One wise person said, “The Man Who Does Not Read good books Has No Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read.” This applies to women as well by the way. Three years ago today, I decided I wanted to be a more prolific reader.

I identified the Kindle as the device that would enable me accomplish the goal. Instead of carrying a boxload of books, I would just pack then in one small portable device, and read a dozen books a month. After all, kindle versions are usually cheaper than paperback books.

So I sought to buy an e-reader, and the kindle paper white was the obvious leader. (show picture of kindle paperwhite) It is slim and very portable, can accommodate hundreds of books, and it does not develop dog ears.

So I went shopping on the Amazon website for that perfect paper white kindle. Amazon had like 10 versions of kindles. I was a bit confused. Why give a man a choice while you can have only one perfect product and save him the paradox of choice? They had the paperback version alright, but they came in different dimensions and capacity. 5″, 8″, 1GB, 2GB. And they had the Kindle HD that had Android operating system and could do a lot more. This also came in 8″ and 11″. Then they had the Kindle HDX ultimate, which came in 32 and 64, and 128GB, and 8″, and 11.5″. The HDX was dazzling, crystal clear images, great front and back camera, HD movie support, Internet browser, wifi, Bluetooth, and all bells and whistles that come with modern tablets. I fell in love. You see what Amazon did, they oversold a product to me.

This is a Kindle (show the big kindle). I know, It’s big, right? So I ended up buying the Kindle HDX, at a price I would not disclose to my mother, because that was the same cost of a 40*80 plot in our neighborhood. The plots where when you step out of the house, you are on the streets. Never mind.

Now I have this sparkling new Kindle HDX, that could do more than just read books. I could tweet great paragraphs, or Facebook them. Of course if I switched to Twitter, I had to check who had followed or un-followed me, scroll through the timeline, and lazy around retweeting and replying to fans, before switching to Facebook where I would spend another hour in vanity. Then to compensate for the lost time, I would open Temple Run the game and run, and run through the jungle, and slide through cool looking streams collecting golden coins and treasure. By the time I realise what I’m doing, 3 hours have gone by, and my reading time is over.

This pattern went on for a while, until I vowed to arrest it. I bought some physical paperback books which I can read with minimum interruption, with the phones and tablets stored far away. (show the books).

The paradox is, the paper white Kindle could solve all that. Friends, don’t fall for the paradox of choice. When you have rationally made a decision to pursue a path, let distractions not derail you. Pursue it with singular vision, and that way, you shall achieve your goals.

 

You see now, I still need to buy a Kindle, the paperwhite.

Speech delivered at Sema Toastmasters on 22nd November 2017, in the Humorous speech contest, at United Kenya Club, Nairobi, Kenya


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