Just had a few days at a friends house down in the East Neuk of Fife. Cold and wet, windy and grey, but it was a good rest and I'm home less fatigued than when I left! I took the Kindle with me just to try it out for convenience and flexibility. I'm slowly making my way through Middlemarch, and one of the great bonuses of Kindle is the way it helps redeem those 5 and 10 minute hiatuses (what's the plural of hiatus by the way?) Waiting for the pizza to heat (12 minutes), or the 9.00 news to come on (5 - 10 minutes usually, or sitting in the car waiting for Sheila (1 - umpteen minutes), and especially those quarter hours that are just about the maximum period of consciousness between sliding beneath the duvet and the onset of eyelid fatigue swiftly followed by irresistible soporific longings.
The point is - I'm reading George Eliot several times a day in byte sized chunks and enjoying the leisurely meandering more than that determined enjoyment with which I usually tackle a big novel. It's a different kind of read, but just as enjoyable, and maybe the slow literary drip is as effective a way of living in a story as the conscientious page turning that may get the book finished quicker and the story absorbed more effectively - but it may be that rather than us absorbing the story, a slower reading allows the story to absorb us, and draw us in. Anyway, that's my experience so far - and as a stunningly obvious commonplace observation for Eliot fans - she is a wonderfully wise, lucidly sharp, comprehendingly compassionate and critical narrator who knows the depths of, and points with unerring skill to, the machinations and motivations of human behaviour. Her novels are post-graduate courses in moral psychology and moral philosophy - impossible to read and not see ourselves in a different, sometimes better, sometimes more critical, light.
I know there are lots of ways to use Kindle - people now use them as the sermon notepad, lecture notes, PDF readers - I'll probably get round to some of these. But it's as a way of filling the unforgiving minute by spending it in the company of an omniscient narrator that Kindle has so far "done it for me". That cliche would have survived a nanosecond within range of Eliot's editorial pen!