“You knew this day was coming,” Kindle said to Paperback, who was sprawled facedown across the tabletop. Kindle scrolled through his list of classics. “You’re a singleton,” he chuckled. “I can hold over hundreds of books, change my screen settings to sixteen different shades of gray, and I even have a built in dictionary. What do you have, an index?” Laughter crackled through a picture of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
Paperback stood upright, pages spread open. “Take note, Kindle. I have multiple functions. I can be a coaster, a fan, a footstool, a plate, a weapon, and a flyswatter.” He fanned his pages. “Furthermore, you don’t smell as good as me; you can’t survive a bathtub fall; acquire an autograph, or be folded, chewed, smashed, burned and live to tell about it. And, I’d like to see you get sand in your cracks.”
Kindle’s screen flickered to Dean Koontz’s, Phantoms, and then switched back to page 88 of Fragile Things. “Let’s face it, Paperback. It all comes down to class. People look cool when they are reading me. Also, if they take a vacation, do you think they are going to pack a bag full of books? Get real. This is the 21st century.”
Paperback folded his corner pages into a smile and thrust his front cover at Kindle. “You’re right, Kindle. I knew this day was coming, and so is this one.”
Kindle read Paperback’s cover, The Electronic Apocalypse: life without power. Kindle’s screen flicker again, and powered into sleep mode. “This isn’t the end —”
Paperback resumed his sprawl, pages propped open on the counter. “You can’t be cool if you’re dead.” He propped his corner up on Kindle. “Hmm. I guess you can be useful as a footstool.”
published 24 October 2012