Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Hoping for a Kindle-lit dinner

Picture fr Kindle International
AS our 31st anniversary loomed near, I found myself frequenting a website,, and looking longingly at the slim, sleek 3G plus Wi-Fi e-book that has, for sometime, been a contentious issue in this household.The intended recipient of the new toy had left me in no doubt about his dislike for this new gadget that is making waves and getting rave reviews.

I thought this wireless gizmo that weighs less than a paperback would easily replace the heavy hardbacks he carries around in his rucksack. Imagine all that you can fit in the palm of your hand — it can store more than 3,500 titles!

Think of the space we could save every time we go for a break, and we can share the reading experience. We have, after all, shared many things in our 31 years together.
Like two silly teenagers at the backseat of the number 7 we have shared the i-Pod listening to our favourite zikir, even sharing the earphone trailing from his pocket to our ears.

During my restless nights, he’d pick a favourite prayer and together we’d listen to it till we fell asleep. But the Kindle is not his kind of thing. The realisation sank in that we are not on the same page on this.

Ever since I knew him, I had learnt how precious the book is to him. It was a book that brought us together and if I remember it well, it was a book on Groucho Marx.

Our courting days were spent browsing around the bookshops of PJ and Kuala Lumpur. He bought me books on all sorts of subjects, from how to write features and scripts to how to deal with PMT and pregnancy and how to cope with menopause. (In 31 years we do have to go through all these together).

He’d rather hold a real book and feel the pages in his hands, smell the smell of a new book as he turns the pages and carefully wraps it back in the paper bag which he had bought it in. He’d stack them carefully on the bookshelves already groaning under the weight of hundreds of books fighting for space in our front room which is fast turning into a library. And there is no way he’d read an e-book with a Wi-Fi in bed seeing that he has already banned my Blackberry to a safe distance, for fear of radiation.

Rather then buy other trivial stuff as presents, he’d buy books for the children, for friends old and new. An e-book would deny him that pleasure.

So, the prospects of a Kindle-lit dinner is fast fading as I weighed the pros and cons. I might get it for myself pleading a bad back as an excuse. In my bag, there are already the netbook and charger, the phone and charger as well as the camera. So, of course there will be space for a slim 3G with Wi-Fi.

I could say the eyesight is fast going and the Kindle with its bigger fonts would be good for these tired old eyes, which could start me reading again without the cumbersome reading glasses.

During all the years we’ve been together, I’ve courted technology more passionately than him. He dismisses most things, including the microwave oven, as unnecessary and even harmful. He never owned a mobile phone until I bought him a simple, cheap one which is now held together by a red rubber band.

He never switches it on, except to send and check messages and boasts that his battery lasts for a month! He does not depend on the flat screen HD TV for news as he prefers The Guardian and The Independent or the free tabloids he finds scattered in the trains.

I guess the jury is still out on this and in the meantime, the anniversary present will have to be another simple woolen jumper that will prove useful for this cold winter. A Kindle-lit dinner will be out of the question for the time being.

Read more: I’M EVERY WOMAN: Hoping for a Kindle-lit dinner


Pak Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
If you still need the kindle, buy it but keep it out of his sight. Inevitably he will accept it's presence one day when your house can't accomodate anymore real books. Continue to buy the printed books just to keep him in your company.

Mama Huptihup said...

happy anniversary kak teh and AG!! :D..semoga happy selalu together!

i pun prefer buku betul, and i suka bau buku, lagi lama buku tu lagi best bau dia...i dulu kan librarian sepnjg zaman sekolah dr sek rendah smp lepas bau buku tu pada i mmg heaven!! haha pelik kan! lagi satu i suka buku yg buruk2, i akan tape dan buat bg elok, konon mcm khazanah lama lah yg i jumpa...ish ada ka org mcm i ni?

KG said...

happy anniversary kak teh awang goneng....opposites attract eh....i am like other half, but dont read as much as hubby...howlah wt 6 kids! slowly but surely i read...and i too prefer the smell of the pages...

