Wednesday, 13 November 2013

i just wanted to hold you


Let's talk about books. Whilst I am not a technophobe by any means, I have never really got on board with the Kindle concept. I happily make use of my phone, tablet, pc and, at least before its demise, laptop, on a daily basis. I online bank, online shop and even did a whole masters degree online some years ago. However, there's certain things that I just don't like to digitise. I have always been a stationery geek, and although I have a backup electronic calendar I prefer the paper version in the filofax I bought myself when I started my new job, and I take comfort in writing with fountain pens, and using pretty notebooks.

I am an avid reader, or at least I was when I was younger. I dare not say I do not have the time, as this thought provoking post from Kelly recently made me recognise that not having time for something is generally quite a subjective matter. As I said in my response to the post, we seem to be a society that equates being busy and stressed with a life that is important and meaningful, and not having time to do the things we enjoy seems to be a way of quantifying how busy, and therefore how important, we are. I thought the post was right, if you want to do something, generally there are ways to make time. We decided to learn Italian recently, and now take two hours each week to go to classes. If you asked me each week to give up two hours I would undoubtedly feel it was a big commitment, but we manage to make the time, and very much enjoy it. Similarly, some people will sit and wait for an appointment, or commute and sit playing on their phone. Others see that as an opportunity to partake in a personal hobby, be that listening to audio books, or in my case, I often write (and then delete) blog posts when I am on a train.

I digress, as is my habit. What I was going to say is that I have always loved reading, and as befits my somewhat addictive, I've started so I must finish, personality, once I am engrossed in a book, it is usually finished the same day, even if it means reading until the small hours. I don't read so much recently, but more because I never know where to start with choosing some books. Reading blogs makes me realise how much reading other people do, and how well read they are, and I would like to start making time to read.

I am the proud owner of a Kindle, which The Husband bought me one Christmas. He had thought, quite reasonably, that my love of reading and my love of technology would combine into a love of e-books. He, misguidedly, thought my loud comments about not wanting a Kindle was an extreme attempt at reverse psychology, or me trying to dissuade him from buying me such an expensive present. Cue an awkward moment indeed on Christmas morning, as I laughed aloud at the Kindle box, incorrectly thinking it was a joke. He had also bought it a very beautiful case, exactly the style I would have picked, but I don't think he expected it to be more pleasing than the contents!

I do use the Kindle, mostly when travelling, and can see the value of transporting several tomes in something smaller than a magazine. I enjoy it, particularly the joy of downloading and reading books for free, especially the classics (The Husband downloaded Frankenstein for me to re-read after we saw the play). For me though, I would always choose a book. I have piles of them, shelves stacked, some unread, some with spines that are splintering from overuse. I like the weight of a book, feeling the paper, judging how much more there is to go from the thickness of the pages. I bargain between myself and the page numbers, just ten more pages, just one more chapter. I like things to be tangible, palpable, to buy a book and feel like I actually own it. Sometimes, traditional is best.

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