28 October 2017

Uses for a Kindle (from a book addict) (Okay, Bad Girl)

by Melodie Campbell

Kath: Have you got a Kindle?

Me: Of course I have a Kindle!

Kath: Do you like it?

Me: It’s very pretty. It has a pink cover. And it makes a great paperweight.

Kath: But do you actually use it?

Me: I used it once as a flashlight during a power outage. Everyone should have one.

Kath: Why not get a flashlight for that?

Me: Flashlights make lousy paperweights. They roll off the table.

I am a Dinosaurette. In spite of that, I have a Kindle. It wasn’t my idea. People keep foisting them on me at Christmas. It’s the 21st century version of fruitcake.

Not only that, they multiply. The first died within months, probably from neglect (I didn’t kill it – honest.) The second was a prize from my publisher for top sales. I also have a Kobo. It was a Christmas present. It’s around here somewhere.

As you can see, I am not addicted to my Kindle. In fact, it is my opinion you have to be barking to be emotionally attached to a slab of machinery that displays words. That would be like being addicted to a printing press.

But Lord Thunderin’ Jesus, how I am addicted to books! Real books, that is. I see a pile of books on my bedside table, and I get excited. (Men, take note.)

Oh, the delight of holding a real book in your hand. The tactile feel of the paper, the visual lure of the cover… And the smell of the glue that binds each little paper together…(minty is best)


The trouble with an eReader is that every story you are reading on it looks and feels exactly the same. And that changes the experience for me.

I realize that a lot of people love to read on Kindles. I might even like some of them (people. Not Kindles.) But I highly suspect they are the same sort of people who actually like salad.

Thankfully, there are alternate uses for eReaders. (If you like salad, stop reading NOW.)

  1. Kindling. (okay, not really, despite the similar sounding name. Probably not the best way to start a fire. A Samsung phone is much better.)
  2. Murder weapon. (Whack the cheating bastard over the head with it. Continue whacking and alternately reading from 50 Shades. That should do it.)
  3. Frisbee. (see Murder weapon above.)
  4. Hockey puck (I live in Canada, eh.)
  5. Dog Toy (leatherette covers works best for this.)
  6. Fly-swatter (editor’s note: works great on spiders)
  7. Plus all the obvious uses: flashlight, paperweight, hot pad, furniture shim, bookmark, ruler, rolling pin, cutting board, door stop.
Finally, I would like to point out that you can’t decorate with Kindles. “Oh look at that beautiful bookcase of Kindles, Gladys!” said no one, ever.

Melodie Campbell got her start writing standup. People usually sit down to read her funny books. Sometimes they fall down. The latest:


  1. Your column cracked me up, Melodie! Now I think I'll go read your latest book......on my Kindle.

  2. Right you are. They are really only good for books one cannot get any other way!

  3. I agree. When I was an Edgar judge they sent me a Kindle to use for those for those few books that were only available in that format. I have no idea where it is now.

  4. Uh oh. First book of yours I read was on a ... Kindle! (Ducking.) How do you use one as a rolling pin?

  5. Barb. Put yer scone dough between two pieces of wax paper. Press down hard on yer Kindle. Then use a juice glass to cut the scones into circles. Hey, I married a Scotsman.

  6. Paul, I'll applaud you all the way to the piggy bank! grin

  7. Janice and John, You are (ahem) 'kindred' spirits. Damn, should have figured out a way to get that into the post.

  8. I've two Kindles. The first contains nothing but my own books (because I wanted to see what they looked like). The second, which I won in a drawing a few years ago, is still empty. My wife, on the other hand, does most of her reading on a Kindle.

  9. Michael, you have me laughing. My first kindle only lasted a few months before it self-destructed. Past the warranty date, of course. I figure Amazon has been very very clever.

  10. LOL at your column Melodie. I have many books in the Kindle Cloud Reader, but no Kindle device. I wouldn't get one, because I like to take long bubble baths & read in the tub. A Kindle would never survive that!

  11. Kindles can prop up a dresser where the coaster caps broke off.

    Speaking of coasters, they make great little stands to set your coffee or iced tea.

    Kindles can chock a car whilst changing a tyre.

    Best of all, a stack of Kindles can prop up a real book on your kitchen table while reading.

    PS. I have to give Amazon credit. The first Kindle Fire I purchased as a gift. It developed a line of always-on pixels across the screen. In the last month of warranty, Amazon sent a replacement Kindle with instructions to use the box and shipping label to return the defective Kindle. No problem at all.

    On the other hand, I was irritated when Amazon took away the ability of early Kindles to read out loud. Naturally that ability has finally returned as a high-priced option.

  12. Women are the largest consumers of books in general and especially e-readers. One review discreetly worded the popularity of Kindles something like, "They're wonderful for one-handed reading."

    I'm sure I don't know what that means, Melodie.

    B&N's Nook Glowlight Plus and the Kobo Aura H2O led the market in safe bathtub reading with under-water e-readers. On Amazon, a number of companies provide after-market waterproofing for Kindles. Very relaxing except my toes get wrinkly.

  13. Velma, darling. I must be downloaded the wrong books.

  14. Elizabeth, I have some purchased kindle books in that wayward cloud, as well. Lost forever, bouncing around with the angels...


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