I'm feeling poorly about myself, lately, because I'm a sellout.
I told myself, when new technological innovations began rendering some of my favorite things obsolete - typewriters, for instance - that I was not going to give in to whatever it was that threatened to replace books.
Nothing has been as satisfying to me as plopping down on my couch (geez, I love that couch) with a good book on my lap. Not even shopping for shoes.
Nothing more delicious than words on a page. Not even chocolate.
This, then, would be the reason there are hundreds - really, hundreds - of books in our house. On shelves, so many shelves; stacked on tables, next to tables, under tables.
We runneth over with books.
Better Half, overwhelmed with the largesse, had the good idea to buy me a Kindle, that electronic thingamajiggy about the size of a paperback, that allows one to "buy" books online, where they are also stored. No shelves, no piles, all nice and tidy and instantly accessible.
This may be the end of a long romance and, forgive a weak pun, the writing on the wall. It's just a matter of time before books go the way of carbon paper and Wite-Out, and while I understand this is inevitable, a sign of the times, I still feel as guilty as if I've broken up with an old, true love.
Mrs. Z, who is technologically more adventuresome than me, has had a Nook, Barnes & Noble's answer to the Kindle (which comes from Amazon), for a while now. She loves it.
"Be careful, though" she warned, when I told her about my new toy. "I was so excited about getting a book in an instant, that I lost track of how many I was buying. Too bad my credit card wasn't."
I'm telling myself this gadget is the green thing to do, even as I'm trying to teach an old dog a new trick. I've made it through one book "Chasing Fire," by Nora Roberts (which is an interesting look at what firefighters go through during wildfire season, which we're up to our ankles in at the moment).
But I wander.
Better Half is getting a kick out watching me get used to this thing. I've been a conspicuous consumer of fiction and fact on paper for so long that my hand keeps trying to turn a page that isn't there. All I need to do now is tap a key and voila! the next page appears like magic.
This could take a while. I'm still trying to change a channel with the phone and add up numbers with the remote control, and we've had a TV, a phone and a calculator for decades.
But enough about gadgets.
We had quite an adventure here, early this morning. It involved Voldemort, the evil creature in the "Harry Potter" series that looks like a guy with pantyhose pulled tight over his face.
Well. Voldemort by way of a nightmare, I should add.
There I was, in Voldemort's clutches and crying out for help because I knew I would be a goner if someone didn't come to the rescue. I have cried out for help in dreams before, laughed hysterically, sung at the top of my lungs - but never before have my vocalizations escaped the dream world.
Until this morning, when I screamed "HELP!" - and it made it into the real world.
Harley Davison (cat), cuddled beside me in a ball, like a tickled sow bug, launched himself about 3 feet in the air and Fearless Leader, who'd been reading the newspaper in his office, came flying down the stairs shouting, "MY GOD, WHAT'S WRONG!"
Woke me, too, and as a result Voldemort left the building.
Fearless Leader nearly had a heart attack. Harley is avoiding me, and I have a very sore throat.
I try to start every day with a little excitement.
* Lynne Horner is a former Maui News features editor and writer who now lives in Springfield, Ore. Her "Second Thoughts" column appears every Tuesday. Send email to her at email@example.com.