A Pillow Book

I wanted a blog to reflect my life and, as with most people, I do and am many things, decided to create a Pillow Book. It will have thoughts, ideas, observations and little snippets of my day to day life. So, thank you Empress Consort Teishi....... I bow to you and your great work and hope, in some small way, mine might be great too.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

To Kindle or not to Kindle............

Last night at my Book Club meeting we had a lengthy discussion on the merits or otherwise of owning a Kindle. I can see the advantages, if you are a commuter, to have the newspaper and current novel on a light flat screen the size of a paperback is ideal, it can be read with ease, no folding and re-folding, no one handed propping open of pages or trying to flick over a page when the other hand is otherwise engaged holding onto a strap! One friend is off solo across Europe on a train journey of many hours followed by a two week holiday, a voracious reader she loves the idea of several books ready to go... Another friend, who is of the age that reading glasses are required, loves the fact that a largish font can be chosen so negating the need for remembering to take her glasses to bed each night. Another loves the light that comes with the case so she made read in peace without disturbing her husband.  I could go on for each owner of a Kindle gave many reasons for owning one, but for me the greatest reason to not have one is that Kindles have no soul.

I grew up surrounded by books and readers. Every Friday after work my dad would drive to my Gran's house where he would meet my mum, brother and me, a quick cup of tea and he then walked along the road to the minuscule Library that served the market town I grew up in.  The Librarians knew him by name as he did them. I often went with him, and would happily spend time looking at books on art or some such until he was ready with a stack of four, five or six books to get him through the next week.  I still have a book from that Library, bought in a sale,  withdrawn from circulation stamped in the front, when I pick it up  I am taken back to Fridays of my childhood and precious times with my dad.  My eldest daughter is called Jessica, I came across the name as a child because it was part of the title of a book given to my Grandmother as a Sunday School prize, Jessica's First Prayer. I read it as soon as I was able and it now belongs  my very own Jessica. I recently had to teach a class of seven year olds PSHE introducing the theme of how we change through our lives. I was able to go to my bookcase and use the much beloved book belonging to my son, Love You Forever, which perfectly illustrated how we all change from babies to the day we die.  I love certain recipe books that fall open at exactly the right egg stained page or the novel that has suncream smudged ink and sand that trickles out when you open it up again many years later.

I could go on, yes it is better for the planet, but wouldn't people lose jobs if no more books are printed?  It remembers what page you got to when you fell asleep, but is it any hardship flicking through until a sentence is familiar? But, we won't ever share Kindles or pass them on to our children, or sit snuggled up on a rainy afternoon with a small child going back and forth through  much turned pages. So to Kindle or not to Kindle...that is a very good question.....and for this reader it is, I feel, a no because a soul will always win over convenience for me.....unless I start commuting that is.....

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