CHANGING PLACES…

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Although I’m and first and foremost a writer, I absolutely love reading.  In fact I learned to read before I started school and during my childhood worked my way through all the books kids usually enjoy including classics like Black Beauty and The Wind in the Willows.   For me Enid Blyton could do no wrong, I loved everything she wrote and was particularly proud of my collection of Famous Five and Secret Seven titles.

woman-reading-bookI guess for me reading is like being Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole.  I land in different worlds and become a spectator, an outsider watching what’s going on in other peoples’ lives.  I may sometimes challenge what is happening, cry, laugh or even groan with frustration at the characters. However, in the end everything is out of my hands.  I have no influence and it is down to the writer of the story to decide how it all ends.

Until the arrival of Kindle I was a regular purchaser of  paperbacks. Some I kept, others I swapped with friends. All too quickly my bookcases overflowed and I found myself having regular purges, donating unwanted items to the local hospital friends for their monthly book sale.  I did, however, keep – and still have – favourites including Mary Wesley, PennyVincenzi, Barbara Eskine and Phillipa Gregory.

I purchased my first Kindle in May 2011  and The Help by Kathryn Stockett was my very first download.  Four years and a huge number of books later I now have a new Kindle Paperwhite  – my 3rd Kindle.  I think what I particularly like is how quickly kindle-woman-readingyou can choose and purchase a book.  It’s downloaded in seconds and, of course, it’s also great for holidays as it saves packing a stack of paperbacks in your luggage.

As a tour and promotion host for Brook Cottage Books, Kindle is also the favoured medium to receive copies for review. I’ve also joined NetGalley which gives me access to new titles for independent reviewing, something I also carry out from time to time.

However, having said all this, there is nothing that can replace the feel of holding a book in your hands; of flicking through the pages, admiring the cover and having a look inside. Kindle may be able to deliver your book in the blink of an eye, what it lacks however, lies in its design. Kindle Paperwhite has no colour, all you get is a washy grey version of the cover. The downloaded book does not have a traditional paging arrangement.  It has no shape, no size – it’s neither a four by seven or a six by nine, simply an electronic file. And that is probably why, despite enjoying the use of this neat little gismo, I am still drawn into book stores on a regular basis. There I linger,  admire covers, pull titles from the shelves and browse, generally immersing myself in this Aladdin’s Den of the written word. Yes, the ‘real book’ junkie is alive and well and still very much in need of her fix of the genuine article!

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3 thoughts on “CHANGING PLACES…

  1. Couldn’t agree more Jo. Nothing beats a real book; the smell, feel, the cover, and art work. Placing it in a bookshelf and being able to spot it via the cover….magic.

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    1. The real book element I guess is an echo of my childhood, Jane. It brings back memories of having book tokens for birthdays and Christmases and then going into town to spend them on whatever book I coveted at the time. A bit of a nostalgia trip I guess.

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      1. Back when Christmas was magic. I know. Midnight Mass – staying up late. Pillow cases on the end of the bed, the crackle of Christmas paper as you wiggled your toes, the smell of the wrapping paper back the; it really did have a special smell. The smell of the tree in the sitting room, the pines filling the early morning air when you first creep downstairs. The tins of toffee, the liquorice smoker’s outfit, and the orange, and nuts in the pillow case. The new slippers, or shoes, or new nighty and a book of some sort. My Christmas was like that. The kids (siblings) finding their gifts early, riding trikes around the landing, the new dolls, the Airfix Model kits and footballs….ah! That’s what I recall as a child. As an adult, it was putting the tree up when our son went to bed and placing his gifts around it, His face when he got up and found Father Christmas had been in the night….the best of times Jo. Like your memories. A magical time really. Books held such a thrill – of the unknown adventures to come. Happy nostalgia. 🙂

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