I borrowed Jen's iPod Touch to try the Amazon Kindle app and in the past two days I've read sample chapters from about twenty books. Mobile book browsing seems to hit a neuromarketing sweet spot in my brain where browsing, buying, reading and stealing intersect. I feel like one of the survivors in a zombie movie, grabbing stuff off the shelves in an abandoned store because, why not?
But instead of racing back to a reinforced cellar in the evening with a knapsack full of No-Dōz and Moon Pies, I do a quick wireless sync and in ten seconds I'm reading from the collection I've stashed away piecemeal during the day. It's surprisingly satisfying to read ten to twenty pages from a book and move on. You get a high rate of interestingness at a comfortable, intermediate, cycling pace, and a good sense of what you actually want to read all the way through.
I'm eager to read more of Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson's practical, philosophical guide to what makes animals happy. Imagining another species' mind is touching, shocking and oddly relaxing, like Magic Eye. To see it, you have to let go of something you didn't know you were holding onto.
I also enjoyed a sample from Forensic Pathology, part of the CRC series in forensic investigation. (I've long treasured my old copy of Practical Homicide Investigation by Vernon Gebreth, BBA, MPS, FBINA, Bronx Homicide Task Force and general editor of the series.) There is, admittedly, a lot of unseemly rubbernecking to be done in a book about bodily decomposition, both sudden and gradual. But like the animal mind book, it offers a compelling alternative perspective on almost everything, as very interesting things often do.