It was a holiday in Turkey some years ago which was the catalyst to a major change in my reading habits.
I’d finished the last of the books I’d brought with me – three days before our holiday ended. We were staying in a small town which had shops selling hand-painted pottery, gorgeous silver jewellery and clothing – but no books. The DH, who listens to audio books, panicked at the thought of me being without a book for three days. I panicked at the thought of being without a book to read by the pool, in bed and – terrifying thought – nothing to read on the plane.
Somehow – I think we have Google to thank and the Brits who love cats – the DH tracked down a source of books. In an estate agent’s office discovered a narrow, but tall, set of shelves crammed full of paperbacks. They’d been donated by cat lovers who support an organisation which neuters cats. Disaster averted, I made my selection. The DH gave a donation to the cat neutering charity. I think, in fact, he ended up sorting out their website. On my next birthday I received a Kindle. Now, as long as I didn’t forget to pack the charger, I’d never run out of books on holiday.
I loved my Kindle. I think it is the one piece of technology I embraced with total enthusiasm. I built up my virtual library, discovering new-to-me authors, finding favourites from childhood, (which are still in the attic but clicking that ‘Buy Now’ button is so much easier than hauling down the loft ladder and rummaging around). Reading in bed was so much easier. I also saved lots of money with so many 99p and free books to download. It meant I no longer left little lists of wish-list books around as Christmas neared.
Then, something happened. I was reading a review of the latest book by one of my favourite authors. I clicked on the link and discovered the Kindle price was only slightly less than the print price. Finger hovering over the buy button I could almost feel the book in my hands, the solidity of it, feel the page and hear it flip over, could almost smell it. I saw myself pick it up, flipping through to where I’d stopped reading, maybe re-reading a paragraph on the way. I bought the print book.
Since then I’ve bought more books. The Kindle is wonderful, especially for holidays, but I am so enjoying the joy of feeling a ‘real’ book in my hands again. And I can leave little wish-lists around the house – so helpful when people know what you want in your Christmas stocking.
Are you a Kindle reader or a real book reader? Or do you mix and match?