In which Mahj joins The Dark Side*

*And I follow her, wearing dark glasses and a trench coat with the collar turned up in the vain hope that no one sees me.

If you’ve ever stood on your soapbox declaring, ‘NAY! Books must have PAGES and be DOG-EARED and have INSCRIPTIONS!’ much like me, you absolutely must read Mahj’s superb books vs. Kindle piece she has sent us. On the surface it might seem like a slightly inconsequential topic to get riled up about, but let’s face it, here at AOW we love the books. Perhaps, more importantly, we love reading. And so as technology advances and we become more and more comfortable with it, more of us are asking ourselves if the manner in which we read is actually that important? As long as we always read and as long as there are always books – surely that is what matters?

One of my fondest memories of when I was younger was accompanying my Dad on a trip to a book shop near my Grandparents house in Sheen. It was just off the high street and called The Sign of the Dragon (I think). I’m pretty sure it specialised in science fiction but also had a reasonably sized children’s section which had everything from Roald Dahl to Tolkien.

I remember the shop being dark and its shelves being dark wood. That these shelves would tower above me, with books to high for me to reach. I remember it was narrow between the shelves and books would literally spill off and sit in piles on the floor. I remember how quiet it was and the bell that tinkled when the door was opened. And even if I never came away with a book, I was always happy to visit there.


I love books, I’ve always loved books. And so when the Kindle crazed started, I was miffed. This was not how books were supposed to be read. They were supposed to be lovingly chosen from a shop (or online), recommended or passed on.  You were supposed to hold them in your hands and feel the weight and wonder what was in store for you inside on those precious pages. You were supposed to lightly hold the corner of the page, waiting to turn it over, waiting to see what happened next. For lots of reasons, books were supposed to be read in their natural form and not by sliding your finger across a screen whilst an electronic ‘page’ turns like its pretending to be a book. Pfft.

And then for our recent anniversary, Martin (as per usual) went against the traditional gift (this year it was cotton) and told me on the way to the Trafford Centre that he’d rather like to buy me one of them there Kindle’s. I was flummoxed. It was a very generous gift for a start. But I was Anti-Kindle.

I’d never said I wanted one (not that that has ever stopped him) and I was genuinely in a quandary, because the Kindle he did want to buy me was one of the new fangled Fire HD ones, which can be more tablet than Kindle. Ack.

So we went to John  Lewis and found the tablets and Kindles etc. And I saw the Kindle Fire. And it didn’t glare at me malevolently through squinty eyes, or even “mwah ha ha” at me as I approached. Hmm. It just sat there, black and shiny, un-devil -like, patiently waiting. I may have poked at it a bit angrily when I first tried it. Which was stupid as that didn’t really do much. So I started to scroll and discovered it was quick and easy to use. The set-up was clear, everything was recognisable and it was smooth. Damnit.

Martin will tell you how I almost bored him to tears with my “oohh, I just don’t knoooow” over dinner. I read as many reviews of it as I could whilst stuffing my face with tapas and again once we’d left the restaurant. And I still dithered for another half an hour. In the end I decided that as it was also a tablet in some senses, I would get it. It would be useful for So Many Things. And I wasn’t betraying books. I wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t.


And now, 2 weeks later? I’ll be honest, I’ve spent more time watching videos on YouTube and watching TV/films via the Lovefilm app included on it, than actually reading books. I have also downloaded the Facebook and Twitter apps which are obviously very important additions.

But I have checked out the Kindle Store and added some more books to my Wish List. I’ve gone through the free books Kindle offer (these change regularly) and downloaded a cook book. And having a Kindle means I also get to borrow one book for free a month through Kindle Prime. Which is pretty cool. So I currently have World War Z ready for me to read. Except I need to finish Book 2 of Game of Thrones first. I am a one-book kinda woman!

