Posts Tagged ‘Kindle’

To my dearly departed Kindle

Last night, my Kindle – and my heart – broke. I am sad. Almost too sad to write. But not quite.

I put it in my bag yesterday morning and took it with me on the train to Cambridge to visit a special birthday girl. I opened the cover and looked at it. It had the battery empty symbol on it. I was annoyed. I had been looking forward to getting stuck into A Tale Of Two Cities. O well.

I had to wait until I got back home today to plug it in. This I did, at about 7pm. When I looked at it about half an hour later, there were lots of lines and white patches all over the screen….


My heart sank. This happened to my first Kindle. The one I have now is a replacement after the exact same thing happened. I called Amazon up and they can sort me another one but I have to speak to someone in the office when it opens on Monday about seeing if they can do it on my warranty.

Readers, I’m sad now. All the joyous celebrating after completing my first ever Nanny Rhino successfully within the deadline seems to have been forgotten. I am just very sad.

I miss my Kindle already….. (Yes, I have the Kindle app on my phone, but that’s not the point, alright?!)

A book review or two

In my quest to Finish All The Books I’m In The Middle Of Reading, I have found a few gems that I thought I’d tell you about.

First up is Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie by Andrew Sykes. This is the story of a man who, after resolving to spend his summer doing next to nothing, gets a little bored and dreams of adventure. He decides to travel from his home in Reading to the southern tip of Italy, following a route known as the Via Francigena. He covers France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Italy.

For five weeks, he heads determinedly toward southern Italy and the book details the hours spend on the bike each day and the distance covered. Once you have seen a few of these, you start to understand the massive task that he is carrying out. His writing is extremely readable. I’d often intend to read a few pages while on the bus or before work and find myself transported to a campsite where Andrew and Reggie searched for somewhere away from the noisy midnight fishers or party people. Suddenly I was late for work or had almost missed my stop.

Andrew makes sure we are privy to everything his trip threw at him. Rarely are we left with a quick summing up of an entire day in a few sentences. I really love the diary style of this book. It puts you right there in the scene with him and Reggie and connects you to his journey in a way that, upon finishing it with him, you experience a sense of achievement.

Various things stick out in my memory on finishing the book. The scene where Andrew and Reggie cross the lake near Buochs in Switzerland and we are given a detailed explanation of how one “lashes” a bike to boat had me laughing out loud. When Andrew stops for lunch near the end of his journey, in Valrano Scala, and finds something called a “chip pizza” I was utterly mystified. The entire Italy section was very exciting reading for me anyway, given that I have had a preoccupation with Italian cuisine for quite some time and I am also going to Rome in a few weeks. So I read with anticipation and soaked up every bit of it. Then the scene with the chip pizza occurred. And it made me doubt everything. It make me doubt my trip, the Italians, and the future of food in general. What was this madness?! I have since been assured that chip pizzas are very tasty…. I remain sceptical.

Another thing which struck me about this trip is people’s willingness to offer a helping hand. Andrew finds a welcoming face every so often on his trip and these people always show such kindness, it makes you feel good about people in general (the chip pizza inventor excepted).

It is a lovely lovely book. A little while ago I read a book about a man who cycles to India, called You’ve Gone To Far This Time, Sir and love love loved it. Therefore, when I saw this book, about another cycling journey, I came to it with high expectations, having had such a great read last time. I was thankfully not disappointed. It is well written and fascinating. In light of epic journeys being taken, I have start making more solid plans for a walking adventure. Given that I can be quite lazy though, I think Andrew and Reggie will put me to shame as I’ll probably just walk to the shops for some chocolate and back….

(I read this book on the Kindle app on my phone.)

I thought I’d do another quick book review as I recently finished listening to The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy on and it was very good. It was read beautifully, the story was beautiful and it’s one of those books I keep telling people to listen to if I hear they have the app.

An older couple decide to move to Alaska and buy some farming land, against the advice of their families. They are childless and it has always been an unspoken heartache between them. Their first few months are hard but one day, with wild abandon, they play outside in the snow and build a snowman. Well, more precisely a snow-girl. They put a scarf on it and carve a face. When they wake up, the scarf is gone and for a long time afterwards, they catch glimpses of a little girl running in the woods outside their home.

The development of this story is handled with such skill that your thoughts on first hearing about the ‘girl’ they see are a world away from your thoughts when the story concludes. It’s a story that creeps up on you. First you’re just listening every so often, thinking that the book is quite good. Then suddenly, you can’t wait to take your break at work, in order to listen to a few more minutes of it.

Finishing this book was something that took a few days of recovery. My initial thoughts about the final scene changed over time and I still feel uncertain about exactly what happened.

It is a book of uncertainties and therein lies the beauty of it. It is intriguing and enticing. It draws you in steadily until every twist and turn occupies your thoughts long after you have stopped listening/reading.

It is also read very well. When I downloaded and listened to a few other books, I realised how lucky I had been with the reader of The Snow Child. If you are already with, listen to this book.

