"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Solution to a Problem?

I have to admit to being a complete bibliophile with the resulting problem that my huge collection of books is now in danger of taking over not just one room but several other rooms in the house!

A short while ago Brian used the remainder of his birthday money to treat himself to a Kindle.

Could this be the solution to my book "problem"? as I am now at the stage where I dare not add any more to my collection. In fact, Brian has even uploaded a book for me that I have had on my list of books to buy/read for ages.

I've now spent several hours using the Kindle and I have to say that its very easy to use and read - there is no glare even when I've used it in bright sunlight and you can change features like the font size. Its lighter than many paperbacks - only 250 grams and the good news is that it holds up to 3,500 books. Amazon even create a free back-up of your "library in the cloud" so if disaster struck and you lost your Kindle your books could be redownloaded free of charge once the Kindle was replaced.

In fact, I would dearly love to own one of my own. Is it a solution to my book problem? I would certainly buy all my fiction on the Kindle in future but over half my books are reference/non fiction/ field guide type books and at the moment I would much prefer hard copies of these books. Half the fun of books like the Collins New Naturalists is being able see them neatly lined up on the bookshelves, getting one out every so often to flick through them admiring the illustrations and photos and covers and reading the odd chapter or checking up on a fact. There is something rather special about opening a brand new hardback book to read. But I think a Kindle would be a good partial solution.

I'm currently reading "The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn" by one of my favourite nature writers, Richard Mabey. Its a collection of six short essays with delicious sounding titles like "The Lichen and the Lens", "The Crab Apple and the Grafting Knife" and "The Map and the Word". Mabey writes about how our senses (sight, taste, smell, touch and sound) affect our interactions with and feelings towards natural history combining a Romantic's view of nature with the care and attention to detail of a scientist.

Although the book has a lovely embossed cover which I would miss the contents of the book I would happily read on a Kindle.

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