granny’s memorial service and I remember taking the pram out of the car and putting it down on the ground. The Kindle must have fallen out then and I was too focused on Leah and getting to the memorial service to be extra vigilant about checking the road for misplaced items.
Anyway, no lasting damage done (except to my bank account) and I have another incentive to be extra careful in future.
Reading-wise, I am limiting myself to five books:
- Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
- The Boat (Nam Le)
- The Real Self (James Masterson)
- Awakening the Dreamer (Phillip Bromberg)
- Changing my mind (Zadie Smith)
That should keep me busy for a while. Two interesting novels, two psychology books and a book of essays. Phillip Bromberg is a self psychologist and he writes very well on the subject of dissociation. James Masterson was the founder of the Masterson institute in New York and pioneered a new way of working with personality disorders.
Of course I’ll probably end up downloading Karl Ove Knausgard’s memoir of his dad instead. It’s been a massive bestseller in Norway and the sample I’ve read so far has been really good. He writes with a novelist’s eye for details about growing up with an authoritarian father (who then leaves his family, becomes an alcoholic and dies in a car accident) and then contrasts that with his own experience of being a father. The ‘new’ generation of fathers are now facing what mothers have grappled with for decades. How to balance good parenting with a career and having some sort of life of your own. Definitely a genre that I would like to explore in future.