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Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

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Offline KUF Editorial
27 Jun 2012, 03:25 PM | Post: #1

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Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

Kindle
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.


On holiday recently, I was berated by an elderly Yorkshireman for “staring int’ computer again.” It took some considerable explanation to convince him that I was in fact reading a book, and even when convinced he shook his head in disapproval.

His supposed reasoning was about the “feel” of a book, and it was irrational but not unusual. The fact that books feel and smell like what they are – ink on paper – seems to be the core reason why many people reject eReaders. Now, I have no wish to berate anyone for partaking in sensual pleasure – good luck to you! But if you are so inclined, why not just keep a small handful of books for sniffing and feeling? You don’t need hundreds. You could also buy a Kindle and invest in this: http://smellofbooks.com/

I clung to the notion myself for a while. My first eReader, a Sony, was beautiful but felt strange. In the end, the hassle of plugging it into a computer and remembering how to download things proved to be too much of a challenge. I am a lazy technophile and I expect my gadgets to do everything for me in the style of 70s futuristic Sci Fi. But lo, then the Kindle appeared. Wireless. Instantaneous. Scarily easy to spend on. And I saw that it was good.

How anyone that claims to “love books” can be suspicious of these little devices amazes me. As a child I had numerous book-related fantasies, and I’m not talking about the book-smelling that I mentioned earlier; I mean the heady fantasies of a child who spends most of her waking hours living and breathing the narrative of her current favourite story. One of my abiding fantasies was to be able to open up my hand and summon a book of my choice in an instant. With the Kindle my fantasy became a reality, and now I feel like a child again. The only question is – what the hell do I do with all those old paperbacks?

I mentioned to my father-in-law that I was culling my book collection and his reaction was one of horror: “I couldn’t possibly get rid of a book!” he thundered, as if my recent decision to donate around half of my ludicrously large collection to charity were an outrage to Jehovah. Not that I have ever seen him actually reading a book, mind you, and by his own admission he tends to sample a small snippet before he gets bored and moves onto another. This is something, incidentally, that the Kindle is perfect for; he wouldn’t even have to leave his chair.

I thought that I would meet with more rational thinking at work, but yet more irrationalism greeted my pragmatic remarks on space and the relative likelihood of me ever actually getting round to reading Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet. (Really? Where did I even get it?) Most of the romantics that I work with are considerably younger than I am, and yet they speak in the same terms as the elderly Yorkshireman and my father-in-law. (God help us). More mumblings about smells and the rustling of paper, more lofty claims about how wonderful it is to live surrounded by a myriad of book-spines.

Now I wonder how many of these people have had to move in and out of countless college rooms, colleges, jobs and houses with a large book collection? I spent eight years in Higher Education, and for some of that time I had to move in and out of my room six times a year. When I moved into lodgings near my first place of work, I was given a month’s notice in the first few weeks. Flat shares followed and a good deal of further moving before I even began to settle down. Then I met my husband and moved again, twice in one year. Since moving to our current home I have moved my books on and off temporary shelves and up and down stairs ad nauseam, as we progress through a decorating process that will probably never finish.

And by the time you have moved hundreds of books hundreds of times, trust me: you start to resent them. Not their contents, you understand, but their physical presence.

In Stephen Fry’s first novel, The Liar¸ the wonderful Professor Trefusis, a character who lives surrounded by improving volumes in what he calls his “librarinth”, is similarly fed up:

‘Waste of trees. … Stupid, ugly, clumsy, heavy things. The sooner technology comes up with a reliable alternative, the better.’

A wise man, Professor Trefusis, who elsewhere in the novel points out that the physical existence of a book is irrelevant to its intrinsic value:

‘Books are not holy relics. … Words may be my religion, but when it comes to worship, I am very low church. The temples and the graven images are of no interest to me. The superstitious mammetry of a bourgeois obsession for books is severely annoying.’

Books are a vessel for learning, a gateway to knowledge or a vehicle that can transport you to another world. They are not of intrinsic value, yet what they bring to those of us that love them is incalculable. For me, anything that speeds up and facilitates that process is a Godsend.