I’ll be honest, I like having a Kindle. Especially this one. Because it’s more tablet than Kindle in parts. I like knowing that come our holiday in October, I will not have to agonise over which books to pack and how much of my luggage allowance they will take up. I will just download a couple (and maybe borrow one!). I like the convenience of having a Kindle, of literally taking it anywhere with me. And though the experience of reading on it is very different to reading a real life book, surely anything that keeps us reading, keeps us discovering, keeps us dreaming and keeps us imagining is a good thing?

Martin just wondered over and asked what I was writing about and I told him. His response: “but we could never give up books, they are just so romantic”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Mahj xoxo

Categories: Books
43 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Katie
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I must say I love my kindle. I work in publishing: I love physical books. I make physical books. And at the moment there’s no ebook that beats a reference book that you can flick back and forth through. But for novels that you read in a linear fashion, ebooks are ideal.
    I live in one room of a shared house and a few years ago I found I just wasn’t buying the new books I wanted to read because I didn’t have the space. Now I have endless space and am currently ploughing through George R R Martin and Stephen King and things that would have just taken up my entire room.
    I still buy hardbacks and reference books and so many travel guides. But for cheaply-produced paperbacks then I find a Kindle (or similar) is just so much better.

    • Amanda M
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I can confirm that even with a flat, George R R Martin takes up the entire space!

  2. Posted August 19, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I go through phases with my kindle. I got it for our honeymoon and do use it but I just love books so it is mostly used for travelling. To be honest, I’ve never seen the point of a kindle fire as it doesn’t have the paper white technology so all the stuff about it being like a book (and good to read before bed and so on) doesn’t quite work.

    The place it came into its own for me was reading Anna Karenina on the commute to and from work. No chance I’d lug that one about! I’ll never give up books though, I discovered reading because there were always books and records everywhere in my house when I was growing up.

    • rachel JHD
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I slightly wish I was reading Gone with the wind on a kindle for this very reason!

  3. ChirstyMac
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I have an awful confession. One I thought I’d never share with ou lovely AOWettes, but feel this may be the time to ‘fess up:

    For Any Other Bookswap the truly fantastic Bex Olive-Dragonfly bought me The Host. And I’ll be honest, with the vast amount of total junk I lug around on a daily basis, there just wasn’t room for such a chunky novel in my work bag. The few times I tried to take it to read on my commute resulted in a few near face-plant incidents as the 2 hands required for page turning are not so compatible with a jerky district line journey.

    So it languished for a while, spine barely cracked, until *shameful face* I downloaded it onto my Kindle. And finished it in 3 days. Yes, I felt guilty. I, like you all, love love LOVE the tangibility of books. I’m a corner-folding, notes-in-the-margin-scribbling, page-flag-highlighting book defacer: by the end of a book I am as much a part of it as it is of me. But I do love my Kindle. The simple, one-hand-only commutable possibilities mean I have romped though hundreds of books that I never would have carried with me otherwise.

    But I couldn’t waste that wonderful book that Bex so thoughtfully chose for me; I passed it to my brother (who would never touch a Kindle if you paid him) – It has since made it’s way through 3 of his friends, getting progressively more dog-eared but no less appreciated.

    And, in an attempt to not go completely over to the dark side I have vowed that I will try and buy classics and re-readables in paper form (as well if not instead) and limit my Kindle to pap feel good novels and holiday reads. I am sort of succeeding at times:)

    As put so well in the intro – I love books. But I love reading more. I just hope you don’t all hate me. X

  4. Posted August 19, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I had the same attitude to Mahj. Never wanted a kindle and all that jazz. And then my parents got me one for my birthday in July. And now I thinks it’s pretty okay. It is handy to slot in my bag for my commute and I can lazily lay down on the couch and prop it up in the corner and read it without the pages flicking over AND if I want to read a book it’s right there with a click of a finger. Great!
    I do still have a very hefty to be read pile so at the moment I’m alternating between kindle and paper back and I know there are some books that I will buy and keep but I’ve always been the kind of girl who reads then either gives to people or sends to the charity shop so now I don’t actually have to bother finding room for all my different piles. Winner.

