By reading Emmet
Judas Iscariot. Brutus. Aaron Burr. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Johnny Damon.
The greatest traitors of all time are about to get an addition.
I have always jeered and catcalled those who would read their literature (well murder/ mysteries) on an electronic device. There is no comparison to holding a real, live book in your hands to read the latest Daniel Woodrell novel of the Ozark life. Likewise, holding the mammoth (six dollar) Sunday New York Times or the comparatively compact (four dollar) Sunday Globe is an impressive thing. It’s not only knowing that you can start the woodstove for the next week, but you can get the latest bulletins from the Mid-East, which are aggressively ignored.
Then came my birthday. Daughter Aran is hell-bent on keeping the fading old man up with the times (and the Times). She came across with a brand spanking new Kindle Fire. This seven-inch device with take you to the Internet and show you any number of movies. It will allow you to enter Amazon.com (built with Cobb Manor dollars).
It will allow you to buy all the “books” you want, electronically. This week you can get “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” for $1.50. I have not ordered a Kindle book yet. I have not stabbed Julius Caesar, but obviously I will. I can imagine pulling up to some seedy motel in southern Florida and instead of turning on the television, having a few gritty murder novels at my fingertips.
If I want a new one, I can simply order up anything I want from Amazon.
No more books. Imagine.
You have to Know Cobb Manor, where murder novels go to die. They are packed in the barn and line the living room floor, like a poor man’s insulation now that the few remaining bookcases have left the environs. There is always something to read at The Cobb.
Or there was.
When I make that final, fatal decision and order an electronic book, do I order the Boston Globe the same way? I have been addicted to the Globe since I was a child, racing to the door to meet my father and wrest the Evening Globe from his hands. First the funnies, natch, then the sports page to see how bad the Red Sox were doing. Some things never change.
I feel an intense loyalty to the Globe. I had a Globe paper route when I was a lad. I worked there for several years as a starving Co-op student at Northeastern University. I was a “stringer” for the paper when I fled to Maine.
But let us examine the economics of the situation. The Globe costs $2 daily at Fowlie’s Overpriced Emporium in Camden. The Sunday Globe is a whopping $4. That, according to my Roslindale High School math, is $18 a week or $936.00 a year. Yes, I love holding that newsprint in my grubby little fist. I like to have a cup of Dark Star coffee at my wrist while I review the developments of the day. I have been gone from Boston for decades, but I revel in the politics and the gossip of the city. Naturally, I devour the sports page and feel odd the days that I skip it. I don’t want to miss anything.
According to my research, electronic access to the Globe is a mere $3.99 a week or 207.48 per year. By going (blush) electronic I would save $728.52.
The wages of being a traitor.
I could read the Globe at home, by the wood stove. But I would miss the daily trip to the Overpriced Emporium and Gary Fowlie’s face. Let’s see. Is seeing Fowlie worth $728.52?
I can buy (electronic) books for $1.50 and save hundreds on the newspaper.
But can I become Brutus? Judas? Johnny Damon?