As I write this, I have been the obsessive owner of an Amazon Kindle for 36 hours.

Nobody could be more surprised by that statement than I am. Because even if trying out the Kindle is part of my job—and even if I did concede just two weeks ago that e-readers may finally be getting some traction—I can’t say I was expecting to becoming a user, let alone a passionate one.

I’m no Luddite, but I like the old-fashioned book delivery system. I like the feel of the book in my hands; I like the accumulating weight of the pages against my left palm as I read, I even like the slightly beat-up physical quality of a book after I’ve finished with it: the slightly askew jacket and corner-bent pages, the odd coffee stain, are the physical record of my engagement. I like those books on my shelves, too, standing evidence of my past and my progress.

Which is why I’m so surprised that within hours of receiving the Kindle, I had downloaded four books and one day’s edition of the New York Times. It was just so easy and cheap. (Okay, I don’t always pay for my books, but the $10ish price inspired me to push a button rather than place a call.) There’s only one wire involved, and it goes from the Kindle to the wall to charge the battery. But the coolest thing turned out to be how I could get stuff from Amazon without logging on or giving a credit card number. (You buy the Kindle from Amazon, and thus they have your payment info; it took 30 seconds to have Anne Enright’s Booker Prize—winning The Gathering show up on my screen.)

Others have already written about the various tech problems in using the Kindle: that it’s all too easy to inadvertently push the “next page” button, or a problem with lighting. To those I’d add only that the largest-size font didn’t seem all that large to middle-aged me. Still, there’s a huge difference between obtaining a book abracadabra and actually reading it. Once the novelty of the thing wears off and I stop downloading titles at lunch to impress agents, will I actually curl up and read any of the books I bought this way?

It’s obviously too early to tell, but I have already noticed something that reminds me of a truism about the last great book-format revolution, audiobooks: to wit, that there are some titles you would never listen to instead of read, and some you’d never read or own in the more traditional format but which work fine in holiday traffic.

In my brief foray into Kindle-land, I’ve come to some of the same conclusions. I’ve read a few chapters of The Gathering and I like it very much. Ditto, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Eat, Pray, Love. But somehow, I think I’ll probably scare up old-fashioned editions of those books, all the better to warp with bathwater, watch pile up on my bookshelf or loan to friends. But the book that has been obsessing me lo these many hours is one I meant to but never did and maybe never would get to: it’s a new true-crime tale about a woman who murdered her investment banker husband: Never Enough by Joe McGinniss.

I’m not sure I’d call it great literature, but it’s one of hell of a page-turner.

Or maybe I mean pixel-scroller.

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