  5. Fee
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I am very much a book lover in the ‘hold it in my hands and feel the weight of it sense’ but I also love, love, love my Kindle.

    I’ve found that my buying off old second hand classics to keep forever had increased but I no longer have a constantly growing pile of charity shop books – I also usually buy my books on sale on the Kindle so I *think* I’m spending less.

    But when it really came into it’s own was when I was unexpectedly in hospital for a few days and not only did it mean I avoided the dodgy ‘books people have left behind’ pile but I had some of my comforting old friend books right there to occupy my mind.

    I have 2 larger Kindle issues:

    1) I don’t want to contribute to the closure of book shops (hence my buying a large percentage of people books as a gift!)

    2) Amazon are considered by some publishers to pretty much be holding them to ransom over purchase and sale prices. I saw firsthand the effect a certain large supermarket had on small magazine publishers and thinking of it happening to book publishers nags my conscience.

    But I am still using my Kindle which probably makes me a giant hypocrite!

  6. Posted August 19, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I read on my iPad. I love it. But I’m a big fat tech nerd so I was always going to love it.

    My problem (and this goes with most digital assets, music, films, tv series…) is the cost. There are no bargainous 2nd hand book shops online. Everything costs it’s full retail price (which annoys me for a number of reasons!). Hmph. Just last night I wanted to download a baby recipe book but the eBook was £8. I bought the actual copy for £3 including postage on eBay. And while I have to wait a little longer, the price wins every time.

    There’s also none of this passing on malarkey. I’ve read a number of awesome books but I’m not able to just pass them on to my sisters, they have to buy their own copy. I’m sure that’s how they intended it to be all along but it bugs me.

    So I’m still on the fence I guess.

  7. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Kindles scare me. As others say it’s awesome for travelling (apart from you have to take it to the loo with you.. ) and space and ease. And reading all of a song of ice and fire without breaking your arms off.
    But I’ve broken two and now using it terrifies me… So beware, they are very fragile!

  8. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I love the ritual of browsing in a bookshop, taking home a new book with pristine corners and then flopping on to the sofa and opening it for the first time. You don’t really get that with a Kindle. But, I too was given one for my birthday after last year’s holiday on which I read all my books far too quickly, whinged about having nothing to read and tried to read on my iPad (not very satisfactory in the glaring sunshine).
    Things I really dislike about the Kindle are a) having to buy books from Amazon; b) not being able to lend books; and c) it telling me what % I’ve read, like it’s some kind of mission to get to the end.
    And yet. It will be perfect for our two week holiday. I feel like I’m going to read more of the classics on my ‘to read’ list because they are free and I can therefore justify also buying a paper copy, I won’t have to give myself a hernia lifting my hand luggage on to the scanner at the airport because it’s full of books and when I finish all my books I can just download another one. No whinging required.

    • Laura
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I am totally with you on this one. I love real books – everything about them. It scares me that digital literacy (as it’s called in the education sphere) is going to destroy school libraries and get rid of ‘proper’ books. BUT for holidays they are fabulous. Although I’m currently on holiday and had to bring a pile of ‘real’ books that I need to study for school – as of yet my kindle won’t let me scribble my notes all over a book (I know, sacrilege to many, but I HAVE to!)

  9. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The husband has been wanting to give me a Kindle or e-reader for ages… knowing how much I like to read, how little storage space we have and how much he hates accumulating stuff (which he calls junk). No… my books are not junk.
    I am on the fence. I like books, the touch, the smell, the feel. I like going to libraries or bookshops and carefully choose them. I have a visual memory so I like to remember where on the page a certain quote is… and yet I get how handy an e-reader can be.
    So far I haven’t been convinced, but maybe one day I will play with the dark side too…
    (And I totally second the idea of keeping classic / special books in printed form).

