AS our 31st anniversary loomed near, I found myself frequenting a website, amazon.co.uk, 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.