I haven’t been here much lately. Partly because my hands finally recovered and I was able to stitch again – see my other blog if you’re remotely interested in needlepoint – and partly because I was given a Kindle for Christmas.
Now, I could have had a Kindle last year, indeed the possibility was dangled in front of me, carrot-like, but I wasn’t convinced. The only one I’d seen, belonged to my sister-in-law and I hadn’t really had much time to look at it in action.
But as the pressies were unwrapped on Christmas Day, I was handed a rather small box – oh gosh, I thought, it must be a DVD or two – but no, it was in fact a Kindle.
So, that’s where the journey began. I must admit, I think it was incredibly brave of my other half to even consider giving me the means to legitimately sit around ignoring everything and everyone while I simply read. I’m not entirely sure that he’d thought through all the implications. In fact, I rather think that he believes it a great way not to clutter the house – oh dear, how very naive. But I’m not complaining.
So, for the last month, I’ve been getting to know my new appliance. And what is my verdict so far?
There’s no doubt in my mind that I love it. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have limitations, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t buy real books anymore, but I find that it is an incredibly comfortable way to read and just because of that, I have already read more over the last four weeks than even this confirmed bibliophile would normally manage.
The negatives as I see them are these:
- A Kindle is not really note friendly. Not a problem if you are a good book person, who would stick pins in their own eyes before even thinking of defacing a page by… writing on it.
- Kindles are good at keeping secrets – so if you need to know what happens on the last page, before you even start to read page one, then although you can sneak a peek, it’s not as easy as flicking through to the end.
- Books that rely on pictures for part of their enjoyment, aren’t best served by Kindles.
The positives for me are:
- It’s much harder to flick through to the end and spoil the surprise!
- I seem to be able to concentrate on each page, rather than thinking about how near I am to the end of a chapter or the end of the book.
- It’s much easier to hold in bed (and with a little lamp, much less disturbing to sleeping partners).
Which leads me to summarise, that Kindles are excellent for reading fiction and also for books that want you to go off and practice something, before you read the next section. They are not good for picture books, and they are rubbish if you want to scribble notes everywhere.
In practice, since Christmas I have read (on the Kindle);
- The Etymologicon – Mark Forsyth. Absolutely loved it – brilliant, 5 stars.
- How To Train A Wild Elephant – Jan Chozen Bays. This is one of those chapter a week books. Obviously, I cheated, but am now happy to go back slowly. It’s about mindfulness, if it isn’t obvious. Not sure what to rate it yet.
- If Walls Could Talk – Lucy Worsley. Simply brilliant – 5 stars and my eleven year old also adores it – a budding historian?
- A Skeleton In The Closet – MC Beaton. OK, not high literature, but sufficient for snuggling under the duvet in the depths of winter.
- Get Some Headspace – Andy Puddicombe. Only just finished and it’s a book about practice, so too early to rate. Have a slight issue with the intensity of the online marketing, but it’s hard to avoid these days. I’ve learned some useful things from the book, but I won’t be handing over the monthly fee.
- Help! How To Become Slightly Happier & Get A Bit More Done – Oliver Burkeman. I loved this, but beware, it’s not really a self-help book, more like entertainment for people who’ve read too many of the real things and have come out the other side. 5 stars.
- Emma – Jane Austen. For the umpteenth time and I still can’t really see what she sees in the laced up Mr Knightley.
- Art & Fear – David Bayles & Ted Orland. Something to read when the arty stuff isn’t flowing. Probably good, but I’ll have to try reading it again sometime.
- Agatha Raisin and The Quiche of Death and also Agatha Raisin and The Vicious Vet – MC Beaton. More under the duvet stuff.
- And lastly (and I haven’t finished it yet, so don’t tell me who dunnit)…The Sittaford Mystery – Agatha Christie.