KINDLE – Why I love it

I bought the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite few months back. And what else can I say except that its awesomeness all wrapped up.

Buying a kindle has been one of my dreams. From 2007 when it first came out I have been following its progress, waiting for price to come down. And well..waiting to earn for myself :). Meanwhile I just kept using my old phone to read eBooks [Note. the screen size was approx. 2×2 inch, I myself don’t know how I used to read on it].

I know there are other e-book readers out there too. But the Kindle always pulled at my heart.

So the Kindle. What is so special about it? Why  did I spend almost 10k on a tablet like device which will only let you read books? With that much amount you can get a good quality tab which will let you play games, listen to music, chat, browse and do such tasks which you never even thought of. This is what almost every person has asked me when they see me using it. And I am sure a lot of people think of it, if not ask out aloud.

So here’s my reason of why a Kindle is worth its weight in gold (erm..maybe not Gold. It’s too costly these days).

I live in a place which is almost 15-16 hours travel away from my hometown. So any visits home mean endless hours of boredom. For me reading matters more than social networking stuff like Facebook, Whatsapp etc. So I always end up reading something during my travel. But using a tablet/Phone to read books drains the battery. My tab lasted for around 5 – 6  hrs of its battery life before I had to close it. And I wouldn’t have even been halfway past my total journey time by then. I could carry a book to read instead of eBooks. But I usually end up finishing it soon and taking up a lot of books would increase my luggage unnecessarily.

And therein lies my reason as to why I love my Kindle and spent a lot for it.
– I get a lot of battery power. I just need to charge once in a few weeks and that is enough.
– I get to carry as many e-books as I want to.

Other reasons:-
– The lighting is from the bottom of the screen. It falls on the screen and not directly on the eyes. [Better than Tab/ Phone which seems too bright in the dark]
– I can use the Kindle in the sunlight also. No glare on the screen. Can’t say the same for mobiles/Tabs

Once I decided to buy the kindle there was confusion as to which one to
– Normal
– With WiFi
– With 3G

I chose the one with WiFi, since it has an experimental browser, which you can actually use to browse simple webpages [check mail, read fan-fiction …]. And on top of that it has in-built light whereas the normal one doesn’t.

In the case of the Kindle with 3G I felt it was costly. The device will grab whichever 3G network was available. But since I have mobile internet. I can always create a Wifi hotspot and use it with the Kindle. There was no other new feature other than that. So I stuck to the Kindle Paperwhite with WiFi in the end. 🙂

But I have to say, lot of people won’t agree with this reasoning. But as they say, ‘To each his own’.

After I got the kindle I started loving it even more… But that is going to be another post.

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To be continued
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Work – A Story of Experience by L.M.Alcott

As part of my target to read a lot of not so famous books, I decided to read ‘Work’. One reason was it was written by Louisa May Alcott. She is one of the authors whose work I keep re-reading. Her ‘Little Women’ series was one amongst them. Though her novels are set against the backdrop of the 19th Century, I find that I could relate myself to different characters.

So with that in mind, I started off with ‘Work-  A Story of Experience’. It was a good, I couldn’t put it down at multiple point thought the plot. But overall if I look at it, It didn’t measure up to the expectations I had. There was too much of a ‘this is right’ and ‘this is wrong’ undertones throughout the book. Though to tell the truth, that adds to the charm of it.

The book is the journey of Christie Devon aspiring independent women who wants to do something worthwhile in life. It starts of with Christie at the starting of her adulthood. After spending her childhood with her Aunt and Uncle, she just wants to work for herself and be independent rather than being just another persons wife.

Her reasoning with her Aunt on wanting to search for that elusive something, which we all search for in life made me sit and think.

“Do you see those two logs? Well that one smouldering dismally away in the corner is what my life is now; the other blazing and singing is what I want my life to be.”

“Bless me, What an idee! They are both a-burnin’ where they are put, and both will be ashes to-morrow; so what difference doos it make?”

Christie smiled…. she added earnestly.

“I know the end is the same; but it does make a difference how they turn to ashes; and how I spend my life……”

Throughout her book Christie tries out different careers such as a maid, an actor, governess and so on. Some of it she is successful. At some work she falls into trouble and has to drag herself out of it all.The life of women during that time and how working for a living established their lives could be seen throughout the book.You could say it was the underlying theme of the whole book.

