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Life in Retirement: Donating a Kindle

Stocking your bookshelf
Sandy Bexon. (File photo)

I seldom re-read a book and I don’t like to accumulate things, so I jumped on the early days of kindle to ‘stock my bookshelf’ without adding things to dust. I now read a combination of gifted books, some borrowed from the library, some bought at the used bookstore and some on kindle – which means my kindle library doesn’t represent the extent of my reading. Still, there’s a nice little collection there.

I’ve really enjoyed reading long books on my Kindle. My chiropractor is supportive of that, too! People say they think it’s odd that a person whose life is so filled with the written word would embrace an e-reader like I do. Yes, I love holding a book and cracking the spine to let the story out. But I also know that by reading on Kindle, I’m seeing only the words, much like the author did when writing the manuscript. There’s no marketing or information about other books or any other distractions. Just me and the words the author wanted me to see.

So it was a bit surprising over the weekend when I went to download a book I had just heard reviewed, and my old Kindle wouldn’t accept it. Right, I remembered, there had been notification a few years ago that the early devices were simply too old to download new material on. I could still access the books I had already purchased but would need to update my kindle to buy anything further on it.

Hmmm, I thought several things at once: had it really been two years since I bought something on Kindle; how soon could I get a new one in my hands if I ordered online straightaway; what am I going to have for dinner and what should I do with my old kindle? My search showed me the places you can take old tech equipment, so they don’t end up in the landfill, which is good and all. But maybe someone would be interested in some of the books I downloaded and could make use of my Kindle.

I guess I could ask the folks at the used bookstore I frequent – surely they would have some thoughts on this. It seems so personal, somehow, like will the stranger receiving my old kindle judge what I’ve read? Will they be able to access my financial information? Will they laugh at the notifications that I’ve done something wrong and need to try the download again?

I remember suggesting at the office staff room one lunchtime that maybe we could do a Kindle exchange. People looked confused and somewhat horrified at the idea. ‘Or not,’ I added, seeing clearly this was a new line of thinking for them. It’s still new. Well, it’s a new dilemma from an old item. The simplest solution is to just put it back on my shelf until I can figure out what best to do with it, which means something more to dust after all.

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