Whenever I take out my Kindle (which is whenever I travel, which is more than I can admit) I feel that exhilarating blend of guilt and thrill that I imagine people feel when they steal jewels.
Or ride JetSkis.
Actually, I would supposed that if I owned a JetSki, I wouldn't feel the same stew of shame and pleasure. If I were the sort who owned a JetSki, I'd jump on it with joyous abandon.
And yet, my Kindle is sort of the the electronic equivalent of a snowmobile -- an expensive thing that is not really necessary except for the few times it is and even then, it really isn't. For example, snowmobiles sometimes are used to rescue wrecked (and often inebriated) snowmobilers and, to be fair, innocent and injured skiiers. But those people were rescued before the invention of the snowmobile or at least couldn't get into the places they now can get into with a snowmobile.
I do use my Kindle for good -- for reading manuscripts by other writers, for downloading virtuous books such as 'Wuthering Heights,' 'The Things They Carried' and even 'The Deep End of the Ocean.'
But I also use it for reading the kind of books I wouldn't be caught dead reading in full view of anyone over the age of four. Here's my most recent fave:
How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better (Hardcover)
by Charla Krupp (Author)and over 100,000 other books are available for Amazon Kindle – Amazon’s new wireless reading device.
This is a really swell and useful book.
And yes, I could have saved hundreds of dollars and electricity simply slapping the cover of 'Remains of the Day' over guru Krupp's book. It didn't fit though. And I didn't try.
In fact, when I was immersed in 'How Not To Look Old,' I didn't care if I ever read another book. I was taking notes on the endpapers of important and serious British novels, on the pages of Sky Mall and on my hands. For me, it was a near-spiritual experience. That's how shallow I am.
And yet, I don't want people in airports to know that. I don't even want close friends to know that I care about what makes someone look YH (Young and Hip) instead of OL (Old Lady). I want people to think that I am so serious a person that I wouldn't even notice if I looked O, much less care.
I do, however, care. I know that people judge one by the size of one's butt as well as the tilt of one's brow. It is human nature -- the bad part. It is why the author photos of Danielle Steele have, over 20 years, been taken at a greater and great distance from the author, until, at some point, we will barely be able to make out Ms. Steele from a picture taken with a telephoto lens from two streets over.
Also, Krupp's book helped me get over a true obsession. I was unable, nearly phobic, about wearing a piece of clothing unless it was with the piece of clothing that "went" with it. Krupp pointed out that "matchy-matchy" was very OL -- even if the matchy-matchy pieces were delicious ones by Eileen Fisher. Metallic sandals are not for people who live in Dallas. They are "the new neurtrals." Wearing different shades and textures of one color (this was a killer for me) is YH -- and earrings and shoes not only need not, but should not, match.
Did you know that if you scrutinze your made-up face in natural light, you will usually learn you have put on too much rouge, and look like Joel Gray in 'Cabaret?'
Did you know that the most flattering skirt for any body is not the forgiving A-line but a slightly straight that hits slightly above the knee? Did you know that no matter what you're wearing and no matter what color your eyes are, if you are beyond a certain age (40) or a classy person of any age, the most flattering shade of eyeshadow is some kind of brown? Do you know that beyond a certain age (same one, 40), you shouldn't wear powder cosmetics because they drift like little snow patches into your wrinkles?
Did you know (this is my favorite) that some things that are intuitive are entirely wrong (e.g. You should spend $60 on an eyelash curler because the cheapies will rip up your eyes and $4.99 on mascara because it's probably as good as the $28-a-tube stuff and you're supposed to get rid of it every couple of months)?
After readng guru Krupp's advice, I ran home and raped and slew my closet and my makeup drawer.
And as I did so, I realized not only the answer to why I need eyeshadow primer, but why a disproportionate amount of the available Kindle library, which is expensive but not extensive, is composed of pornography and religion.
Causes Jacquelyn Mitchard Supports
National MS Society, Women Against MS, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, One Writer's Place