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My Kindle vs. My Conscience: Part 3 – My Kindle Karma [Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered]

This is the 3rd in a 4 part series. If you haven’t read the first 2 parts, you can read them HERE.


I knew what I must do: Frodo had to get rid of the ring. I had to get rid of the Kindle.

But how?  
I’d sell it on eBay, of course. I let the page load while I got myself a nice cup of hot tea, imagining all the things I could do with the wads of cash I’d get for my Kindle. I returned to my computer. Ah! Here we go. “K-I-N-D-L-E.” Wait a minute…let me get my glasses… my used Kindle is only going for how much? But…but…it’s hardly used at all! I have the original box and everything!
Surely that sad little number was wrong. This $400 piece of electronic gadgetry was going for a fraction of what my husband had paid. Sorry, Frodo. I did want to get rid of the Kindle, but how could I justify this? I’d have to find another way.
The holidays were approaching. I could re-gift it! I packed it up in the original box and set out for Ohio and a pre-Christmas celebration with my family.
But, my family draws names for Christmas, and follows a strict spending limit. It just wouldn’t be couth to re-gift a $400 Kindle – even a used one- when everyone else was opening $25 pajama sets from Target.
Maybe my mom would want it! She’d be bowled over by the thing, and I could just wave my hand away and say, “it’s yours” as if I could always send Jeeves out to fetch another.
I took it out of the box and showed it off.  Mom barely looked up from her coupon-cutting.  I  merely got an eye roll and some rumbling about the importance of supporting your local library.  I’d just have to take it back to L.A. with  me.

I was sitting on the airplane, Kindle in hand, when  I noticed I was getting checked out – a lot! Wow. I must really look good in this top. I guess my skin doesn’t look as bad today as I thought! Maybe they recognize me from TV – yes, that 5-second Nip/Tuck bit was very memorable.
Eyeballs peered out over magazines. Women shifted in their seats. I didn’t look THAT good. I realized
they weren’t ogling me at all; they were lusting after my Kindle!  That cute guy behind me wasn’t angling for a peek at my cleavage, he was scoping out my screen.
Still, it felt strangely satisfying to have something other people sought.
A professorial gentleman approached me.  “Is that one of those – what’d you call that?”
“A Kindle?” I offer. “Yes. Yes, it is.”
“How do you like it?” he licked his lips.
“I love it.”  The words flew out of my mouth. What am I saying? What about Frodo and God and Neale Donald Walsch? I flung the thought off of my shoulder.
The lady across the aisle peered over. Maybe she realized that if she had a Kindle, no one would know she was reading a paperback with a half-naked, half-kilted Fabio splashed across the front. 
“I’ve got bad eyes,” someone piped in from the emergency row. “Is it hard to read?”
“It’s called e-ink technology,” I say, as if I’d invented it. All of a sudden I was the geek-chic-it-girl and I was loving it.
I had come full circle on this trip. On my way East, I had been looking for a way to gracefully let go of the Kindle. On my way back West, I grew covetous of my Kindle, alternately clutching it to me and casually flaunting it.
We had a layover in Phoenix, and I was passing the time – you guessed it – by reading my Kindle. We were just minutes from boarding when we heard those magic words, “We’re looking for volunteers.”
We raced to the counter and came away triumphant, with $400 vouchers for the future travel, and $200 vouchers for food and lodging that night.
We breezed through check-in and went up to our room. “Woo hoo! Fancy!” I rolled across the aptly named Westin “Heavenly Bed.” It was plush and cozy, but the best feature was the ingeniously designed, individual reading lights above the bed.

You see, I’ve had one other issue with my Kindle: no built-in reading light. This tiny “Heavenly Bed”  reading lamp magically lit one side of the bed, with zero over-spill to the other side. Even the most sensitive, non-reading bedmate would be undisturbed by the reader’s light, and could fall blissfully asleep.
He slept. I read for hours.
How did it get so late? Bleary eyed, I laid my Kindle on the nightstand and set the alarm.  
I awoke to my husband shaking me awake,  shouting something about “twenty minutes to get to the airport!” I grabbed my bag, dashed onto the bus, zoomed through security, ran to the gate, and arrived just as the flight was closing. We settled in with a sigh of relief. I reached for my Kindle.
MY KINDLE! My hands clapped to my cheeks.
“You left your Kindle,” he surmised dryly.  
“Maybe it’s still there! If we call the hotel – “
“It’s the #1 item on everyone’s Christmas list this year.”
“I’m sure if we call as soon as we – “  
“It’s probably rewrapped and stuck in someone’s stocking by now.”
I refused to believe it. After all, I had worked at a hotel once – we always had people returning things! There were Good Samaritans everywhere, I argued.  As soon as we touched down in LA, I called the hotel. “We only just checked out a few hours ago. It’s a Kindle.”
“Lady, that’s the #1 item on everyone’s Christmas list this year.”
That was followed by a snicker and what sounded like a stampede to room 201.
This was my Kindle Karma.
I had been seduced by the power of the Kindle. And, even though I had planned to ditch it, when push came to shove, I couldn’t muster the guts to do it. So, the Universe ditched it for me. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
I returned to nice, normal, paper books. Dust jackets. Book marks. It felt good to turn real pages, read from them as my nieces and nephews splashed around at the lake, splay them across my chest should I an afternoon nap come to call.  
I woke from my sunkissed sleep, opened my eyes only to be blinded by the powerful glint and glare of an unidentified object. I squeezed my eyes shut, then slowly opened them again, squinting, shielding them from the flash off a shiny, sleek metallic shield.
In the center of the shield, brilliant light shot from a shimmering crest, an apple-shaped insignia so dazzling and dangerous it could only be forged in the fires of Mt. Doom.
The iPad had landed.   

Stay tuned for the 4th and final installment of “My Kindle vs. My Conscience” in the exciting conclusion, “God of Carnage, God of Kindle.”

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featured image credit: teoruiz