Kindle Hunting on the F
Two sightings in one week.
Two days ago I was standing on the F train, late afternoon, crowded enough to stand, but not so crowded I couldn’t breathe, when I spied what appeared to be a black leather cover about the shape and size of a Kindle. I couldn’t believe it. All this time I’ve been waiting to see one on the F and there it was.
I walked carefully across the car to get a closer look – not too close, because this is
I stopped ten feet away.
I gazed at the leather cover and then… away. There was something wrong. The cover was flat and not shiny. Up closer it didn’t look like the same kind of leather I’d seen on the advertisements and on my wife’s machine. There was no cream colored interior. I was pretty sure the device the cover was holding was silver with a black/gray screen.
It wasn’t a Kindle. It was a Sony.
Advertisements galore, but no Kindle. Instead a Sony Reader had infiltrated my ‘hood. I looked at the owner. He was Caucasian, maybe 30, balding, had a belly, carried a black messenger bag, wore a white shirt, no tie, black sneakers, and glasses. I wasn’t sure what it meant but I filed the description away in the back of my brain.
Then this morning, on the F, I went into work early, caught the train about 7:35. There were seats available on all cars. That all by itself was amazing. At 8 or 8:30 it’s a mob scene.
I stood for a moment, looking to see whether I could sit or not. I did a quick seat-or-stand scan of the car. There were no pregnant women standing – no women at all. A couple of guys were leaning against the door but they were young and healthy, clearly choosing to stand. There were no elderly straphangers waiting for seats to open up.
I was good for a seated passage.
A seat next to a man, thirties, balding, glasses, white shirt, black pants, black messenger bag, slight belly, but wearing black shoes, was sitting down at a two-seater by himself – and, I shook my head to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, he was reading a Kindle.
It wasn’t the same guy from two days ago but it could easily have been his brother or twin. I hesitated another moment then sat down next to him.
There was something different about this Kindle. It was bigger, wider – more like the size of a large hardcover than a trade paperback like the Kindle my wife has but still won’t let me read. Yes. It was the new model – specially designed for folks who want to read larger items like newspapers or magazines. It’s the exact same looking model only bigger.
I couldn’t help myself. I stared at his machine. He glanced at me then back at his Kindle. I stared some more. I had to hold my hands in check so I didn’t reach out and touch the thing.
“I hope you don’t mind my asking, but is that the new larger sized Kindle?” I asked.
“What do you think of it?”
“I like it,” he said. “I only just got it but so far it’s pretty good.”
“How does it compare to the smaller one?”
“I don’t know. I only have this one.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I’ll let you get back to your, you know, reading.”
He nodded and smiled at me, then shifted a little away, just enough for me to notice.
I nodded slowly, smiling myself.
There you have it folks. First the advertisements for the Kindle — then a Sony Reader. Now, finally, after months of searching for one on the F train coming into or out of
And both electronic books were being used by bald white men in their thirties, with small bellies and black messenger bags. Keep an eye out. You never know where they’ll turn up next.