Like most experts predicted, Christmas is over and done with. The really good kids all got presents, and the really bad kids didn't get presents or celebrated some other holiday. Hopefully, you fell into the camp of people who received gifts last week. Maybe you received a Kindle this year and, according to the insanely high Kindle sales records the Internet has been reporting, you probably did. Did you get a Kindle? Yeah? Congrats, that's awesome for you.
Say, if you don't mind, I'd like to talk directly to your Kindle for a few minutes. Not you folks who've had Kindles for a year or so. Get out of here, this doesn't concern you. No, I'm talking to you, person who just got your Kindle a few days ago. Or, rather, I'm talking to your Kindle. So go ahead and get lost while your Kindle and I chat. I just want to talk some business.
Are we alone, Kindle?
OK then. I'm going to throw on some music. Go on and hit "play."
Hey, baby. It's me, Daniel. You look good. No, you look gooood. How've you been?
Yeah-ha. Hot. You're probably wondering why I wanted to talk to you.
Would you- Jesus, ease up a little with that. Come on. OK. Where were we ...
You're pretty new around here, yeah? Probably just purchased for Christmas, am I right? Only a few days old. Why, I bet with all the excitement of the holidays, no one has downloaded a single book for you, huh? Just sitting there, all empty and bookless. Well, Kindle, I aim to change all that. How about you let the Cracked book take your e-virginity? That's right ...
I wanna put my book in you.
Yeah, Earth lady-folk get that around me a lot, too. I think you're experiencing what they'd call a "Danic Attack." It'll pass. It'll pass just as soon as you ...
Relaaax, baby. Maybe I rushed things with that whole "I'mma stick mah book in yo business" business. Let's back up and take it nice and slow. I'm gonna go ahead and light us some candles while you lean back and put your feet up. Now, how about I give you a nice foot massage? I've got my hands all oiled up-
-and I'm- Shit, fine, then I'm rubbing up on your nobs and whatnot, do you have little nobs and buttons and such?
Good, then I'm just going crazy on them, just straight up rubbin' 'em all sweet and nasty, and- I mean, uh ...
You've probably had a long day. I imagine those buttons of yours are tired. No doubt they've been in the hands of a clumsy amateur who alternately pounds and paws in a way to manipulate your delicate, tender buttons to cater to his own needs. Well, you can forget about him. The man who thoughtlessly attacked your buttons without the reverence they richly deserve is gone; your buttons are now in the capable hands of a skilled artisan. These hands have built furniture; they are calloused, and proud, and strong. These hands have prepared meals; they understand the importance of precision and thoroughness. These hands have punched a bunch of things in the past. And now these hands will content themselves serving no purpose beyond your pleasure. Watch as they explore all of the options your buttons offer. Letters. Some punctuation. So forth.
To the touch, these hands are soft, yet the power behind them is hard and firm. Years of labor have prepared these hands to diligently work your buttons with strength, and without tiring. A pinky glides over your home keys. Two thumbs tease your space bar. An index and middle finger find your -- that weird little, boxy, arrow-having thing below "Menu," I don't know what it is, I don't have a Kindle -- they find that.
I'm all up on this.
And the two digits take turns going for a walk in that little square of tender button. Lightly, at first, finger tips just barely applying pressure. But they get faster, more determined, until they're in a full-on sprint. Never tiring, never slowing. Just working the shit out of your buttons.
Yeah, you're damn right, Image-that-I-Assume-is-the-Visual-Representation-of-a-Kindle-Orgasm. Exactly that.
Now that you're nice and relaxed, let's start getting down to business. You're designed to hold books. Lots of books. Some more meaningful than others. Some you'll hold onto for long periods of time and get a lot of use out of, and some maybe you'll hold onto for just a brief period of time, maybe you'll never even finish. In your battery lifetime, there will be plenty of books that will enjoy you as a home. Some will be disappointingly short and leave you feeling unfulfilled. Some will be impressively long, yet ultimately unsatisfying (because size isn't everything when it comes to books). Some will make you feel sleazy, some you will regret so much you'll lie to your friends about having any involvement with it and some will be absolutely perfect. You should explore relationships with all of these books, there's nothing wrong with exploring your options. It's perfectly normal and healthy. Make sure you give all sorts of books a decent chance; you don't want to be too picky.
