Look what Father Christmas - or maybe it would be more accurate to say the Hannukah Elf - brought me.
I have been coveting a Kindle for a while but couldn't quite justify it at the price. Once Amazon brought out this smaller, cheaper keyboard-less model it went to the top of my Christmas list. I have to say, I am loving it! After a conversation with my Apple loving neighbour about why I would want a Kindle when I already have an iPad I did some thinking about the reasons, wondering whether there was really a justification other than gadget mania. And yes, there are reasons. The Kindle is significantly smaller and lighter, particularly good for throwing into my bag to read on the train, but the main reason - which I think I sub-consciously expected, but only pinned down in the light of experience - is that the Kindle gets out of the way. Reading on the iPad I am always at least a little aware of the machine, thanks to the brighter, backlit screen (great for video, but not quite the right contrast for a book), and its built in distractions (too easy to flip over to Facebook, or Google something unconnected that has flashed across my brain). With the Kindle, it is easier to get lost in the book. The liquid ink screen is easy on the eyes, and the neat page turning buttons on the sides flip onto the next page at a touch. For someone like me who usually knits while reading it is a big improvement on printed books, which are not always amenable to hands-off reading and once propped in the right position are liable to dislodge themselves during page turns.
I already had about 30 Kindle books downloaded but had already read most of them on the iPad, so I have been having fun stocking the Kindle. Amazon UK has a 12 Days of Kindle promotion on throughout the 12 Days of Christmas (duh!) with a whole new batch of books added each day, mostly reduced to 99 pence. I have been taking advantage of this and now have the following stacked in my reading queue:
- The Eagle of the Ninth (Rosemary Sutcliff)
- Ghosts of Spain (Giles Tremlett) - a combination of travelogue and history
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (modern translation by Simon Armitage)
- Map of a Nation (Rachel Hewitt) - about the making of the original Ordnance Survey maps of the British Isles
- Salt: a World History (Mark Kurlansky)
- The Little White Horse (Elizabeth Goudge)
- Yesterday Morning: a Very English Childhood (Diana Athill)
- A Darkly Hidden Truth (Donna Fletcher) - the description "a gripping modern mystery enriched by liturgy, iconography, and medieval history" sounded intriguing
- The Magical Maze: Seeing the World Through Mathematical Eyes (Ian Stewart)
- The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
- The Tale of Oat Cake Crag (Susan Albert) - one of her Beatrix Potter mysteries
So far I have finished Austenland (Shannon Hale) and I am three-quarters of the way through The Secret Life of France (Lucy Wadham). Reviews to follow.