I think it's great that Amazon has a Kindle app for iPhones and Android phones. I can carry a hundred books in my pocket, and read them whenever I'm unavoidably detained, such as at the doctor's office, dentist's office, optometrist's office, barbershop, etc. You get the idea.
Of course, I rarely get more than a few pages into one of the classics (They're free!), so I usually wind up starting over again for each new appointment. I've read the first few pages of Ulysses dozens of times, and I still haven't made it to Lilliput despite countless embarkations.
The drawback to this is that catchphrases get stuck in your head like unwanted melodies, and then pop out at the most inopportune times. More than once I've had this exchange:
- Call me Ishmael.
I have an odd tendency to refer to people as "you fearful Jesuit," with no regard whatsoever to their religious affiliations.
Shakespeare is plentiful in the land of free lit, and is chock full of juicy, tenacious phrases. So why do I keep falling back on "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing?"
And, of course, these linguistic baubles are most likely to pop out the moment I finally get in to see the doctor, dentist, optometrist, barber, etc.
- How have you been?
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...
- What seems to be the problem?
- It feels like my gall bladder is divided into three parts.
I wouldn't mind this patina of literacy, but, like a Tourette sufferer, I have no control over when these utterances choose to interject themselves. Drink me.