  10. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I’m actually a bit torn on the issue of Kindles, the main reason being that loads of my friends who own them tell me they read much more now that they have one. I cannot see that as anything other than ace. My main fear is just that the convenience of e-readers, and of Amazon in general will kill independent bookshops and strangle the publishing market. However, as long as some people keep determinedly buying books, I’ll be okay.

    Another bonus of a kindle for some people is the ability to change the print size. My Gramary slowly lost her sight in the last years of her life and the lack of large print books meant she stopped being able to read earlier than entirely necessary. For her, an avid reader, this was heartbreaking. I could never be wholly against a device that would have helped her keep reading, even for a few more months!

    On a personal note though, I won’t ever get a Kindle if I can help it. I love books, and the only time I can see the point of a kindle for me is while travelling, speaking as someone who usually packs a book per day plus 2 for luck on any given trip. However, I’m paralysed with the neurotic anxiety that it might break, or crash, or get wet, or randomly die like technology loves to do, and I’d be left with NO BOOKS AT ALL. I am aware that this sounds over dramatic, but unfortunately books are a huge part of my coping strategy for my chronic anxiety, and my anxiety is often worse when I am away from home, so the thought of losing my books as well sends me into a tailspin. I’m rational like that.

    If I weren’t such a fruit loop, I might well consider a kindle for holidays. That said, I’ve managed all these years packing 16 books in a suitcase. I don’t know what I would even take with me to fill the extra room now….

    KL xx

    • rachel JHD
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I’m not totally sure but I think I read somewhere that when we do now buy books we buy gorgeous editions, so we’re not quite killing the book market. Works well if you can afford it, but doesn’t make it accessible for everyone.

    • Amanda M
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME! My Sony Reader broke down on holiday because of a faulty power cable (it powered down, rather than up. Because wouldn’t everyone want a cable that drained their device?!). I did hyperventilate. Luckily although we were in Turkey, we found a little cafe that sold second hand books left over from other people’s holiday reads. I would have been impossible otherwise.

  11. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think if Kindle can invent a function where once you’ve read a book you can send it on to someone elses Kindle I’d quite like that and would definitely use it.

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Yes definitely – I keep having conversations with people where I say ‘I’ve read this great book, you’d really love it but… I can’t lend it to you as it’s on my kindle’. Whereas before I used to lend books out left right and centre.

      If you could buy books from retailers other than Amazon that would be ace too (I got excited when I saw Waterstones were getting involved but it was only to sell the actual kindles, not the ebooks, annoyingly).

      I do love my kindle, I do think I’ve read more since I’ve had it (and I read a LOT before) – I like it when I have a virtual stack of books to read on there although it’s not quite as satisfying as a trip to the bookshop where you come out with a pile of books. Plus Mr W is much happier now I am not filling the house with more and more paperbacks.

      Also I get the newspaper on it, which even though I only buy a paper at weekends, saves so much space in the recycling bin/on the sofa where I have strewn all the different sections on a Saturday afternoon. This also makes Mr W happy.

      • Martha
        Posted August 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Please don’t ask me how but I have been told that there is a way to “lend” people your kindle reads for a limited period (a month I believe). Should definitely look into this more…

  12. Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink


    If someone buys me a Kindle, I will take it back.


    • Fee
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      He he he!

      Can picture you waving a book in each hand shouting ‘We will fight them on the beaches…’!

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I love you, Anna!

    • Laura
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Ahahahahahaha, well, that’s to-the-point!

  13. Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    LOVE this piece, Mahj. I too have fond memories of bookshop trips when I was a child (my mum used to love telling a story about how when I was little she’d leave me in the kids section of our local bookshop while she went off to look at other things. When she came back half an hour later and found me buried deep in a book, she’d offer to buy it for me and my response was usually ‘no, it’s OK, I’ve finished it!!’) and also used to be very anti-Kindle. Then my 4 lovely best friends chipped in together to buy me one for my 30th 2yrs ago. I was torn but had to be seen to use their generous gift. And do you know what, I LOVE it. I still love actual books, don’t get me wrong. But there is so much good about the Kindle. It’s lightweight, for a start. One Kindle containing hundreds of books is lighter than just one book. It’s GREAT for travelling (like KL, I used to have to pack dozens of books every time I went away…) and I love that it can sync with the Kindle app on my iPhone so I can read the same book on Kindle and iPhone and always end up in the right place instantly.

