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I love to read. I love trashy fiction – vampires (except those books, you know the ones), werewolves, witches, mysteries, legal thrillers, bestsellers and obscure novels by authors no one knows. I used to roam used bookstores, find discount books at drugstores, old paperbacks from the dollar stores. I never wanted to be bothered to go the library (although I do have a brand new library card now!) because I never wanted to put a time limit on myself or to be bothered with actually returning the books on time.

But the Kindle changed all of that. A work friend loaned me her Kindle so I could read The Help and I loved both the format and the book, but I didn’t want to lay out the money for a Kindle of my own. Now that I have one, I don’t know what I did without it. It fits in my purse and I can take it anywhere – on a plane, to the beach, to the top of a mountain if I want.

The books would pile up and then I would have to sort through them to take them to a used bookstore so I didn’t have to deal with the clutter. Only a few treasured tomes are on my bookshelves. As much as I love books, I have a thing about too much stuff – and books are definitely a pain in the ass to move.

So receiving a Kindle as a gift was a game-changer for me. Before that, I would find books in places I already happened to be, like the drugstore. It wasn’t all bad – that’s where I found Game of Thrones, which introduced me to a wonderful writer and an entire world that has enthralled me for the last seven years.

I do miss the smell of books. I miss the sound of the pages as I turn them. I miss the weight of it in my hands. I miss looking at the page numbers. Somehow, seeing that I have finished 27% of the book isn’t exactly the same as seeing that I am on page 171. Doing that math made me realize one thing I don’t actually miss: hauling around a 633-page book. What can I say? I like Stephen King and George RR Martin.

The Kindle lets me discover independent authors like Nesley Clerge and Susan May. And seeing that authors are taking chances and putting their work out in the world gives me courage to keep plugging away. I may not be a novelist – maybe I’m just a blogger with a small readership. That’s okay. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s making me happy. Reading their work and doing this challenge is priming the pump, so to speak.

Before I had a Kindle, I mostly read books by authors I already knew. If the book was cheap enough, I might take a chance, but mostly I stayed with the tried and true. After I got the Kindle, I was introduced to a new way to find books I’m interested in and a way to support writers.

Discovering a new author – either by the Kindle suggestions or their Top 25 list or the books on the Kindle deals page – is thrilling. I won’t lie, I’ve read some crappy work. But most of the time, I find a new writer to follow, new worlds to fall into for hours at a time. And that’s never a bad thing.

**Today’s challenge was to write about an everyday object and describe what it was like before the object and after obtaining the object. I probably should’ve picked my smart phone.