I love to read, I really do. Anything. Everything. I read every day. Emails, newspapers, other peoples blogs, posts on facebook. Do you know, I sometimes even read books.
In fact, these days I’m reading a lot more books than I used to.
One of my favourite things about our holidays is the bit at the airport when we go to Waterstones or Smiths and choose three books each to take with us. Just light stuff, nothing deep and meaningful like you’re supposed to read. Even, dare I say it, chicklit sometimes. In the past though, this would be the one time of the year when I allowed myself to fork out for the luxury of books.
If ever I had any money given to me for birthdays or Christmas, it would usually go on books too. Better ones. ‘Literary fiction’ that requires some time and thought rather than the throwaway holiday reads.
But often there would be a lean period where I was half-heartedly perusing our bulging bookshelves for something worth reading a second time, or to search for one that I’d half read but didn’t enjoy, to find out if it was any better second time around.
So yes, often I have been without an open book for months at a time. But things have changed. Oh yes sirree!
I got myself a Kindle. (other ereaders are available!!)
Now, I know ebooks are not everyone’s cup of tea. You’ll hear loads of people sniffily say
‘I prefer the heft of a real book’.
Well so do I, except when I’m in bed trying to hold a heavy tome up with a tired arm, or trying to fit it in my handbag to read on the train, or carting it about while it takes up valuable space in my hand luggage.
The ebook is a revelation to me. The choice is wide and varied and I can peruse the ‘book shop’ at my leisure. There are some free ones (which frankly, I’ve learned to avoid, since on the whole, they seem to be a load of tosh, even to me), but even the ones you pay for are cheaper than the paper variety.
So now, I read a chapter or two every day. I’ve read things I wouldn’t have dreamed of buying if I’d seen them in a conventional bookshop. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have discovered them since I tend to only go to the shelves loaded with my preferred authors or genres. I’ve been re-reading, or discovering for the first time, some of the classics too. At the moment I’m reading ‘Cider with Rosie’ and I’ve got half a dozen other books already downloaded and waiting in the wings. With its built in backlight I can even read at night without disturbing my husband, who lies right beside me snoring in the depths of dreams.
It’s not only me either. My mother (whom, if you’ve been reading my blog, you’re well acquainted with by now) has her own kindle which she loves. She is an avid reader, but since having a stroke was finding holding large books, and their varying type sizes, difficult. With the ereader she can enjoy any sized book, and change the font quickly and easily.
Ereaders will never replace real books, nor should they. If (when) electricity does finally run out, and the internet fizzes to a halt, this wonderful, sharing and illuminating world we’re enjoying will no longer exist, it will be the libraries full of dusty books that will remain to tell the stories.
In the meantime, come on everybody, lets just appreciate the words however we choose to read them!
Written in response to the daily post ‘Readers block’