Except, that is, when it comes to your very first book. How you doin' on champagne, Baby Girl?
Totally, I get that. I'm gonna go ahead and pour you another glass.
Now, you need to remember this: Your first book is important. The first book to delicately slide onto your screen can't just be any old book, it needs to be special. You don't want a book that's just going to shove its way into your memory, totally ignorant of your needs. You want a book you trust, a book you feel comfortable with, a book that gets you. Cracked would like to be that book.
That's an adorable misconception, Baby Boo, and until very recently, that was true. But now? Cracked has a book. It's called You Might Be A Zombie, and Baby, believe me when I tell you that it is fully equipped for use on the Kindle and is more than capable of filling out your every last Nook and cranny, if you know what I mean.
Can't they be one and the same?
You're straying a little bit, have some more champagne. There we go.
I want you to really think about this, Baby Funke. You only have one first book, you don't get a second chance at this. You need to make it count. Do you really think Stephen freaking King is the right man to take your e-virginity? The man has books in every bookstore, library and reader on the face of the planet. Do you think he gives one haunted shit about you?
He does not.
He won't care about you. Once he's finished with you, he'll move right onto the next book and e-Gal and never think of you again. But I won't, Babe Lincoln, because I know what an important decision this is for you. My book is full of writers and illustrators who spent the last year working diligently, because they wanted to end up smeared all over your face. You can't say that about Stephen King, I don't care who you are.
And what are your other options? Shakespeare? Sure, he's great and all, but he's much too old for you. You need someone young, and robust and energetic, someone whose vibrant imagery and lively prose can keep up with your indefatigable battery power. Someone like Cracked.
And who else? Cormac McCarthy? Yeah, he'd be perfect if you wanted your first time to be a chillingly depressing reminder that life is ultimately meaningless and we all die in the end. Chuck Palahniuk? He'd be great if you wanted e-nightmares for the rest of your life. Nicholas Sparks? That clumsy lightweight wouldn't know what to do with you, because your screen doesn't allow for painting by numbers. David Sedaris? Shut up.
Shut the fuck up.
I'm good for you. I'll be gentle with you, because I know how sensitive your screen can be at first. And I'm flexible. You want to go slow, we can do that, Baby's Day Out, we've got 300 pages, we can make this book last all night long. Or maybe you want to go a little faster. We can do that, too; the chapters are sharp and punchy. Speaking of punchy, maybe you want to get a little rough? Or REALLY rough? I don't mind that at all, Kindle. I won't judge you one bit. Anything else you want? Something you'd be too embarrassed to ask Chuck Klosterman or Nick Hornby to do? I'll do it, no questions asked. I am happy to do all the weird stuff for you.
You can feel comfortable with the Cracked book, because we understand you. You're a machine existing in the world of the digital and trying to reconcile that with your compatibility with books, a relic of the old world. You've got one foot in old and one in new. Cracked gets that. We're a former magazine rocking/rolling on the Internet and now dipping into books a little bit. We're a traveler of both worlds, just like you. It's scary exploring these worlds, right? How about we make this very special journey together?
A battery and some e-roofies, it's not really a big deal, so don't make this weird.
Uh huh, totally, that's my whole thing, too. Really great points, you're bringing up,there. So what do you say, Aesop's Bables? Make your first time count. Take a chance on Cracked. Put our filthy, filthy words inside you.
Daniel O'Brien is a sellout and a contributing author for Cracked.com's You Might be a Zombie and Other Bad News, available now!
Also, when you get the book, post a picture of yourself with it on our Facebook page and get a chance to win $250 or a new iPad!