Keen on Kindle

The word is out in the gate guard community that there are a whole lot of you down here, waiting for a gate.

First, Welcome!

We’ll be joining you soon as our gate closes out on Wednesday.

Maybe we’ll get to meet some of you while we all wait.

I’m trying to think of something I haven’t already written about that might be of some help to you?

I’ve covered the need for a cell phone booster, an easy satellite dish you can just toss in the yard, mouse proofing your rig and getting accustomed to caliche, wild pigs, tarantulas, snakes, guard donkeys, mad bulls  and real friendly cows. I don’t think I’ve written much about books.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.           ~C.S. Lewis

During the hours that the gate isn’t real busy, Heidi and I both love to read. One of the luxuries we don’t have is the space or money to buy books. The ones I’m interested in are rarely free at the library or on the sales rack at donation stores.

I was surprised to find that we were often in a town that was too small for a library or a town where the library won’t grant temporary cards. We spent 5 weeks half way between Gonzales and Shiner. Gonzales has a population of app. 20,000 and a large library where we couldn’t check out books. Shiner, population 2000, had a little, but very accommodating library.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. ~Groucho Marx

In total, we spent almost 9 months in Gonzales county – most of the time near the town of Nixon, where we’ve now read every library book on the shelf except for a few art and bios and the children’s section.

I finally gave in on our trip back to Iowa last month and had my daughter order Kindles.

If you’re happy with a basic model, the price is down to  $79. There are used ones for even less.

If you’re a reader you probably already have one.

I’m generally the last to buy the latest and greatest when it comes to technology.

Honestly, I just like the feel of a real book or a real newspaper.

But it’s not practical out here in the remote back roads of Texas.

Here are a few things I’ve enjoyed in my month of Kindling. I love the fact that the dictionary is right there with every word you read and highlighting and note taking are so simple. I like never losing my place – that’s amazing!

Did you know that you can check out library books on your Kindle? Since Heidi and I still have Cedar Rapids library accounts, they graciously allow us to browse the on-line shelves and reserve the latest Ed Gorman or Lorna Landvik. You can also do that at the town or city nearest your gate, if they have on-line accounts.

There are sites for free books like:  Booksprung

There are also bargain book sites where you can buy Kindle books for $.99 like: eReaderIQ

I’m new to this and I’m sure there are many more.

JL wrote and added these:

Don’t forget the Kindle Lending Library – http://amzn.to/tUlApm

Sign up for Amazon Prime (which also gets you free TV/movie streaming similar to Netflix as well as 2-day shipping on Amazon products) and you can check out 1 book a month (with no due date) from a selection of over 5,000 books.

Also check out http://lendle.me/

You can even buy a membership to the New York Public Library for $40 a year. You might want to browse their e-book selection first to make sure it’s worth your investment. Kindles aren’t just for reading. There are free and not quite free game apps, puzzles etc…

‘The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others and it becomes the property of all.  ~Voltaire

kindle – The verb is related to Old Norse kyndill,  a candle or torch. If you’re far from home, or far from a friendly, accessible library, and even if you’re not, nothing can hold a candle to a Kindle.

For Want Of Interesting Characters

January 17, 2011 by Debbie

We’ve officially completed 3 weeks of gate guarding in Tilden. This particular gate was supposed to be a 3-6 week assignment, so we’re either  half-way done or all but finished.

Around 5pm the sun finally came out. How funny that in Oregon, famous for rain, rain never bothered me. The ocean storms were always interesting and on most rainy days there would be periods of sun. Here the days of rain seem kind of gloomy.

Our struggle with technology continues as my new AT&T phone blacked out semi-permanently. Tomorrow, Heidi is off to Alice (a town that actually has an AT&T store) to trade our phones in for ones that, hopefully are a little more reliable.

On the way home, she’ll make a library trip to return the books we’ve read and the books we’ve rejected. I’m struggling to find books that I really want to read, now that I have all the time in the world to read for pure pleasure.

I think I know why, but I’m not keen on the reason. I seem to be going through a phase where I don’t want to read about or watch (TV/movies) characters I don’t like. I don’t have to like all of them, but I want to like at least one semi-main character.

With that standard, many, possibly most of the classics would fall into my reject pile. I just finished reading a book where I hated the story line and the writing was only fair but I liked all 4 of the characters. I’m working my way through The Girl Who Played With Fire and feel like I should love it, but I don’t.


Ironically, my sudden need to ‘like’ fictional characters comes at a time in my life when I’m less concerned than I’ve ever been about being liked myself. I have no idea if there’s a connection?

I do have some idea about why being liked is less important to me. I’ve made many decisions over the past 5 years that have caused people who once really “liked” me to stop “liking” me.

What that tells me is that they never actually liked me, they liked (approved of in some cases) my behavior/choices. The sum total of my actions does not equal my essence, my heart or my spirit. So both being liked and not being liked means a lot less than it used to. One the other hand, being loved means a whole lot.

So I guess I like the characters that I think I know and I love the people who know me and love me for the knowing.

By the way, the bulls came back. Henry snorted but was too afraid to bark, I shooed and threw rocks and banged pots and Heidi set off the alarm in the Jeep. The bulls stayed. They were clearly here before us and intend to stay after we’re gone. I don’t know that happened to that helicopter round-up. Maybe they should have rented cowboys.