Sunday, April 15, 2012

(Personal) Kindle update 2

Well, there's no doubt in my mind that Kindles are brilliant for travelling! I'm still frustrated by the inability to skip back and forth in a novel, but my partner tells me he has no such trouble: I just need to learn some techniques. And, contrary to my earlier prejudice, I've found the highlighting feature to be superior to the practice of underlining in a print book: it didn't take me long to be able to do it swiftly, and then rather than having to search back through a whole book for my underlinings (or note them down as I go), I can now simply press a button and call them all up, and press again to see each one in its whole context. And as for the dictionary: no more putting the book aside to check up on the meaning of a word; just press a button and it's there right away at the bottom or top of the screen. I was in Germany and stupidly hadn't taken a German phrase book or dictionary: no problem; I could get one straight down on my Kindle for very little expense, and nothing further to carry around with me! (I did find it fiddly to use at first, but quickly got used to it.)

I'm looking at all those books on our groaning shelves - the old falling-apart paperbacks, the (not so old) hardbacks with their browning paper, all piled two-deep and higgledy-piggedly because we long ago ran out of space, so we can't even find books any more when we want them, and I'm seeing them with different eyes....

Surely not, no... My whole life has been wedded to the physicality of books and their shelves, the way they sat beside my bed on the little white bookcase my parents bought me, or on the planks and bricks I set up in my first-ever flat; the way, on my many moves, I'd pack them carefully into tea-chests before anything else...  What would I be without them?
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