    I agree with Steff about cost issues (don’t get me started on VAT on ebooks, humph) but the amount of books you can get for free pretty much cancels that out. I had been meaning to read the last 2 Jane Austen that I’d never read (which is bizarre as I ADORE the 4 I had read) for years, but I have a huge chunky hardbound copy of the complete works of Jane Austen which frankly looks great on my bookshelf but I’m never going to chuck in my handbag to read on the tube. When I discovered I could get those 2 books for free on the Kindle there was no stopping me!!!

    I realise I probably sound like I should be a Kindle sales rep and I kind of hate myself a little bit for that, but I CAN’T HELP IT. I want both!!! *spoilt brat face*

  14. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I once had a MASSIVE argument with one of my best friends about Kindles. The reason (in her own words)…

    ‘How can I judge you for what you’re reading if its on a Kindle??’

    I absolutely love mine for two reasons
    1) you literally cannot judge a book by its cover
    2) its fantastic for holidays and commuting if you’re a fast reader like me

    I still read (and buy) real proper actual books at home. In fact, I suspect I might have an actual addiction to recipe books.

    DFC xxx

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Haha – yes, I am always disappointed at not being able to judge other commuters’ choice of literature on the tube in the morning. I’m a horrible person…

  15. rachel JHD
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I do think as long as we’re reading that’s all that matters. I asked for a kindle when pregnant for the sleepless nights as I found myself searching the Internet & felt I could spend my time more productively reading. So the other way to most people I have my kindle by my bedside & a book on the go. Good post Mahj lovely to read your writing.

  16. Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I also have a childhood association of bookshops – of going to buy books then out for a pizza for tea on payday with my dad (such a special memory).
    I like books. I don’t like technology.
    I don’t want an e-reader. Especially not a Kindle (why tie yourself down to Amazon?). Reasons that I think proper books are better:
    - they don’t run out of battery.
    - they don’t break.
    - you don’t have to worry about something sharp stabbing them in your bag and ruining the screen.
    - they have a back cover which helps you decide what to read next.
    - they smell nice when they get old.
    - cookery books look better with pictures and the ubiquitous orange splashes.
    - you can share them, lend them, and give them as presents with a book plate or a memorial inscription.
    - the cover art. Oh, the cover art. I love it. I’m a cover art girl more than a fontaholic.
    - the more you love them, the more it shows.
    - you can buy them from charity shops, and local stores, and sometimes the memory of where they came from can be quite emotional.
    - I love my local library.
    - I tend to flick back and re-read bits, especially reading crime or mystery novels.

    I dunno. I’m just not convinced by the e-reader. My dad upgraded his recently and sent the old one to us in the post – my boyfriend is hooked, I’m not convinced at all. Yes, I understand that it’s easier to carry a book around when it’s massive. I get that they make sense for travellers and holidays. It would be great to think “I want to read that” and download it straight away… I know that they are easier to read in bed when your partner wants to go to sleep… but to me a book isn’t just the words inside, it’s the whole thing about it.
    I also find them difficult to read sometimes, especially when I’m tired (this could be related to short-sightedness perhaps, but I find electronic words harder to focus on for a long time without straining my eyes, even with the newer models. I think it’s the flickering when you change page on some of them).

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Apologies, longest comment ever.

      The irony is that I finished my book on the bus this morning and now have nothing to read over lunch…!

  17. Amanda M
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I got an early version of the Kindle – a Sony Reader. I got it as a present as a result of having had to pay excess luggage fees too many times – like some others here, I take a book a day, one for each plane journey and then another one or two “just in case”.

