Candies and…Kindles? Yes. The two really are related. You see, last night I bought an e-book for the first time in years. It had been long months since I’d navigated the virtual check-out counter that pops up when selecting an e-book, but Amazon.com’s highly sophisticated system enables money to leap effortlessly out of the coin pouches of shoppers and into the coffers of this tiny little online retailer mammoth. With one click of the “One Click” button, the book was now mine for the reading.
My Kindle had a different story (ha ha).
Actually, my Kindle had no stories. It didn’t even have a heartbeat. Did you know that Kindles could die of literary starvation? I didn’t either, but it seemed mine had. I had gone one too many years without feeding it a book or two, and it had quietly, literary-ly starved to death. Or maybe it just needed a battery re-charge, I couldn’t tell. Not knowing any doctors specializing in literary malnutrition in the Tacoma-area, I decided to try a re-charge.
According to the message on the face of the device, the Kindle could take up to 30 minutes for the battery to fully charge. If the Kindle still wouldn’t move, the device would need to be reset by engaging the power button for 20 seconds. I connected the Kindle to an electrical outlet with the power cord and went on with other business, looking forward to cracking open my new book right before bedtime.
Apparently my Kindle was so far gone that after 30 full minutes of resuscitation, it did nothing more than emit a wan, yellowish light that indicated…guess what? A low battery. I resigned myself to holding off on the book until the next day and went to bed.
By morning, the Kindle showed some signs of improvement. The yellowish light had turned a promising green. I unplugged the device and powered it up. The familiar sight of my home page, with stories and books I’d downloaded in the past, greeted me like a long lost friend. But long lost friends were not what I wanted at the moment. I elbowed past the oldies and headed straight for the menu to access my newest e-book. Still, nothing!
After pressing the Synch and Check for Items button, I learned my Kindle wasn’t connecting to the Wi-Fi. I spent the next half hour sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, still in my pajamas, hunched over my router, keying in the Wi-Fi passcode from the flea-sized print on the router’s factory label. After the second failure, I realized I never knew just how very fussy this particular Kindle was. When it asked me to enter the Wi-Fi security code, apparently it really wanted the Wi-Fi security code and not, say, the router’s serial number. That was just an example. I didn’t really mistake the router’s serial number for the Wi-Fi security key. Not more than twice, anyway. But then even after entering the real Wi-Fi security key—once, twice, twenty-two times with and without the spaces—still with no luck, I almost walked away from the Kindle in disgust, ditching the absurd notion that a person should be able to just read a -(bleep)– book after paying for it. It wasn’t the first time that I regretted being so completely incompetent with electronic devices and especially with computers and Wi-Fis and why on earth was this so complicated??
Ironically, it was my computer that saved the day. I got up and grabbed my laptop to Google “My Kindle won’t connect to Wi-Fi”—an activity that started with smoothing out the leg cramp that came from thinking a 41-year old could spring to an upright position after sitting cross-legged for more than 20 seconds without paying for it and ended with finally, FINALLY accessing my e-book. To make a long story just a tad longer, this involved nothing less than rebooting my modem, rebooting my Kindle, downloading a crucial software update for the Kindle manually (accomplished by taking wild stabs at various links and then crossing my fingers), and, lastly, more rebooting of the Kindle.
Now what does all this have to do with candies? That’s the best part. The e-book I purchased is the digital version of Lisa Kivirist and John D Ivanko’s Homemade For Sale: How to Set Up and Market a Food Business From Your Home Kitchen. It was perfect reading while waiting for the green light to sell my candies. The book is FULL of information including details of the Cottage Food Law, product marketing, business management, and—my favorite—profiles of ten successful Cottage Food start-ups. To anyone even curious about starting a home-based food business, I highly recommend it. The Kindle version currently sells for around $13. If you are at all like me, and your Kindle hasn’t been fed since Bilbo fought in the Battle of the Five Armies, you can always go buy a print copy and spare yourself the leg cramp.