ABOUT EMMA C WILLIAMS:
Emma C Williams is the author of World Enough and Time, a contemporary novel for Young Adult girls. It is (of course!) available on Amazon Kindle, as well as on iBooks and in paperback You can visit her website at http://www.emmacwilliams.com and tweet her @emma_c_williams.

[Image: emmacw-20120627-162917.jpg] [Image: 41qTCSbS-kL._SY200_.jpg]
Offline Susanne Reading The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
27 Jun 2012, 03:36 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

Love it!

Spot on! (do people still say that? Huh)
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb
Offline Gasglow
27 Jun 2012, 03:36 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

Very nice read Smile Thank you for sharing
Just sitting back enjoying life tot he fullest. Reading a good book is one of the best get a ways anyone can do Wink
Offline winmillp Reading Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay
27 Jun 2012, 03:49 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

I totaly agree the kindle is the best invention ever. Living in Spain for the last 24yrs it has been hard to find good English books. I had to rely on charity shops and boot sales. Our local library has an English section but they are all donated books so very limited. When I do find good paper backs I donate them to the library so as many people as possible can read them. I still look in the boot sales etc just in case they have something I want. But most of my reading is now on Kindle.
Reading Kindle enjoying my kindle in sunny Spain
Offline sujay Reading The Glass Guardian by Linda Gillard
28 Jun 2012, 09:24 AM | Post: #5

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

That sums it up perfectly! Smile
Only happy when I am immersed in a good Kindle book Thumbs Up
Offline Dorte Hummelshoj Reading Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton
28 Jun 2012, 09:32 AM | Post: #6

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

Amen from the Danish lover of British crime fiction who wasted so much money on shipping - until last November Groovy
Writer of traditional crime fiction. My blog

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Offline Gasglow
28 Jun 2012, 01:01 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

(27 Jun 2012 03:49 PM)winmillp Wrote:  I totaly agree the kindle is the best invention ever. Living in Spain for the last 24yrs it has been hard to find good English books. I had to rely on charity shops and boot sales. Our local library has an English section but they are all donated books so very limited. When I do find good paper backs I donate them to the library so as many people as possible can read them. I still look in the boot sales etc just in case they have something I want. But most of my reading is now on Kindle.

Wow, honestly, I couldn't live like that. If I couldn't go to the store and buy a new book, I'm not sure what I would do. The Kindle is indeed nice as you can download as many as ya want, but for the folks who can't afford one, or the children that should have a hard bound copy, that really stinks Sad
Just sitting back enjoying life tot he fullest. Reading a good book is one of the best get a ways anyone can do Wink
Offline Emma C Williams Reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
29 Jun 2012, 06:02 AM | Post: #8

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

(27 Jun 2012 03:36 PM)Susanne Wrote:  Love it!

Spot on! (do people still say that? Huh)

I say it sometimes to the kids I teach and they find it hilarious! Wink
Offline Emma C Williams Reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
29 Jun 2012, 06:03 AM | Post: #9

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

(27 Jun 2012 03:49 PM)winmillp Wrote:  I totaly agree the kindle is the best invention ever. Living in Spain for the last 24yrs it has been hard to find good English books. I had to rely on charity shops and boot sales. Our local library has an English section but they are all donated books so very limited. When I do find good paper backs I donate them to the library so as many people as possible can read them. I still look in the boot sales etc just in case they have something I want. But most of my reading is now on Kindle.

Gosh I had never thought about the difference it must have made to people living abroad. It must be so brilliant for you! Kindle Smile
Offline Susanne Reading The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
29 Jun 2012, 07:18 AM | Post: #10

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RE: Author Emma C Williams shares her immaculate conversion to the Kindle experience.

Hi Emma - thanks for joining in! Smile
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb

Currently Reading:The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson Last Book I Read:The Summer Son by Craig Lancaster Favourite Genres:contemporary fiction, literary fiction, crime/thriller,Favourite eBooks:
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Currently Reading:The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness Last Book I Read:You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik Favourite Genres:Contemporary fictionFavourite eBooks:
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