    Bad points (hopefully now ironed out) were mainly that the books were MUCH more expensive (I had to buy from Waterstones) so I really only ever used to use it for holidays. But I agree that it’s not as easy to flick back (and erm, forth) and that the back page isn’t there for the handy synopsis.

    I’m seriously thinking of investing in a more up to date one though. Is it just me? Every long journey I go on straddles two socking great books – so I have to take another for fear of having nothing to read. I think this is an actual phobia – and possibly shared with Katielase. And our spare room is ridiculously stuffed full of books (I tweeted a photo of my shame only the other week) which depresses my husband and looks an utter mess.

    As for the judging point? I bought the Twilight series for my Reader as I was too ashamed to read them in public! And then I lent my entire Reader to my friend so she could read them anonymously too!

    Does anyone know if the Paperwhite is much better than my ancient Reader?

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I have a Paperwhite and I think its great.
      With reference to your point about not being able to flick back and forth. The paperwhite has a search function which I love. It basically means that if I get to a point in my book where a place or character is mentioned and I can’t for the life of me remember what the significance of this person/thing/place are then you can do a search to find other instances where its been mentioned.
      Also some books have a type of glossary which in a nut shell lists all major characters and the first time they are mentioned and who they are in relation to the plot. Great for forgetful types like me who often spends hours backtracking and asking my husband “who the hell is Tracy” when he hasn’t read the book so doesn’t know and can’t help me!!!
      I can’t really compare the Paperwhite to the Sony as I only have one not t’other but I’m pretty happy with it.

      • Amanda M
        Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        That sounds genius!

  18. Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I have a Google tablet (bought when I had no access to the internet during a relocation thingy.. long story. Anyway…) and never thought I’d read books on it, just use it for the internet and all that… but I did buy a few cheapy crime novels and ‘How to Be A Woman’ for my Reader and read them all. I think they’re ok, but based on my experiences, E-Books are not for me:

    1. You can’t read them in the bath without techno-drowning-fear (how do you dry an e-reader on the radiator?)
    2. It makes my wrist ache to hold the reader for any length of time
    3. You don’t have use for your favourite bookmarks/receipts/flyer any more
    4. The page-turny thing is really, really annoying and sensitive
    5. The screen makes my eyes tired (despite what the manufacturers say)
    6. You have to charge the thing up
    7. You get distracted by the other things your device can do, like internet and doodling games
    8. E-books aren’t that cheap actually
    9. Who wants to steal a paperback?
    10. You don’t ever get that nice book ‘smell’

    I’ve just moved house and now living near an amazing library (how I love libraries), so I won’t be buying any e-books for a long time now and I’m not sure when I will. I thought I’d use it on holidays, but having tried it out, I’m not so sure now.

    One of my favourite things is getting a load of library books out for free, taking them home and looking through them before I decide which one to start on, and having a huge pile at the side of my bed waiting for me. And finding other people’s random bookmarks in the pages when I flick through… Sorry E-books, not for me!

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Handy hint:

      You can read a normal kindle (with buttons, not touch screen) in the bath without techno death fear if you put it in a resealable sandwich bag.

      I’m like the top tips section in Take A Break…

      K x

      • Posted August 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t it steam up?! ;)

        • Amanda M
          Posted August 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Depends what you’re reading?!

  19. Alison
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this discussion!! I was the same as many of you, not sure about the Kindle because I didn’t want to give up on books and am scared about what it means for the future of the book and bookshops. But. My husband took a chance and got me one for Christmas a couple of years ago and like Mahj, I ummmed and aaaahhed about it for ages before I came to the conclusion that having a Kindle doesn’t mean I’ll never buy another book again just like having an iPod hasn’t stopped me buying CDs (that’s another fear I have, music going all digital and no more CDs or artwork or sleeve-notes or lyrics…aaargh!).