Search terms

These are things that people have searched for on the internet and ended up at my blog. Some of them must have been gutted as they were clearly looking for some important information and got me instead…

chocolate keys 60 count
large elephant vs bus
graham lockey
beautiful small heart tatoos on up of arm
thanks driver
what happened in laura?
woman and dog sex
law exams last minute
jaberwocky lewis carroll banned
the web of lies
stick figure stupid faces
hairy chat inbox
physical filing made easy
pregnant swimming picture
cow peppa pig
diary of making a wedding cake
chan man sin v a-g of hk
thanks friend but i’m alright
just reg
i wet myself at my ballet
peppa pig evil
scientifically minded wordpress
dinosaur tattoo
n is for spid
dennis hopper song lyrics
gourmet chocolate truffles
winston churchill chose to rebel
fool heavy neck
kindle university library doj
croquet rules hitting someone else’s ball
french word can i have
fat lady in swimming pool
highgate paparazzi
think of the worst manager you’ve ever had
what is art for a. p. herbert
where all can i do skydiving and bungee jumping

L is for…


Another guest blog today. This time from David McGowan, the author of The Hunter Inside, a psychological thriller due for release in Spring 2012. His fantastic blog can be found at is well worth a read.

When it was predicted, a couple of years ago, that the day would come that eBooks sold more copies than physical books, the laughter emanating from the major booksellers boardrooms could be heard the length and breadth of this, and many other, countries.
Like many others, I found it difficult to believe that anyone would ever rather read a book on a computer screen than have an actual copy of a book in their hands. But I hadn’t envisioned the rise and success of the Kindle, iPad et al, and the huge impact they would have on the market.
So now, I’m reading articles about how eBooks are actually outselling print books – and this isn’t just because of Indie authors publishing their own work at little cost to themselves or their readers. I’m talking about actual bestsellers that are selling more copies of the eBook version than the print version. Titles like The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson) – Yahoo Article
Scary, isn’t it? Well, for booksellers it certainly should be. We see a lawsuit pertaining to Apple and publishers allegedly fixing eBook prices through collusion. Alison Flood (The Guardian) worries that Amazon will monopolise the industry if the Department of Justice’s lawsuit is successful – Apple article in The Guardian.
So, rock bottom prices on best-selling titles maybe? Without competition? Offset by the lower production and distribution costs, and selling more devices like the Kindle as a result – thus continuing a vicious circle that cuts out, at the very bottom of the bookselling ladder, the traditional bookshop.
Much like the digital music revolution that saw many high street music retailers closing down, there is now a definite threat to booksellers.
As for libraries, well, funding cuts lead to staffing cuts. Staffing cuts lead to skeleton services and in turn the service that is offered goes backwards instead of progressing – something which accreditation schemes certainly do not favour. Public Libraries News outlines some of the cuts in the south of the United Kingdom at Public Libraries News Article.
Libraries are seen as an easy target when funding cuts are announced or when council taxes are frozen. Which way do libraries go? In tough economic times, many libraries must find ways of raising revenue to find a foothold in an ever increasingly challenged marketplace. At the University library where I work part-time, you are welcomed into the foyer by an extortionately priced Starbucks. Now, I don’t know where undergraduate students get their money from, but apparently this has been a massive success. So, let’s turn the whole library into a Starbucks hey? Well, why not?
Libraries, and certainly higher education libraries, are constantly searching for ways to incorporate more space for computers into their services. Students sitting on stairways studying in groups is not good for a University’s image, and is certainly not good in terms of health and safety regulations. So, do libraries become more like cyber cafes? Rows and rows of computers, with expensive coffee and cake, and librarians sat on a high chair at one end like a lifeguard waiting for someone to have a problem with formatting.
A lot of bookshops have gone down the coffee shop road – selling overpriced goods in an attempt to keep the wolf from the door.
But is it really that desperate? Can we ever see a time when printed books are no longer published, and bookshops and libraries are a thing of the past? I think not, but I do think that print on demand titles and collector’s editions will become much more popular in the future, and libraries will continue to see less physical stock in favour of more computers and provision of eBooks. It won’t be long before eBook readers totally dominate the market and are developed into supersmart beings – capable of much more than just letting you read a book on them. I, for one, have never left a bank card marking my page in an eBook and then panicked when I couldn’t find it. And the idea of having 500, a thousand books with you at any time – well, that’s like having 1500 songs on my iPod – I love it. I put it on shuffle and skip, skip, skip through songs I don’t want to listen to!!
Maybe it comes down to more is less nowadays. We want more more more of everything and we want it to be easily accessible. If I’m a medical student, I don’t want to carry ten anatomy and physiology books around with me. Those are hernia inducing sized books. But if I can have them all on a tablet device, then whoopee, I’ve got it made. As have the publishers, who save a fortune in printing and distribution costs.
Everything points to the demise of libraries and bookshops. But libraries and bookshops have a certain sense of romance to them, don’t they? I think, even if I was to solely buy eBooks, I’d still love to browse bookshops in my lunch hour. I might even buy a coffee. I’m old fashioned though, and I would currently rather have a print book than an eBook. I might be able to take my thousands of eBooks on my Kindle on holiday to the beach, but I think my print book will handle getting sand in it much better.
My overall opinion? Bring on the eBooks, but long live print!!
photo credit: canonsnapper via photopin cc