I have just reread Brave new World by Aldous Huxley. It was published in 1953 and I believe the first time I read it was in 1958 in a high school class under the tutelage of Carl Lang. None of that will mean much to most of you, but if you haven’t read the book recently the relevance title of this post will mean even less.
It all started because in response to something someone said I replied “In the year of our Ford”. My next thought was “where did that come from”? Then I thought that it was from Brave New World (hereafter BNW). Since we are on the road, just running to the library to pick up a copy to read is not simple. However, when we were visiting in Florida, I bought a Kindle. I “went shopping” and found a copy of BNW in Kindle format and zap I owned it. Yup in the far future as written in the early 1950’s they have changed their worship to Ford and taken the tops off of every cross to change them to “T” (as in Model T). I will not pursue BNW any further, if you want to get the link between the title and the book, you will have to read it. Time for me get a half gram of soma.
Today we have gone Elks Lodge to Elks Lodge. We are back in the Monterey Lodge we visited last March. It still has a wonderful view of the ocean. We had thought of stopping at a Harvest Host winery, actually we did, but it was only noon when we stopped so we tasted Tobin James reds and bought a couple of bottles of their Merlot before retreating from the mobs to our coach for lunch. We decided to move on to the Monterey Elks, as planned 3 hours previously. Harvest Host is yet another “club”. It is a loose association of farms with sales venues across the country which mostly have space for a motorhome or two to dry camp on their grounds for a night. The list is only accessible to members and it includes wineries, dairies, cattle ranches and truck farms with farm stands. They are mostly well off any route we are likely to be on when going point to point, but they will be interesting when can take the time to venture off the beaten path.
I seem to have drifted away from my initial thread. That happens. Back to the Kindle. These are wonderful sources of reading materiel. We have a shared subscription to the NYTimes and it is really much easier to bring the Kindles to the table over breakfast than trying to find room for two laptops along with the meal. See a book you think you might like to read and find it and sample it before buying. Think a strange thought like “In the year of our Ford” and track down the 60 year old book and begin reading it within minutes. It is really amazing, by the way, how much I forgot about that book. I may have to venture into 1984 of similar vintage and assigned reading by the same teacher. I have reread that some time in the last 50 years, but darned if I can remember when, I do remember RATS and I do remember turned down page corners for the sexy parts, or at least they seemed sexy then. Can’t dog ear a page on the Kindle, but I can bookmark it, or highlight it or share it.
I search through the “Under $3.99” regularly and download samples. If I like them they are mine at once, if not,they are deleted from the Kindle and the wishlist. In case you think you will miss the feel of the paper and the heft of a book, remember trying to read something like War and Peace or a really fat paperback book. They all fit in the same 4 by 6 inch frame that weighs a few ounces and on e ink can be read in any light you can read paper in, you do need light. Carol has the Kindle Fire, she does not need any light since it is backlit, but reading in sunlight can be difficult. Also the Fire weighs much more, maybe twice as much as my Touch. It still is lighter than most books. When we fly to Rochester, it will be so much easier to carry our Kindles than than the books we need for the flight and down time in Rochester and if we run out of reading material on the ground no need to find a bookstore or news stand. If wifi is not available, I merely turn on the hotspot on my phone and we are connected to more books than the Library of Congress. How cool is that? I must seem like a real ad for Kindle, but I am sure that if we had Nooks or Sony’s the atitude would be the same. Maybe if we had “Gizmos” – see The Last Bookstore in America by Amy Stewart – we would feel differently.
The Lagavulin tastes fine and I am sure the dinner of fresh giant artichokes (from the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market) and squash and salad will feature some really nice wine. I had best post this before I become maudlin. Tomorrow we drive about 15 miles to Laguna Seca Recreation Area (yes the race track is there) to meet the Braunsteins and the Springfield RV Club. Should be some great fun.