How can you read so much? Why are you ever so up with the latest in spite of your great age? Fans have inquired.
Here is my unsolicited and unpaid for plug for the Kindle reader. This is the model with keyboard and 3G. Terry bought the cheapest Kindle, which is practically useless. A friend had a similar experience. The touch screen is fiddly, and you can't download to it unless you are in a wi-fi hotspot.
What are the advantages of the Kindle over books? Here is an example. I needed a book for my next Nation discussion group. No copies were readily available, so I downloaded it. Sixty seconds later I was already reading it. It's not a new book and not, in my opinion, a very good one, The Spirit Level, by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson. But I will be prepared with my arguments. As I read the book, I was easily able to add notes, underlining and bookmarks. I could look at end notes and flip back to the page I was reading. This makes reading an interactive experience, and I feel that I'm always in dialog with the author.
My main objection to the book itself is that is does not mention race and racist discrimination and also that it contains a plea to the rich to work for equality because inequality is bad for rich people too. As if they cared! Sure, the rich want us to love and revere them, so they'll give lesser people a few little prizes, but to imagine the 1% would ever have the interests of the rest of us uppermost in their minds: really not. It takes political action to right economic wrongs, not begging the rich to give us some of their stuff.
Then, in a review in the current London Review of Books (I think it was), I read about a book that I just had to have right now! It is The Second Red Scare: and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left, by Landon R.Y. Storrs. Within seconds it was mine. A little pricy for a download but well worth it. Up to date. Full of new information.
As an example of what happened to leftists, my mother was blackballed and never able to get a job in social work, because when a student at Berkeley she joined the Communist Party for a while. The consequences were grave to her and all of us because she became the family Red. The rest of her family were Catholic Republicans and very affluent. We were the raggedy poor relations, held in contempt by our more successful relatives. My father eventually allied himself with her rich brother, left my mother the Commie, and became an accountant to the well off through contacts her brother made for him. They are all gone now, but the pain lives on.
Our situation, writ large, was that of the American left after years of relentless attacks on the New Deal, followed by the Reds under the beds era. The taint remains. You leftists are naive. You leftists are un-American. You leftists are just smart college kids who don't know about real life. You are a bunch of hypocrites. If you really cared you'd be living in a tent and subsisting on canned beans. Or building shelters for the Africans and getting malaria. And so on. What a drag. Anyway, all these matters are now in the hands of a new generation. I'm retired, but I appreciate The Second Red Scare, because it brings my mother's idealism back to life. There are a few people around here who still live by these old ideals, too, the ideals of social democracy and fairness for all.
Excitement: I'll be going to Sweden next month!!! I will ask everyone I meet how they feel about actually living in a social democracy. I'm looking right now at a photo of the lavish breakfast buffet we will be enjoying at our hotel there.
How dare the Swedes have a high standard of living? They aren't the richest country in the world, even. That's us. But in the understatement of the day, as The Spirit Level points out at egregious length, income in this country is very unevenly distributed. That's the book in a sentence.
Anyway, I'm practicing my Swedish: yooah!