Saturday, 5 January 2013
So now I have a Kindle.
"Once you've used it for a couple of weeks, I'd *love* to read about your experience with the Kindle. You're such a sensual / careful customer-that-surrounds-herself-with-tasteful-things... Let us know if you enjoy ebooks - or if too much is lost."
This was written by a Facebook friend, a young promising author, who is the most avid reader I know, (and of course I utterly savoured that beautiful compliment).
It is not my first try with a Kindle, I love new technical gimmicks - coming from a family where my parents were the first in the street who had a telephone, a TV set, (neighbours visited for football in black-and-white), they had a washing machine ("Idleness!" the other good housewives cried), owned that first VW-Beetle with the split rear window and a blinker that was a little orange finger that came out on the side of the car when you wanted to turn right or left. I could write on and on (my parents had very little money, my mother, being of lower nobility, had married a man untitled and without money - but they had brains and spunk and knew how to save and then spend that in a good way, and they were open-minded - the first in our street to give their girls a higher education instead of a dowry. "Academic highschool? Then university? For a girl??" the neighbours asked increduously, and added "Such a waste!").
But I wanted to tell you of my Kindle. The very first one that Amazon offered, some time ago, I sent back - it looked shabby, felt bad in my hand and had a stubborn way to decide instead of me - breaking up chapters, scripture etc.
Son advised me (of course I was opting for a Kindle Fire) to take the simplest version, not even that with "Inner light" (I have that myself - no: I don't like to stare into strong light). I communicated with Amazon before the purchase: it is not possible for a German Kindle-owner to buy e-books on amazon.co.uk. Oh... But there is - Husband told me - the Project Gutenberg - and here I get all my English treasures for free: Robinson Crusoe and Pamela and Tristram Shandy and Elizabeth's German Garden and, and, and (interesting though that I do not get Winnie-The-Pooh).
I like my Kindle:
- it is really a lightweight - and abstaining from buying a leather wrapper (though I liked the pink - but it would have added 127 gram) and taking a beautiful silk book wrapper I already owned instead (30 gram) it is well protected
- I had no difficulties in getting it going and to use it (I hate manuals - and I didn't need one - though I discovered a book - for free - that wants to give me 88 tips to use the Kindle's full potential).
- Another friend on Facebook, a young promising poet, posted that Amazon gave you each day a book for free on seven days in January. Ha, I used it. So they hooked me. And I found at least a lot of modern English books here too. And am very proud that I found out all by myself how to download the Gutenberg Project.
- I took it with me on the flight to Munich. And - though writing a blog - I enjoy my privacy: I don't like people to know what I read.
- I read more. Definitely. I now have downloaded 41 books - and I am a quick reader.
- I LOVE the possibility to change the scripture, or enlarge it when my eyes are tired from computer working in the evening (some pocket books like my tomes of Trollope have really tiny letters).
- I can get rid of some books (people in our house are very quick at picking up used books we all put into the entrance hall) that I know I will only read once ('How To'-literature, or some silly books that earned their money by making me laugh out loud) and so I will gain open place in my bookshelves, because:
- a Kindle is not rival for beautiful books, children's books, illustrated books, or books with beautiful photos
- and strange: I become even more attached to those books in paper that I really love - I won't give them up!
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
it's really lovely in Berlin at the moment: the streets are empty and still (the weather turned from -6°C + snow en masse two days before to mild 8°C - - so everybody is a bit languid).
Christmas Eve is over - presents are unpacked, joy (and astonishment, sometimes) hold on, and on Christmas Day only the Hausfrau bustles around (now: take that with a grain of salt - quite a few men lend a helping hand in the kitchen nowadays, though not all of them as Naked Chefs. But my neighbour on the second floor, the artist, is: I cannot ignore him - and why should I, he looks gorgeous - doing a Jamie Oliver. All the year round. Despises curtains and dressing gowns).
Ah - by the way: did I mention that finally I got those roller-blinds? And high time it was, with all those light shows in the windows over the street - funny to look at for five minutes, unnerving after an hour of 'blink!!!blink!!! flash!!!twinkle!!!' (At this time I always read Charlotte McLeod's "Rest You Merry" again, with Professor Shandy pressed to decorate his house - and then he showers it with plastic reindeers, flashing lights and an amplifier blaring "All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" - and then escapes to sea...)
A week ago a craftsman had been here, to measure the very high windows, and when I asked him if he favoured a cup of coffee, he said: "Don't think me impolite - but: what sort of coffee?" "Nespresso". "Well - then I'm glad to accept." We sat on the sofa, and he gave me a lot of tips for the best doner kebab in Berlin - and the second best, quite near, when the row for the first would be too long - and named a very good Thai restaurant (imagine: just one street further afar! And so on). After a week came another craftsman with the roller-blinds and fixed them. When we sat with a cup of coffee on the sofa, he asked apologetically: "How long have you been waiting for the date to fix them?" "Well, I ordered them last week." "WHAT??? Other people wait six weeks, minimum." So I was - very - lucky :-)
Now: the shops are closed, people are sated, the weather is bleak.
If I wouldn't know what to do, I could just sit down and study how to use and prepare my new Kindle.
But we have such a lot to do... for example: just look at the Christmas tree - the
Hope you had a beautiful Christmas too!