Keeping Kindle

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I’ve got a confession to make. I like the oldies, but goodies. I still hum the Beach Boys, Ba Ba Ba, Ba, Barbara Ann, to my year-old grandson. I put gravy and vinegar on my French fries like I did as a kid. I love vintage jewelry and classic-cut clothes. Change is not hard for me, and I love watching technology move along…but I can’t help liking nostalgic kinds of things. So it seems to not surprise anyone when I pull out my original pristine white Kindle. It was here that I downloaded my debut novel, Run, River Currents, to my Kindle—a thrill for any first-time author.

I remember that day so vividly; I was lying on a white beach in Mississippi, the day a summer-south kind of hot that made you sweat in air-conditioning. The day was bright, but it was no match for the clarity the Kindle gave me in the full sunlight, something my iPad cannot match. I was perched under a big, colorful umbrella, letting the sun bounce off my brilliant white legs while I read my latest download, Grace Unexpected. My cell phone rings, and I recognize the number—my book manager. “It’s up!” she gleefully tells me. “The book?” I cry. “Yes!” I slam the phone down, and within 30 seconds I am reading MY book!

So, it is no wonder that, when I returned a few weeks later from a business trip and pulled my now-famous Kindle (because I was an author and downloaded there) from my briefcase to charge it, I was horrified to see a small black square in the upper right-hand corner of my device. “NOOOOOOOOOO,” I screamed. “Not my Kindle!” My husband rushed to my side, thinking I had crushed a foot or broken my arm. Examining my Kindle, he declared it to be broken.

I slumped into my office chair and placed my left hand over my eyes. “What am I going to do now?” “Get a new one, honey!” he cheerfully offered. “I can buy you one for Christmas!” Now I have been married to this man for over 40 years. You’d think by now he’d understand me. This man knows I’ve kept underwear as long as we’ve been married. What on earth was he thinking? My glare had him backing out of the room within seconds.

Faced with the overwhelming dilemma of whether to replace my old friend, I went to the Kindle website and requested a call from the service department; I thought I’d beg them to fix my old Kindle or replace it with something identical. I was surprised that the call came within the five minutes they’d promised with a service person who empathized with my situation. I explained the love I had for my original Kindle and the reason it meant so much to me. She told me about her own fascination with vintage items and her love of reading. I felt like she was family, listening to my problems and giving me advice as though she were my sister. She even promised to download and read my novels. Kindle had sent me just the perfect person to understand my predicament. Within moments, we had determined that my original Kindle would need to be put to rest.

To my surprise, Kindle offered me a refurbished replacement with a full one-year warranty for a discounted rate! No, it would not have the buttons I was so fond of. Instead, it would be replaced by a touch-screen model. I had to admit, that sounded terrific. In fact, since I’d bought my iPad, I found myself trying to touch-screen everything from my push button cell phone to my television set. So we agreed, Miss Service Tech and I, that I would “try” the new refurbished Kindle. She agreed that if I didn’t like it, I could return it for a full refund within the trial period.

Imagine my surprise when, a few days later, a new Kindle showed up at my door. I was skeptical that I’d like this new model and turned it over in my hands several times, exploring the nooks and crannies of the unfamiliar device before turning it on.

As quickly as my trepidation had arrived, it disappeared when I turned it on. The delightful service agent had been true to her promise. She had made sure my Kindle books had been transferred to this new device before it was sent—and there, under “Ginger’s Kindle” was my personal library, ready to go. At the top of the list were my own books, Run, River Currents and The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance.

It’s been a marvelous transition from the old to the new. Kindle made it easy for me by allowing me to replace my old model with a quality refurbished new model. Since then, I have purchased two Kindle Fires as gifts for family members, all because I was made to feel like part of the new Kindle family.

So with the New Year coming, I’ve put away a lot of the old, including my dearly beloved original device. But I’m keeping Kindle. It’s just a much prettier model. And by now you know this much about me: I can handle change!

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