Wednesday, September 16, 2009, posted by Q6 at 11:27 AM
Give 'em a hug today.

This afternoon I'm attending a funeral for my 27-year-old cousin, the youngest of two siblings on that branch of my family tree. (He got frustrated, he got impulsive, and he did himself in.) My heart aches for his family, particularly for his older brother.

I'M an older brother, and I don't want to begin imagining what he must be going through. I will be seeing my brother today, and giving him a hug.

If you have a younger sibling, give 'em a hug.
Monday, September 14, 2009, posted by Q6 at 6:30 AM
So I bought a Kindle. I bought it about a month before they dropped the price sixty bucks, but I bought it. (Those who scrutinize my blog might notice that my reading list to the right now includes asterisks, indicating which books were Kindle-read.) I'm to the point now where I'm reading some titles on the Kindle and the "analog" versions of others.

I gotta say, I went back and forth on this purchase for a while. It wasn't that I didn't have an interest in the latest gadget . . . I did. And although SONY has it's own e-reader on the market (with upgrades coming out all the time), I'm confident that the Kindle isn't going anywhere (I did, however, wait until the second generation was available).

No, it was the idea of not being able to collect books that would go into my extensive and impressive home library that gave me pause. Another reason for my hesitancy was that I didn't want to be a part of that group that began the revolt against published books. And who was it that calmed my fears about all this?

Neil Gaiman, of course.

When my wife and I saw him in Santa Monica (at a reading of The Graveyard Book) he took pre-submitted questions for the Q & A. Mine, asking about the questionable survival of printed books in the digital age, was one of the first questions answered. Not only did he answer the question and calm my nerves--he said he enjoyed reading some books in print, and others on his own Kindle, and didn't worry about the downfall of the printing press in the least--but he backed it up with expert opinion. From who?

Douglas Adams, of course.

Gaiman and Adams were friends, and at one point he asked Adams about the survival of the printed book. Adams explained that:

"Books are sharks. There were sharks before dinosaurs and there are sharks now. And the reason that nothing has actually come along to replace the shark is, nothing is better at being a shark than a shark is. Nothing is better at being a book than a book is, given cost, given size, given what it takes to power it - mostly solar power! You can drop them without causing any major damage. And they're portable. And they're lightweight."

And so I bought a Kindle. I do, maybe, half my reading on it. And it's fine by me.

Oh, and my wife, who has a penchant for naming things, named my Kindle "Kitty." That forced me to change the voice reader on the device to female ("Kitty" is NOT a dude's name), and only later did I discover the second, lesser used definition of the word "kindle": a brood or litter, especially of kittens.