The Dilemma of an E-Reader


We all know things get worse as the years creep by. We don’t become wiser nor do we get any closer to the truth that we were so keenly after. In fact, it all becomes hazier not unlike a glass of iced water with the Pernod anise added to it but without the benefit of its sweet unctuousness. Perhaps that’s why, as we get older, we tend to throw caution to the wind and indulge in the Absinthe more often than might be good for us. Who cares? Does it really matter afterwards? I mean, we can never discount the possibility, no matter how distant, we would regret not having indulged even a bit more. So, let me be wise at least in the ‘reckless’ department.

I used to wear glasses which miraculously became superfluous in my middle years. Was I being rewarded for having been good? Who was looking after me, when I was told over and over again, that if you persist in doing that, you will go blind and encourage hairs to sprout on the inside of your hands and everybody will know!  Always keep hands above the blankets, think of ice bergs and what happened to the Titanic. Failing that, think of an approaching train with your head tied to the rails.

You are at the beginning of a calamitous journey into blindness with your right eye showing a clear stage of ‘degenerative macular’ disease. Well, not exactly in those words. But the eye specialist comforted me, with ‘it is quite common in getting older’ that eye sights might diminish somewhat. The ‘somewhat’ is something the specialist had been trained to say, depending on the level of alarm those first words of a more sinister ‘macular’ and ‘degenerative’ might cause.

Fortunately my left eye is needle sharp and I could even read the smallest print on a Jaguar car catalogue he was showing me.  I bet he had just bought a Jaguar. No doubt earned from his lucrative specialists business. I noticed his waiting room was full of patients with thick glasses, all at different levels on their macular degenerative journey! Perhaps, he was flipping through the catalogue in between patients. Good for him.

With my left eye being still close to perfect, I briefly thought of it perhaps being related to being right handed and therefore having spared my left eye in conjunction with hardly ever using my left hand. Who knows? Science sometimes brings out surprising results. If something is still working, let us still cling to the wreckage of our bodies and continue our journey to the best of our dysfunction.

This brings me to my original premise of the plight of the E-reader. It would not be surprising if the popularity of this latest electronic devise will go sky high. The canny retiree would be well advised to invest in Sony or go long on Kindle options and keep an eye out on Amazon shares. Our country and its Government are already generous in supplying hearing aids to the degenerative auditory of hearing impaired. The Prime minister would be foolish not to support generously the subsidizing of E-readers. The magic of the E-readers lies in that it can store thousands of books which can be read at different font sizes. All this is available in the palm of your hand and at the flick of a finger. The E-reader truly is magic and together with Pernod almost makes old age a dream come true…

This of course gives years of reading to those that are decrepit with batty eyes. It is not easy for those not tech savvy to download all the different features but just get your grand-kids to do that. I obstinately tried myself and now have eleven copies of Tolstoy’s’ “War and Peace”, not realizing that each time I pressed a certain page or button I would download yet another copy. I have yet to see my Credit Card account but now have eleven copies of over a thousand pages each of War and Peace together with Jules Verne Eighty days around the world and Rudyard Kipling’s, the Jungle Book. There is enough reading for at least a couple of years.

It just never stops; does it?

(With grateful acknowledgment to Frangipani, whereby, without her untiring support and encouragement, my E-Reader wonderment would most likely not have come to pass)

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12 Responses to “The Dilemma of an E-Reader”

  1. Lottie Nevin Says:

    My heart always goes WHOOP whenever I see a new post from you in my in-box! Thanks Gerard, you bring a smile to my face every time, and sometimes a lump to my throat. Lottie


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    My heart sometimes goes whoop too, especially when reading your heartwarming responses. Thank you Lottie.


  3. Andrew Says:

    Having one good eye is very creditable, Gerard. I wear what are called variofocals, I believe. It seems to mean that both my eyes are bad at all distances. And I have astigmatism thrown in. But I have never knowingly downloaded multiple copies of the same book. Yet. perhaps I just don’t see them.

    Jaguar is now owned by the awfully nice Tata family in India. So if your eye specialist has bought a Jag you might ask him if it has Made in India stamped on it somewhere. If he shakes his head from side to side and says yes, you’ll know it is the real thing.


  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    I thought the Jaguar was as English a car as fish and chips wrapped in a newspaper and bought at Shepherd’s Bush.
    Glad to hear you eyesight is crook as well. Shared suffering is shared joy and all that. Variovocals sounds like a musical. (:
    Well, your photos are very much in focus and the world would be a lesser place. I love them.


  5. frangipani Says:

    Gerard – I’m very glad you’re enjoying it. I was a bit worried I’d inadvertently pushed you into something that wouldn’t really be “your thing.” But once you get the hang of it, the literary world is at your beck and call.


  6. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Another delightful blog Gerard. Well, not being “degenerative”:, but if it makes you feel better, it’s my left eye! I call it “OA” (short for Old Age) Hate to admit it, and also hate having bifocals AND special computer glasses. But hey, we’re here and that’s what is important..


  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, accept our ageing gracefully and keep up the good work that you Kayti are so good at. I enjoyed your last poem and it gave me a good start of the day. Yesterday morning it was zero degrees outside and winter is knocking on the door, which I love.


  8. paul walter Says:

    I know its there and will obviously have to get one these tablet things, but, just getting back into reading, I like going to the bookshelf and reading a book, on a winter’s night. Nothing beats it.


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    You are right Paul. To stand in front of the bookshelf and savour that moment of making a choice.
    My E-Reader always opens at the last page I read the night before even with reading more than one book.
    I have manged to delete the superfluous copies of War and Peace. Am nearly finished with re-reading 80 days of Jules Verne.


  10. paul walter Says:

    What about all the redundancies in automated pulp mills?


  11. Office Diva Says:

    Mr. G.O. Having a wonderful time catching up on your earlier work, and I think it’s a testament to your humor that I began to laugh as soon as I saw the photo prefacing this piece. Then, as I was reading, somewhere around “Jaguar” I was laughing quite loudly and my mother demanded to know what was so funny. I have happily spared her the trouble of finding your post on her iPad and printed it for her. I am not very “green” when I say that I prefer a book in my hands and sometimes, I miss paper.
    Loved the image of many “War and Peace” and such. Fun, funny and funniest!!

    PS – Why did you not club me over the head when I kept mentioning Danish socks instead of Norwegian socks? Gah! Ah well, I was close; at least they are close neighbors. (Americans and their inattention to detail). I humbly beg forgiveness!)


  12. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I missed this post so O’Diva has commented and now I’ll follow suit since it seems that I swas not following you back in May. Oh well. This is one of those post that make for a heartry laugh- as I suppose a good laugh is good for the heart. You a re so right about specialists and their Jags and such. Here in the states most of them only work a 3 day week and some might work 4 days. They all seem to have that God complex. MDs that became MDs for the money and nothing more. I hope your good eye remains good,, Gerard. Gotta protect that good eye for the e-reader. 🙂


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