Nazrah Leopolis said...

aww kak teh, this is yet another heartwarming piece. u r sounding very much like a techie now aren't ya?

mabrook, congratulations!

Nazrah Leopolis said...

heartwarming as usual!

you are a techie,but you wouldn't admit it. congratulations kak teh n munshi!

mekyam said...

kt, good thing it's obvious yours and ag's love is the kind that don't need kindle to kindle.

HAPPY 31ST ANNIVERSARY, you dear people!

btw, i'm holding out on the gizmo too. but resistance is getting tenuous as i keep seeing more and more ppl using it on the train. then there's the lure of price being considerably slashed for the xmas season.

last w'end, this old chap i was sitting across on the #3 was enlarging the fontsize on his screen. when he caught me watching him, he said thank god he cld do that with the kindle since he forgot his glasses.

i nodded and self-consciously put the pback i was squinting at back in my sack. :D

Ordinary Superhero said...

Happy happy anniversary Kak Teh & Abg AG!! I finally traded my pocket size Quran of 19 years with the Quran Apps in my IPhone. Of course you cant really have that 'feeling' of kissing the real Quran after each reading session, but it's very convenient.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,
Long time no hear,eh? Hope that you are coping well with the deep freeze. My mother's in KL now so she's a happy camper albeit baiting her friends back in London with pics of her in sunnies etc.

Anyway, I have been salivating over a Kindle myself. But looking at some of the "torture" I subject my fave paperbacks to (incl one which ... uhmm.. was doing toilet duty for a long time), I think it's best I stick to the physical thing esp if they are less than a quid from a book sale.

m.u.l.a.n said...

Happy Anniversary Kak Teh...!!! Happy & healthy forever...

Al-Manar said...


Terkenang orang diLondon, the Fairway in particular. Day and night we have bed fed with weather news in Europe and US. To imagine London being aub-zero was unthinkable, even a white X'mas was just a dream.

Kak Mah and Abang Ngah wonder, truly wonder how you are in this weather. And Heathrow is full of stranded planes instead of the pride of one plane landing/taking off every bla bla.

Keep warm and salaam from us, miserable in monsoon struck environment - room thermo showing 26 deg C, 4.30 pm; and sleeping at night with aircon on!

Immigrant Mom said...

Bear has, for the past 6 months, been trying to get me to buy the iPad simply because I can bring it around and read it like a book! AND also invest in this kindle thingy. I have yet to finish the first out of 10 books that he has bought me in this year! hahahaha

anak si-hamid said...

Happy Anniversary to the whizkid wife and the low-tech hubby!!

Kak Teh, leave that sweet old Luddite alone. He is the spittin image of my miserable old git!

Have a spiffing celebration. We shall be back in the neck of your woods on the 11th - Insyallah.

See you soon and take care.

Al-Manar said...

Mula mula baca entry ni Abang Ngah tertanya tanya apa Kindle ni. Sebelum Anwar pergi main air salji di London dia datang ke KT. Bercakaplah tengtang Zaharah anak beranak dan terkeluarlah apa tentang entry itu. Ketawa besar jahilnya orang tua di Mengabang Telong.

Now I know and apreciate what you wrote! So the lesson to learn is next time do not take for granted what you write is all understood. Orang tak pernah tengok air salji di Kota London pun ada - walau pun pernah duduk disitu!

Salaam to you all from the two old folks in Pengkalan Maras.

maklimah said...

Selamat ulangtahun Kak Teh & AG!
kak teh, saya mungkin minority orang muda in AG camp...hehehe
orang lain habis belajar dari london bawa balik kotak-kotak royal doulton & beg jenama mahal, tapi kotak saya berisi buku-buku sehingga orang yang mengambil kotak tersebut mengadu sakit belakang!
Tapi Kindle memang membuatkan saya jatuh cinta pandang pertama, lebih jimat!

Aishah said...

