A rainy Sydney Sunday.
Wallington is finally reading words on a kindle – it’s not a book, obviously, it’s just words that aren’t really there – but it’s a big step because she’s a library lover. It’s normally part of our Saturday morning routine to swing by the library and grab a stack of hardbacks and cookbooks.
Then it’s a weekend of reading and cooking and drinking in the delightful world as we know it.
Not this weekend. It’s toast and a kindle. And grim, purposeful drinking. Who would have thought a slim device about the size of an entree (memories!) could so disrupt a happy household.
There’s been none of “Oh, I might make this…” from the sunroom as Wallington flicks through a colourful cookbook. No saute or flambe. The best thing about the weekend was having to decide for the first time whether a cabernet or a shiraz would go better with Vegemite.
Is this is the future without books?
Probably not. In Australia cookbooks are still the biggest selling sector of the market. Just ahead of that bloke who built the 39-storey treehouse, and Matthew Reilly who blew it up with 40-tonnes of explosives. Cooking shows still humanely slaughter everything on TV.
But the kindle has tilted our weekend off its axis.
I’ve been reading words on the kindle for years. Used in moderation, like methamphetamines, what could possibly go wrong? At the moment I’m reading a book version of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It’s big and better than twenty kindles. We still love our books.
That bookcase goes from floor to ceiling and there’s another one in the room across the corridor. That’s books bigger than me, and how it should be. Books that tower over me. A bookcase also looks great. It’s art and furniture. And dust.
A kindle is more like a drink coaster. Or a slice of bread in a toaster, like this weekend.
I know I can cook instead of waiting on Wallington, and do, and it’s a good thing to have routines disrupted. The kindle is welcome in our household. But I’m also glad that in a couple of hours we’ll head out into the wet world to watch a friend dance on a battleship in a Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras event called Cher The Love. Better than a grey screen.
If I could turn back time I would have had the shiraz with the Vegemite.