Thursday, 8 September 2011

On my Birthday... A Kindle...

I have never known if I wanted an ereader...  I have always loved my books.  Everything about them.  I love the touch of the paper.  I love holding them.  Flicking through to see what is going to happen when I cannot bear to read further.  Flicking back to remind myself of something that has happened earlier in the story.  The beautiful cover art.   I would read blog posts about ebooks and ereaders with curiosity and mild scepticism that a gadget could give me what I love about books.  How, I thought to myself could an ereader take the part of my beautiful shelves full of books?

Not wanting to fall behind with technology... I decided that I wanted a kindle for my birthday.  I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.   Initially, a few months ago, I downloaded the kindle for Mac so that I could see if I would like reading books in the kindle format.  I found I enjoyed the format but didn't really want the books clogging up my MacBook and that it was time for a kindle.

The kindle arrived.  Quickly followed by a beautiful green leather cover with a light in the corner.  The light is perfect for reading a night without disturbing Neil.

My kindle is beautiful and perfect.  I carry it everywhere.  It went over with me on the Belfast to Liverpool ferry.  It came back with me on a flight from Gatwick to Belfast.  While wandering around Gatwick, I bought a bottle of water and relaxed reading my kindle.  Horror of horrors... I didn't even go into to the WHSmith bookshop (a regular and rather heavy haunt of mine on previous journeys).

I love love love it.

I have had fun choosing books to put onto my kindle.  Lots of old favourites are free.  Others like the complete works of Thomas Hardy were only a couple of pounds.  In a few seconds I had downloaded the complete works.  Some of which I had previously spent years trawling around second hand bookshops looking for out of print less popular novels that he had written.

I cannot believe it... but I even find myself thinking about getting rid of classics that I have owned for a couple of decades... now that I have them downloaded onto my kindle.  I find myself thinking about how useful the space would be.

I do not know how this gadget has made such an impact on me in a little under a fortnight.  Since its arrival my view of books has been turned on its head.  I can see that for novels and information gathering this is amazing.  I can also see that it will not replace everything.  It wouldn't be so successful for me (even if it were in colour) for the beautiful knitting, patchwork, gardening or art books that I own.  With these types of books I love the large glossy colourful images which inspire and influence me.

I love the fact that I can sit in a public place... reading a children's book like The Enchanted Castle or a textbook... (or whispering this one... a self help book) and no one around me knows what I am reading.  For all the inquisitive passerby knows... I am reading Crime and Punishment...

Instapaper allows me to find an interesting article on a blog or a newspaper or a website and mark it Read Later and periodically it downloads all the articles to my kindle in the format of a downloaded newspaper for me to read at my leisure.

Oh... and did I mention... the gorgeous apple green leather cover?

This gadget is so impressive that my mum has also become the proud new owner of a kindle (hers arrived on Tuesday).

So... have I found anything that annoys me about my new kindle?  The only thing that frustrates me at this point is that I cannot yet buy all the books that I would like to read in the kindle format...

I want books kindalised...

No longer will I go on holiday barely able to lift my suitcase off the floor because I have 10 heavy books weighing it down.  Now I can carry one kindle weighing about the same as one paperback in my handbag...  The freedom is exhilarating.

Now I can relax in a coffee shop with 100+ books in my handbag.  It is extraordinary.  It is magical.

And what am I reading at the moment?  The Complete Father Brown Mysteries...