Assalamualaikum Kak Teh,

Beautiful story. Books on the shelves are like pictures in the albums, they get to be picked-up, viewed and rekindled. Kindle and digital pictures are enjoyed one time and forgotten forever but with a glimpse of thin memory.

Anonymous said...

The last column in the New Straits Times about "The Alor Star Girls", you mentioned Mee Abu and Kedai Busu ...

I'm extremely familiar with the latter, of course, which was in front of Sultan Abdul Hamid College. This was the friendly Chinese guy who spoke the Kedah dialect fluently; with obscenities thrown in. It was frequented by rowdy teenagers; especially the students and past students of SAHC.

It was a very strategic place and that's where many of us would meet during various times of the day - mid-morning (missing some class or another), immediately after school, before a school activity in the afternoon, after school activity and at night. There was a strange attraction to the stall, with a `toilet' at the back (Busu kept reminding us "Woi, hangpa kenching ataih zinc noo, jangan bagi kena dinding"... of which we okayed but somehow still managed to miss).

There was the mamak shop which had delicious mee goreng and mee rebus (with the thick gravy - of a quality that I've never found anywhere in Kelantan, and so far not here in Selangor & KL yet). Is this the Mee Abu that you mean? There seems to be at least a couple of other Mee Abu in Alor Star: one is at Jalan Teluk Wanjah, and the other at Jalan Sultanah (Day).

I was back for a very short visit with my wife-to-be and her son to visit my parents just a few days before the recent Kedah/Perlis flood. I had thought about but didn't have time to even drive to that area (she reads the blog and wants to see SAHC and the other areas. I managed to show the notorious "Leng Kang" place near the Cathay Cinema when we went to Pekan Rabu with my father). Anyway, the previous night we went to the Jalan Sultanah Mee Abu, which is very close to where my parents live now - Taman Muhibbah, which neighbours the better-known Taman UDA. I liked the mee goreng there, but somehow I kept thinking about the one beside Kedai Busu. I wonder if the stalls are still there...

Sarah Allen said...

Hey! Hope you got what you wished for and that you're enjoying it. Thanks for your humor and honesty on this blog. It always brightens my day.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Lydia Teh said...

Kak Teh, it's been a long time since I've visited. Hope you are fine.

What a cute article. It's so hard to find gifts for men, isn't it. I hope you get the kindle for yourself.

Formerly known as Superwomanwannabe! said...

Dear Kak Teh: happy anniversary!!! May you have more and more happy days together...

kak friend sara baghai is looking for someone who can do kueh mueh for her. She is in oxfordshire (i dont know the address) kenalke orang??can email me? thank you.....sorry tanya you yee....


Looks like I'm not the only one leaving my blog to collect dust. Time is so precious. Sorry I've not visited for a long time. BZ BZ..ehhe.
take care. Wonder if you've got the kindle already?

Unknown said...

Kak Teh,

I too lug around an iPad in my handbag and read the e-books dowloaded there. Share it with my two kids too, for they love the animated and interactive e-books available on the iPad. Kindle is kinda far off for me, I think, as I just got the hang of this iPad.

Tengok lah setahun dua lagi, kot?

Unknown said...

Kak Teh,

I too lug around an iPad in my handbag and read the e-books dowloaded there. Share it with my two kids too, for they love the animated and interactive e-books available on the iPad. Kindle is kinda far off for me, I think, as I just got the hang of this iPad.

Tengok lah setahun dua lagi, kot?

High Power Rocketry said...

I tend to agree, but with 4 bookcases in a smallish apartment, at the cost of several thousand dollars, I can understand the appeal of the electronic book.

Azreen and Hafiz said...

Hi Kak Teh, I'm doing some freelance writing for a muslimah magazine. I'm doing a story on ramadhan, and how people celebrate it overseas and how you face it without your extended families. Could I trouble you to contact me if you are agreeable pls?

Kak Teh said...

Azreen , do email me at