Oh Darlings, though it pains me deeply that it should be so, I rather fear that this is going to have to be an Au Revoir for now. I know you have become quite used to me and my muddly little pontificating about this, that and the other but a new day has brought a new love into my life and though I shall miss you all terribly, I simply won't have time to blog because, oh yes indeed, my NEW KINDLE HAS ARRIVED! After Richard played the rather dastardly trick that is telling me that sadly he would not be able to pay for the Kindle he had ordered, I held in my sobs graciously and secretly plotted his assasination, then walked into the kitchen to find a brown paper parcel festively festooned (festively festooned??) with red ribbons and Darling's I dared to dream and I am hear to tell you that sometimes dreams do come true!
Today I woke up looking like the shirt that has overstayed it's welcome in the ironing basket, with creases permanently inflicted into my exhausted face and joy in my heart. Oh yes! Joy! The Amazon Kindle is everything I hoped it would be and ten times more.
All the worries I had about mourning the turn of the paper page vanished in a jiffy when I collapsed into bed with the first book I downloaded, Married Life by May Edgington, and immediately found myself lost in Maries' sorry world, unencumbered by the weight of the book or the necessity to stick my naked arms out into the cold air, as it is entirely possible to read the Kindle without hands and simply press the page turning button as you go, which may seem like quite the most ludicrous reason to sing it's praises, but truly made a difference to a reading experience that was totally uncompromised by the fact that I wasn't reading from a traditional book.
All that and so much more. This morning I woke up early, flicked on the Kindle and found that The Independant had been delivered while I slept and I could start my morning riding high on a crest of Child Benefit outrage, and that when I tired of that I could then flick back to the page of Married Life where I left off and carry on reading, blissfully, quietly and oh so very happily.
Other Kindle thrills? Instant access to my email through the browser. The sound of a man I have christened Harold who will read my books out loud to me should laziness devour me entirely, a version of Connect Four and Minesweeper hidden in the bowels of the Kindle for those in the know to discover, the ability to make notes and highlight passages as I read, access to my favourite blogs, my mp3 collection, and the entire world wide web, instantly and utterly free of charge, the ability to organize my library into collections, and should I be feeling restless, a huge variety of books available to download in an instant...
So what does this mean for a book lover like me? Will I be abandoning paper altogether and sucking the life of my library into a graphite little box? Nope. To me this is simply one more tool in my literary armour, offering me instant, cheap and often free access to many, many books I would not discover otherwise. While I will certainly be buying all my "pulp" fiction this way and indeed downloading vintage books I would not otherwise discover, there is still a deeply entrenched place in my heart for Persephone and Virago, for all those old books I discover on my treasure hunting rounds and indeed for the kind of books resplendant with images I can only appreciate when I am holding them in my hands.
But oh what bliss the Amazon Kindle is. Thank you Richard. I love you.x