Book of the Month Club

Farm Forum

Back before anyone had the foggiest notion that a generation was coming that would pay money for water in a bottle, we belonged to the book of the month club.

Each month sure as Christmas we had the opportunity to order the book of the month, like Winston Churchill’s The Birth of Britain or something exciting like that.

A colorful flyer arrived in the mail on one of the five days that mail was then delivered. It touted the book of the month and some on-sale alternates. “The Book” was sent in few days unless we let the club know we didn’t want it or ordered a sale item.

Book and bill soon arrived.

The entire sequence, from notification by brochure to book arriving, took a couple of weeks. It was the latest thing in my pre-liver spot days of yore.

Today, curmudgeons like me who believe that God never intended water to be sold in bottles or for coffee to taste like candy, are flabbergasted by the magic involved in having not just one book of the month presented to us, but thousands of reading opportunities arriving at our house 24-7.

Just recently my new-fangled Kindle that is encased in an expensive leather cover, delivered a book to me in seconds rather than two weeks.

My Kindle is about the size of a regular book, but slim as fried egg. It has a lasting battery and weighs less than a half-dozen eggs. Within its svelte body are stored the eighteen books I’ve previously ordered, with room for many more. It has a dictionary so if I highlight a word I instantly learn its meaning, and more.

Actually, my newfangled Kindle isn’t really newfangled at all. To younger generations who believe bottled water and cell phones are absolutely necessary for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and have substituted texting for human-to-human dialogue, it’s old school antiquated.

But to my drifting mind it’s as cool as a milk house after wash-down.

My son who acquired an iPad (manufactured in China) as a replacement, gave it to me. As the family’s technologically challenged elder, I was the logical choice.

I just think it’s the cat’s meow, which I’m told by my Kindle dictionary also means “totally awesome,” “sweet” or something known as “rad,” which is a term used by only the very young who believe bottled water bubbles up in various fruit flavors from a forested mountain in Switzerland.

A few days ago I wanted to order another book.

I punched on my computer and zipped into its massive library that had my credit card number waiting for me in the shopping gradation somewhere.

I found a book and turned on the Kindle’s wireless control. After a click of the Amazon order button every word and picture in my new book barreled down some invisible beam at the speed of light, and wiggled through the Kindle’s leather cover.

My little device silently gathered the rushing digital mass into spare corners of its skinny frame in less time than it takes to recite my medication list.

I’m no longer a member of a Book of the Month Club. I now belong to the Book of the Second Club.

As my mother always said: What won’t they think of next?

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