There were points in which I felt the character was too much of a Mary-sue. And then again at other points, her flaws were mentioned clearly. It was like a see-saw ride for me. At some point I would be admiring her for doing a particular act. And at other times I ould be shaking my head, asking myself why I was still reading it.

Christie’s love life which is touched upon, and the way she wanted and was tempted to take the easy way out was realistic enough. Her confusion between David and Fletcher was funny at points particularly with Fletcher. I didn’t actually expect him to pop up multiple times throughout the book though,

Multiple plots got merged near the end. We get to know how some of the characters we met were actually related. The relationship between Rachel and David was a surprise. Though in hindsight I ought to have made the connections.

As with some of her other works, the Civil war plays a role in how the plot moves on towards the end. But what really surprised me the most was

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

 

Highlight between the brackets to read.

 

 

 

 

 

[David’s death. I never quite thought the author would kill him off. I always thought it would be a happy ending. Though true to her point, she does show that Christie can life her life independently even without David. The point that women can do much in life even without the support of men is clearly made. She does get Christie to move on from David’s death and become successful being a single mother and an activist for other working women. So from the books point of view I would say it turned out well.]

 

 

 

 

 

I loved reading the book. I found online that part of the book is almost autobiographical. So I shouldn’t really judge it since at that point in time whatever mentioned in the book made sense. So looking in that way,  overall it was good. I might re-read it. But not anytime soon. Maybe after a few years.

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ILLUSIONS – Richard Bach

I first heard of Richard Bach when I was 15 years old. [Seems like a lifetime has passed since then]. For my school farewell, an IAS officer, Usha Titus, if I remember right. She made a suggestion to all of us to read  Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  I read it after a few years. It was a good read. And so recently after I started earning myself. I decided to get a copy of his other book, ILLUSIONS – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.

Richard Bach is an author who has a background as a Pilot. So its obvious why two of his best-selling ( according to Wikipedia ) books are concerned with flying directly as well as indirectly. His books have an underlying philosophy which is seen in a lot of self-help books that I have read. Belief. Having faith or believing that one can do something is enough. There are no physical limitations to our pursuit. Whatever limitations we see are what we make.
Illusions starts off with some sentences or verses maybe about a Master, a Messiah born in Indiana. When you look at it in passing it appears to be like a parody of the Bible[No offense]… Indeed, I found this parody or rather a different take to the Bible at different points throughout. The starting few pages are filled with the history of one ‘Donald Shimoda’ and of his experience being a Messiah. It was a bit confusing initially. But once the book starts off. It’s not as daunting as it seems.
Richard meets Donald or ‘Don’ while flying his aircraft over the towns and selling rides in the biplane. 3$ rides… He meets another person Don, doing the same with his aircraft. And curiosity or one can say fate pulled Richard towards Don and they meet. What follows can be said to be a short informative sessions on becoming a Messiah for Richard by Don, with a little help from the ;Messiah’s Handbook’.
Short paragraphs and sentences from this handbook is strewn all throughout the book. We know all of it, but we never acknowledge the fact that we know it.
One quote which stuck with me is
 “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.’
The book will be interesting for those who are interested in self-help type of books. To the rest, I am not sure. It may seem boring to some, because there is no plot as such. Information is imparted to us via conversations between Don and Richard.
Another portion of the book which stayed with me was when Richard asks Don , ‘Why we are here?’ as in whats the point of life. Don’s answer is perfect in a way. He takes Richard to a movie. Don then proceeds to disturb him in the midst of the movie asking him why he was watching that movie and so on.
Later he explains that even the worlds greatest movie is an illusion. Knowing people still go there to watch it. For the reasons Fun & Learning. All other reasons are just subsets of these two. So It’s the same with life. So if it’s a horror movie, or bad lot in life. It is because that is what we expect to happen.
Over all its a good read. And some of those quotes are really packed with meanings. you may even get a paradigm shift at some point.
I can’t really explain it well. Reading it in that situation makes it sound better.