    So me and my Kindle have come to an understanding. I’ll read my Kindle for free classics, books I have to have immediately and that are on a special deal and ones that are part of my book club. And I’ll still pick up books in charity shops, will always buy proper cookbooks (for the pics, mostly) and buy the odd book full price in a proper bookshop. And it’s a relationship that so far is making me very happy!!

    p.s. It’s also fab to have a Kindle with a baby – excellent when breastfeeding or just keeping an eye on the little one playing because you can read one-handed!

  20. Mahj
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh such lovely, lengthy comments and not one of you wants to hunt me down with a pickaxe! Hurrah!

    I shall come back later on to leave a fuller comment when I’m not reliant on my phone to do so – evil work Internet has blocked AOW. Pfft.


  21. Abi
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I adore it! Love real books too and still buy both. My current obsession is wanting to buy all the beautiful clothbound classics to display on my bookshelf. Think I buy more books now then ever.

    I found the Kindle to be really useful for web and tv stuff too… bigger screen than Iphone, much quicker than our very old laptop. I use it as much of a tablet as an e-reader. Question: Does anyone know if you can get a little keyboard for them? I know they do for the ipads and I would find that really really handy!

  22. Posted August 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    There is room for both! Kindle for holidays and travel, paper books for curling up on the sofa. Or, for me currently, Kindle for breastfeeding, paper book for when I have a baby asleep on me and can’t move (nb. this last one needs forward planning – must have book ready on sofa at all times).

    I now always have two books on the go at once – just like when I was a kid and got overexcited by my library books and wanted to read them all at the same time. And did.


  23. Mahj
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Oh splendid, lovely AOW readers! What made me most happy was no matter how varied everyone’s opinions were on The Great Kindle v Books Debate, what was most important was that everyone loves reading like breathing. And that’s awesome.

    Since writing this post I’ve downloaded some more books onto my Kindle but still haven’t read any as I’m still working through GoT (book 2 feels mammoth!). I’ve also paid for my first one (Perks of Being a Wallflower) and also got The Great Gatsby for 49p. 49p!!!

    Also I made a slight error with the Kindle Prime bit. Turns out I was on a trial for 30 days and when that expires, I will need to pay a yearly subscription of £50 to keep it. Thanks but no thanks.

    But YES to books and bookshops and keeping reading always. But also yes (said more quietly obvs!) to Kindles. I know for definite that I will never ever give books up, but I like having my Kindle to tablet-y and Kindle purposes.

    All the Book Love

  24. Claire
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Oh my god-reading in bed while your other half is asleep. How did I not think of this?! It’s almost enough to persuade me to get a kindle as I am literally typing this under the covers while C sleeps. Think of all the books I could read…and how little sleep I would end up having… It’s the modern version of reading under the covers with your torch!

    Lovely and v persuasive article Mahj but I still don’t think I can do it – I’m firmly in the ‘what if it breaks when I’m away’ camp and as I now drive to work (which has ruined my reading time) then I can’t even justify it for the commute :-(

  25. Sarah
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I love my Kindle, and can honestly say, despite being always being a fairly avid reader that I’m getting through a lot more books now than I did before I had it.
    But I do love books, real books! Like many of you I associate books with happy childhood memories of library visits and browsing bookshops for hours. We lived in a house with bookshelves groaning under the weight of books, and while a Kindle is definitely neater, I do love a crammed bookshelf. Fortunately I don’t think all books ‘work’ on a Kindle, and I love giving a book as a gift (and a well chosen book is a wonderful thing to receive too) so I’ll still be buying the real thing!

  26. Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Yay! You’ve come over ;) I LOVE my kindle. Haven’t had time to read all the comments yet but I have a cover so I can read mine in the bath/pool without fear of dunking it and I find it so much easier to read my kindle (the old one with buttons) in bed than books as I can stay cosy under the duvet with only one hand to hold it and turn pages :) Also because mine is the older one, I do just use it for reading and buying books. It doesn’t have apps and the internet feature is rubbish anyway – used once in an emergency (i.e. looking up nearest cake shop!)

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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