My birthday was this week. My amazing mum and dad got me a Kindle (best parents ever). There’s a small problem though. I think I’m this close to marrying the Kindle.
I am, as previously blogged, a Book Collector. It started with the Chalet School, branched off into Angela Brazil and Elsie Oxenham and now my collection consists of a dominating strand of girls’ school stories and a few magic little pieces such as a pen and ink version of Black Beauty and a couple absolutely gorgeous editions of Sadlers Wells stories. I love collecting books. I love everything about it; the thrill of the chase, the thrill of the unexpected pleasure and the not particularly subtle way your hand tightens when you finally get hold of your prize. Quick sidebar, if anybody’s got a job going spare in their antiquarian / children’s literature specialist bookshop, do drop me a line. I’ll work anywhere and even bring you the odd batch of chocolate brownies 😉
But I love the Kindle with an equal passion. I love the way I can blink and have a book arrive in my hand. It’s literally (or should that be literary) magic. I am a hungry reader. I long for more than I have. Always will. I want that next hit. Reading is an addiction. It’s one of the nicer addictions but it is still an addiction. You want that next emotional hit. You want to sob your heart out, to fall in love, to live a life other than your own. You want it bad.
I think the Kindle satiates that hunger and does it spectacularly. It’s perhaps a reflection of our want, take, have society but it does solve other problems of the modern reader. Sometimes I want the story but I don’t want the object. I rent. A small, poky once-garage with hardly enough room for myself let alone a thousand books. I spent half an hour of careful browsing, plus some excited burbling on Twitter, and came away with a Kindle packed with about sixty titles that I can’t wait to read. Sixty titles on a tiny tiny thing. It’s nuts. Thanks to the amazing Project Gutenberg, I snaffled books by LT Meade, Edith Nesbit, Alexandre Dumas (remind me to tell you about my obsession with ‘sturdy Gascon ponies’ sometime) and, naturally, a freaking ton of Angela Brazil (“Ethelreda, put down your trunk and come outside!” expostulated Marie-Heloise”). Now that I think about it there’s practically a PhD thesis in the use of speech tags in Angela Brazil but that’s for another time.
I also checked out Amazon. Once you’ve registered your Kindle with your account (and I actually did this without realising I’d done this *technofailface*), you can browse the world of books they have there. Due to me being a true Yorkshire woman and therefore congenitally tight, I stayed away from the paid books and checked out the freebies. From a children’s literature perspective, there’s some amazing treats on there. A prequel from Patrick Ness, a short novel from Julia Golding … it’s worth spending the time to have a rummage through.
Just don’t download Cybill Disobedience. Just don’t. I know it’s free but don’t. Trust me.