From drooling wimp to reading aficionado
I don’t think I read one required book cover-to-cover in all of high school (sorry, teachers!). I didn’t enjoy reading, much to my mom’s dismay. Spark and Cliff notes eliminated the “need” to dig through the deeper meanings with tomes like Homer’s The Odyssey. I skated through high school, inspired by my brief overviews and a charismatic charm that filled in the missing plot gaps. It mostly worked.
In college, reading for enjoyment actually clicked. My grades improved and I found extra time to catch up on what I had missed. There was a simple equation: Read more to write better. Suddenly this drool-inducing, boredom-ensuing activity became relaxing and rewarding. I saw the value of it all.
A 21st century device for an age-old pastime
The transition from book avoider to avid reader was cemented by the purchase of an Amazon Kindle in college. As a nerd, geek, and all-around techie, the Kindle was the perfect blend of generations – reading power in the 21st century. When the slimmer, sleeker 3rd generation device launched, I purchased one immediately. It’s been with me ever since.
From Costa Rica to New York City, it was always with me. I chucked it onto the kitchen table, stuffed it into my backpack, and spilled a glass of orange juice into the keys. Frankly, I treated it like another paper-based book. Despite my harassment, the Kindle followed suit and kept up with my travels. Now, around four years of age (about 40 in tech years), I regret to inform you that it’s died.
When I got to school today, it refused to turn on. I followed a number of troubleshooting guides, too – no luck. There was nothing I could do, as the screen simply wouldn’t wake up or change pictures.
This shouldn’t be my gut reaction…
You might wonder why I’m writing about an inanimate object, when I aspire and espouse for a minimalist and anti-materialist lifestyle. Thanks for keeping me honest, readers! The real reason is that the loss of one object often begets a question: What’s next?
What should I get? What will be a frugal upgrade? Should I even buy another? How about a tablet, instead? What’s my price range?
Despite the eulogy, it’s felt more like an inconvenience on the way to an upgrade – another lifestyle inflation. The rapid replaceability swept the feelings of loss quickly under the rug. As I work to right my budgetary problems, this seems like room for error. The immediate reaction to buy another something – better and possibly more expensive – speaks to a disrespect for the exchange of money.
In the past, my gut reaction would be to purchase that next new device. Instead, I’m going to wait and make a frugal, informed decision that feeds my desire to read and fuels my budget. That is what’s next for me.
When you break something, what’s your gut reaction? Have you ever immediately purchased a new item to replace the broken? Or, do you take time before buying another?