It’s my birthday in a few days and this year I’ve asked for a Kindle. I was always in the anti-e-reader camp, thinking that they would never be as popular as actual books but over the past few years, more and more people have been using them. Some of my friends who were against them have been converted and never looked back, so I thought it was time to join the hype. Also, whilst travelling earlier this year I was very envious of those with kindles, who had access to several books all at once, whereas if I finished my paperback book mid-coach journey, I’d have to wait until getting to the next hostel before swapping my book for a new one.
This was extra difficult in Asia, as many of the hostel libraries’ books were not in English and those that were, were mainly magazines. The books I found weren’t ones I was particularly interested in reading either. Saying that, I did pick up a good Spanish book in one hostel in Shanghai (that I’ve yet to finish).
So I’m in transition mode and I’ve already started downloading e-books, although I’m not quite sure where to find them or how to transfer them over yet. I’m sure I’ll figure it out when I unwrap the kindle. I’ve downloaded many free books already, because they’re free right? Titles include The Thirty-Nine Steps, Don Quixote, The Great Gatsby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice and A Christmas Carol.
But yesterday, as I was finishing my Christmas shopping in the city centre, knowing all full well that I’d have millions of books ready to download onto my new kindle, I still couldn’t resist going into one of the charity shops to see if there was an interesting book for a few pence. I found one for 50p and I’m equally as excited to start reading this as I am for all of the other 27 books I’ve downloaded digitally, maybe I’m slightly more excited for this book as I know nothing about the story.
Personally, I love not only the stories that I find in books, but also the stories of the books themselves. I wonder who read this book before me, where they bought it, if they enjoyed it, why it ended up in a charity shop instead of on a bookcase. I also wonder if I will enjoy it, if I’ll leave it on my bookshelf as a memory of if I, too, will return it to a charity shop for someone else to explore. These types of questions are irrelevant to e-books and I’ve already discovered that I have actively sought out the books I’ve wanted to read, digital books cannot find you like the Wild Swans book found me yesterday.