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What is the Universe In? – Anthony Grey

So the latest book I read is ‘What is the Universe in?’ by Anthony Grey.
The author wrote this book from the time in which he wad detained in China for being a journalist for Reuters. At the time of Cultural Revolution in China, he was the sole Reuter Correspondent (and the only British Journalist) in Peking. Apparently some Chinese Journalists were taken hostage in Hong Kong by the British Authorities. He was held hostake for two whole years. He is supposedly the ‘first international hostage of the modern era’ ( quoted from — http://www.anthony-grey.co.uk/index.html).
Being confined to a room, he wrote a set of short stories to keep his mind occupied. Of the set, 7 is published in this book.
Before I move on to the my opinion on the stories, reading of Hong Kong and Britain made me look up history and strangely I was surprised to know that I did not know that Britain had occupied Hong Kong till 1997. Ofcourse I knew that the United Kingdom had a lot of colonies. But I was of the opinion that all that was over atleast by the 1980s.
 It seems that Hong Kong was still a colony of Britain as far as 1997 at the time of which the Hong Kong handover took place. ( — http://gohongkong.about.com/od/historyandcultureofhk/a/hkhandover.htm)
Now on to the book. The short stories in the book are
— Himself
— The Old Man and the leaves
— To cut a long story short
— Gollywhite for Sigmund
— Crime and Calculus
— Newton’s Lore of Gravity
— A man was Later Detained.
 I am do not generally read short stories. But the title and the words ‘Philosophical reflections’ made me grab the book from the library before my mind could even process what I had in my hand..
The whole book makes one think about what we are, why we do the things we do and what the point of it all is. Each story has a few pages before it where the author indirectly writes about his confinement or something related. There is a part before ‘A man was Later Deained’ named ‘No Story’. That really got me thinking. What the author says is generally before one writes a news article one should check for the fact with the given questions.
What?
Where?
When?
Why? &
Who?
 So if one asks this question in relation to our life, then one starts thinking why we are doing what we do. I mean we don’t know the answer to any of these questions and yet we fight and struggle in life to get to someplace which we feel is great. But isn’t it all relative? I mean what we desire is what we have observed from the time of our childhood. A person whose childhood held all the material things that money could buy would desire entirely different things from a person who has lived in dire poverty and had to struggle to get even a single meal per day.
So in short there is no point in it? or is it as they say  ‘What you believe is what you get!’ or is it
 —————————————————————

I wrote the above as a draft and never got round to post it. So I thought I’ll post it anyways…

Wrote this on 11 June 2015

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In The Garret

The past two weeks have been good. I was re-reading a lot of my old favourite story books. Whilst reading, today I got reminded of the poem ,’In The Garret’ from Good Wives by Louisa M. Alcott. I read it long back, At that time I didn’t know about e-books and such and I wrote it all down in 2004 (7th March 😉 ). Its been ten years since I first read it..

Now the book is easily available as ebook from Project Gutenberg website as well as the poem online(http://hellopoetry.com/poem/66167/in-the-garret/)

The poem though, I don’t know why but it always had a special place in my heart. Time flies, just like what is written. Just like the little chests dim with dust and worn by time so was my written copy rusted with time.

IMG_20140806_210055

I don’t want to write much. Just a few thoughts thats all

Sadhana – Rabindranath Tagore

I found this book in the book heap and thought to read it. One can clearly see how old it is. It is a 1972 publication. It belonged to a senior friend of my father. He left all his books at our house for safe keeping. He died a few years back. No one came to collect the books, So I took what I wanted from it. The rest will go to some old book store.

Its a really good one. Not fiction. I don’t know whether everyone will like it. It is kind of philosophical. Sadhana means (according to answers.com)

A key form of tantric meditation through which a practitioner aims to achieve union or identity with a particular divine being through a process of visualization and subsequent dissolution of subject and object into emptiness (śūnyatā).

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/sadhana#ixzz1RtF2h4U4

It has food for thought as they say. It makes one realize that hardships and pain of life is but for a small time. One must always look at the big picture of life as a whole and not at the portions of it which brings us pain.

It has 8 chapters each one deals with things like

I. The Relation of the Individual to the Universe
II: Soul Consciousness
III: The Problem of Evil
IV: The Problem of Self
V: Realisation in Love
VI: Realisation in Action
VII: The Realisation of Beauty
VIII: The Realisation of the Infinite

It can also be read online it seems here is a link ->http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tagore/sadh/index.htm