Monday, January 23, 2017

Real Books

As I may have mentioned earlier, I have been an avid reader all my life.  Recently, a number of innovations have given me particular pleasure.

I was not an early adopter of the Kindle, but I am committed to mine now.  A friend will mention a book title in an email or a blog post, and, in an instant, I can buy that work and it will arrive, as if by magic, on my machine - no hunting in bookshops, no ordering up in libraries - instant gratification. 

Once, I would stock up with paperbacks on offer and read my way through them.  Then they would pile up.  But not now, as the Kindle stores them all invisibly.  Of course, one can no longer pass them on to others, but how often did that happen anyway?  I used to cart mine off to Oxfam.

The other day, I had left my reading specs behind.  Just by going up one font size on the Kindle I was able to manage perfectly well.

I recently finished reading Juliet Barker's biography of the Brontes, all 850 pages of it, and a very worthwhile read it was.  I decided to move on to her book on Wordsworth, a similar tour de force.  But not available on Kindle, oddly.  However, here's the next wonder of modern life: for 0.01p I bought a second-hand copy on-line.  Even with £2.80 postage, that is a huge bargain.  It duly arrived, and its bookmark reveals that it had been bought at Dove Cottage originally.

But now:  This is a hard-back book, as long as the one on the Brontes.  That one slipped invisibly into my Kindle, which maintained its heft as a slim volume weighing almost nothing.  The Wordsworth biography is a solid brick of a book weighing, amazing, but true, three and a half pounds.  It accompanies me around the house like a small pet.  And the print size - non-adjustable, of course - is very small, going to minute for the extensive quotations from the works.  I certainly can't imagine reading this book outside the house.

Of course, in a real-life bookshop one is led to titles  and authors previously unknown.  The front cover - indeed the title - can be very persuasive, in a way which does not happen with the Kindle.  Books with a visual element are wasted on it.  I continue to buy knitting books as books.

This is my progress so far on Houlland.  It's not been the easiest of starts, even after I managed the pick up.  I think you could call the pattern deceptively simple, as it has been only to easy to slip out of line (Twice) or even mistake a wrong side for a right side row (once).  The yarn I'm using, Filigree Lace, is a merino single and rather unforgiving to unpick.  I think I have the measure of the pattern now, but we'll see.

Finally a fingerless mitt, knitted while waiting for good enough daylight to unpick a couple of rows of Houlland.


MaureenTakoma said...

I'm glad to see your progress on Houlland. You're knitting it on straights? Oh wow. Your discussion here, and that on Jean Miles's site has been very instructive as I contemplate starting one of the Kate Davies haps.

Mary Lou said...

I was a late convert to the Kindle, and now I love it for the same reasons you stated. Giant books that fit in my hand, or pocket, or purse! One drawback is that I often have trouble remembering the name of the book I am reading because I don't see the cover every time I pick it up. I use the ipad for ebooks with a visual element. I buy knitting books I am not sure I want for the long haul for that sometimes. I do love having a library at my fingertips when traveling, don't you?