You see - I firmly believe quality mystery fiction speaks to society and its quirks and foibles as well as the so-called classics or so called serious writers and they - the mysteries - are a helluva lot more entertaining. Plus, I live today. Unless we're talking the ancient Rome of Marcus Didius Falco or Gordianus the Finder I'd typically rather read something more current. Want to know what life in Alaska is like?? Pick up a Kate Shugak or Liam Campbell novel by Dana Stabenow. Ditto Cleveland and Les Roberts. Seattle??? Read a Thomas Black novel by Earl Emerson. My home turf - the SF Bay Area Grab a Nameless Detective novel by Bill Pronzini. Vermont??? Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther is your guide.
Alas - all of that came to a halt the last few years. My wife Lynn is afflicted with Huntington's Disease. I am her primary caretaker - and my other full-time job is writing product descriptions for the company I work for. So - that's 2 full-time jobs. I was still able to read a bit at night until the light became a trigger that sets Lynn off on one of her violent tirades. So - no light, no more reading. Poor me.
Now I mentioned my paying job - writing product descriptions. I had occasion to write descriptions for several eReaders - Kindles, Nooks and the like. It's not like I was unaware of them - I've worked in the electronics industry for almost thirty years. I just never gave them much thought until this past Christmas season. Something about the Kindle PaperWhite device caught my fancy while I was working on the Web content and I sprung for one.
Now of course you need some software - aka books - so I promptly acquired the latest two Dana Stabenow novels, the latest two Randy Wayne White Doc Ford novels, the latest two Les Roberts Milan Jacovich novels and sundry short stories along with the most recent Harry Dresden novel by Jim Butcher.
The planets have realigned - the display on the Kindle adjusts to the point Lynn doesn't even notice. I've read everything I purchased and am ready for another round of purchases after I finish the real book my friend Ramana sent me called The Wonder Box. That make take a while as I have to sneak reading time - I cannot read it in two sittings (layings since I read in bed?) but I suspect there'll be another dozen or so titles on my Kindle within a couple of weeks. I have some catching up to do and there's a new Preston/Child Pendergast novel calling my name. I bet there're even some Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee novels available on Kindle.
My pal Bob - aka Arch - is understanding yet somewhat aghast. Nothing will ever get him to read an eBook. Just not in his makeup. He does knows my circumstances call for what can only be deemed desperate measures. He's an even more voracious reader than I. Years ago we met Earl Emerson at a bookstore in Dallas and Arch was quoting dialogue from the very first book in the Thomas Black series word for word. Emerson was astonished - and I'm sure quite pleased - LOL.
The bottom line is I have recovered a piece of what keeps me sane. As Lynn's condition will only worsen over time, I still have my literary friends through whom I can live vicariously. I look forward to the evenings once again.