Thursday, May 06, 2021

Lost - and Found - in My Kindle


I've been more dependent these past few weeks than ever on Kindle books because I've gradually developed eye problems again, and I'm finding it a little difficult to read the print in physical books right now. The good news is that I finally got into my retina doctor yesterday and, after a long and thorough examination, she assures me that the macular degeneration in both eyes is as stable as ever, so that's not the problem. Thankfully, that condition has not worsened in over five years now. 

Turns out that the problem is related to the cataract surgery that I had two summers ago, especially in my right eye. The problem is not related to the surgery itself or to the replacement lenses; it's only that the eye-capsule that holds the lens in place in my right eye is clouding up. Unfortunately, that is almost as bad as having cataracts themselves, but it's relatively easily fixed. So late this afternoon I'm going to have my eye doctor take a look, and I'm hoping for a simple, quick bit of laser surgery to get me back to reading "real books."

And, that leads me to the point of this post....finally:

I've discovered all kinds of lost gems hiding deep inside my Kindle, books I have never read and have forgotten all about. I barely recognize some of the titles, and couldn't begin to tell you when I acquired them or why. This morning I started one from 2014 by Catherine Ryan Hyde called Take Me with You that I'm completely charmed by after reading only its first twelve pages. The writing is perfect, the four characters I've encountered so far are all likable as heck, and the story is already setting up nicely.

This is the book's synopsis from Amazon:

"August Shroeder, a burned-out teacher, has been sober since his nineteen-year-old son died. Every year he’s spent the summer on the road, but making it to Yellowstone this year means everything. The plan had been to travel there with his son, but now August is making the trip with Philip’s ashes instead. An unexpected twist of fate lands August with two extra passengers for his journey, two half-orphans with nowhere else to go.

What none of them could have known was how transformative both the trip—and the bonds that develop between them—would prove, driving each to create a new destiny together."

This may be exactly the kind of feel-good story I need right now for so many reasons. August Shroeder, a man who spends his summers on the road, is definitely a guy I can identify with, so here's hoping.

But now I can't help but wonder what else is in that little electronic gizmo, good stuff I hoarded and intended to read at some point. That's the main problem with e-books; it's just way too easy to acquire books that almost immediately disappear, seldom if ever to be seen again. According to Kindle, I have 366 books, 5 book samples, and 60 periodicals, either already downloaded or up in the magic cloud in the sky, just waiting for me to open them up and read. But if Kindle can be believed, 235 of those books remain unread (I'm not yet convinced that's really true). 

I'm determined now to start reading from this stash on a regular basis...and I'm betting I'm not the only one sitting on this kind of book "gold mine." Do you guys have similar stashes of your own?

15 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed the laser surgery clears up the clouding!!! But at least the silver lining in all of this is all these lost gems on your Kindle you've gotten to read. :)

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    1. It went really well, Lark. Painless, quick, and 100% effective. I can't believe the difference in my eyesight...now the right eye is a little stronger than the left, and that one measures right at 20-20.

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  2. Sam, I know 2 people who had the laser procedure 1-2 years after their surgery and both said it was the easiest thing they ever went though so hopefully, that will fix your problem.

    I have a major Kindle disorganization problem as I have over 2,000 Kindle books (most unread - many that I was saving to read when I retired...LOL - most were free or very inexpensive but still.

    That was 2015 and yet I still go to the library and /or download new releases. I need to organize a system - Hate having to look up what all of these are even about but, guess I need to do it.

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    1. It was almost two years to the day after the initial cataract surgery, Diane, so I was right on schedule. I'm hoping that it doesn't happen to the left eye, but since it's a one-time fix, that would not be so terrible either.

      Wow...2,000 books...I don't know how I would possibly keep all of those straight in my mind. I'm having enough of a problem with the 400 or so I do have. It must almost be like having hour own little bookstore to shop from at that point.

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  3. Good luck with the laser surgery, Sam. I recently had my second laser surgery for glaucoma, and it's quick and easy. One recommendation, make your appt. as late as possible so you don't have to sit around all day with blurry vision. Oh, and stay inside and away from pollen that might be irritating. :)

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    1. Thanks for the tips, Jen, and I'm happy to hear it went so well for you. This was so much easier than the cataract surgery that I can barely believe it. My vision cleared up within the hour, and other than a little scratchiness in the eye for a few hours, it was entirely painless.

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  4. Sorry to hear about your eye problems, Sam. But hopefully that can easily be fixed. When I finally get back to the opticians I'll be interested to hear what he has to say as I'm sure mine have got worse since my last visit.

    Oh gosh yes, the Kindle black hole. Tell me about it. I have about 500 books on there, 60 of which I've read. It's too easy to shove cheap offers on there, which of course is just what Amazon relies on to tempt you. But today I did actually start a real live library book that I picked up yesterday! Plus came home with a good stack I picked out.

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    1. All fixed, Cath, and the difference in that eye is amazing. I was so dependent on the left eye after letting this go on a little longer than I should have, that I'm amazed now to see that it has become the slightly weaker eye of the two.

      Ha...your "read percentage" is even lower than mine - not that that is likely to keep either of us from adding to the number of books stored there. I can't remember...is your library fully open now? We here are still relying on curbside pick-up.

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  5. You know that I have a big stash on my Kindle! As for your eyes, sorry to hear about the problems you've been having. I found out myself that the one thing most eye docs don't tell us is that at least 50% of those who've had cataract surgery have that problem and have to go back to get it corrected. But after that second visit, the problem does not return.

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    1. You're exactly right, Cathy. They tell me that as many as 50% of patients eventually require this second tune-up bit of surgery. And it really, really works!

      I've been out and about all morning, and it made a HUGE difference in my driving comfort. I honestly hadn't realized exactly how bad that right eye was getting.

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  6. I hope your eye surgery goes well. My kindle has a rather small stash- less than fifty books- and so far I usually only dip into it when I'm travelling- which is very seldom right now- so it always feels like plenty!

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    1. Fifty really is a lot when you think about it, Jeane. That's way more books than most people read in a year or two, really. I used to stash some rather "primitive" versions of e-books on SD cards and discs so that I could use them on my computer at night when I was working in the Sahara Desert. I would bring in about a dozen that way, mostly the free versions of classics that were readily available in those days. I felt rich!

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  7. I must confess that I read exclusively on my Kindle Paperwhite now. It is just so much easier since my eyes have aged along with the rest of my body! I like being able to control the size of the font and the lighting and I also find it easy to organize and keep track of my books with the Kindle. I really find no down side to it.

    Good luck with your eye surgery. I had cataract surgery myself last year. The world is much brighter now.

    Incidentally, I found your blog through Diane of Bibliophile By the Sea.

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    1. Hi, Dorothy. I absolutely love my Paperwhite and use it for about 25% of my reading most years. And I love it for exactly the reasons you mention...some days I find that I just have to have larger print or I struggle.

      Be aware of the possibility that your vision will deteriorate in the next few months, but don't worry to much if that happens. My only advice would be not to wait too long to get a laser-fix done, because it really is simple and painless. You're right about the world being a brighter place...and the colors are amazing!

      So happy that you stopped by; my thanks to Diane's blog, and I hope that you'll stop by again.

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  8. Dorothy, I just realized that you are a book blogger, and I've added The Nature of Things to my blog roll. I look forward to reading your thoughts there.

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