We’ve just moved house. It’s been quite an undertaking – hubbie and I have accumulated a lot of debris (aka, crap) in the two decades we’ve been together and, when you add kids to the mix, the stuff we have could fill the Albert Hall. Snowboards, tents, kites, George Forman grills – items we use irregularly but can’t get rid of, as well as the day-to-day clutter that comes with modern living. Play Stations. Wii’s. Gadgets galore.
But the thing that our hardy group of helpers complained about when assisting us with the move was the books. Boxes and boxes of them. Hubbie has a large collection of law books and tomes about gardening.
The kids have boxes of “Thomas” books, “Julia Donaldson” books, “Little Miss” books,
as well as my old “Read It Yourself” and “The Garden Gang” books. But the bulk of the paper weights that our poor friends had to shift belongs to me. I have text books from university, bundles of cheap classics, crafting books, contemporary books I love and read again and again… Even a box of Enid Blyton books that I simply cannot get rid of. A good friend of ours, being faced with yet another box of texts to load onto the van, turned to me in exasperation and said – “Bekki, buy a bloody Kindle.”
I won’t take his advice (hubbie already has one), because there’s something wonderful, magical and scented about holding a book in your hands. You can’t read a Kindle in the bath or smudge it with butter, or put a cuppa down and leave a ring on its covers. Ok, you’re not supposed to do these things but, to me, this is what gives a book its life. Beside the book’s content, these stains and marks are what makes a book stand out – I can remember what I was doing when I smudged a certain book with chocolate (lying next to the pool on holibobs), and I can smile at the memory of splattering the last and final instalment of Harry Potter with baby milk, picturing myself holding my eldest over my shoulder when he was six months old whilst trying to devour the latest offering from J K Rowling. Bet she’s got book cases lining the walls AND a Kindle.
But I did appreciate the Kindle when we were away on holiday. Hubbie kindly loaded it up for us both and we didn’t need to cram our suitcases with paperbacks or limit what we took. So yes, I do see the benefits and the electronic downloads are nice and cheap, too. I may become a convert and it’s awesome to go online, pick a title, download, and have it ready to go within minutes.
Still, now we’re in our new house, one of the first items of furniture and storage to buy will be a bookcase. Or three. ‘Cos, let’s face it, who doesn’t like staring at an array of books in someone’s house and trying to work out what they tell you about that person? You’d have to be really nosy to take a look through someone’s Kindle.
What do you think? Book or Kindle? Or both?