The Kindle, hmmm……

I was wondering the other day if I was becoming a stick in the mud, behind in the times. I know a lot of people who have received a Kindle as a Christmas present this year, but to be honest, if I had been given one I don’t think that I’d have particularly wanted it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a wonderful piece of equipment for certain people.

For example, my brother-in-law Nick  is a book-worm. I’ve never met another person in my life who can read as quickly as him. He is one of the few people who I find very easy to buy gifts for,  as always it’s either books or a book voucher. For transportation and for the volumes he reads, a Kindle would be a good thing for him.

However, for me not so much. I think it begins by looking at my relationship with reading. It wasn’t a great start. I really struggled to learn to read and was always miles behind my class mates. I remember taking home an old tobacco tin full of words while all the other kids were reading proper books. I was told that I needed extra help and would have to stand in the Head-mistresses office holding my book in one hand and pointing at the words with the other as I read. It singled me out and I got picked on. This was most apparent when we were asked to read out loud in class. There would be a groan and an eye roll from some of my class mates as my name was called.  I would panic, my mouth would go dry and with my heart thumping I would slowly and nervously stammer the words out. One day when I was 6 years old, I was made to miss my break time and had to go to lunch last so that I could sit in the cloakroom on my own because I kept getting the b’s and d’s muddled up. Reading became a chore and I disliked it very much. No, I hated it.

But things changed. I was told that I shouldn’t do A levels because I wasn’t an academic student and university probably wouldn’t be the place for me. I think that when you’re told you can’t do something, you can do one of two things;

  • sit back and do nothing; or
  • prove to yourself that they are wrong.

I did the latter. In total both full/part-time, I went to university for 7 years. I got a good degree from a red brick uni and have completed a large chunk of masters credits too. Yes granted, it took me longer than the average person but I couldn’t care less. Study made me love libraries and start to enjoy books.

The one thing that I’m still learning to do is read for enjoyment. A friend of mine @tomsheppard inspired me while our families had dinner together the other day. He aims to read 100 books this year. I can’t get anywhere near that figure but I’m going to try to read 30. That might not seem much but I would be very pleased if I managed it.

Back to the Kindle. Part of what I’m starting to like about reading is owning books. I love bookshops, browsing through the aisles. I love second-hand bookshops even more, that musty smell of paper. Pre-loved books with character. I like to feel a book in my hands. When I finished reading for the night I’ll often sneak to see how far through the book I’ve read. I just don’t think I’d get that with a Kindle. Imagine we all had them, book cases empty. I think it’d be sad if one day my daughter couldn’t choose her bedtime story from the bookshelf. I want to make sure that I can do everything I can to make sure she doesn’t struggle as I have. I read to her every day which she loves. I’m hoping books will be her friends for life. Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you have a suggestion for me to read any fantastic books you have read.

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6 responses to “The Kindle, hmmm……

  1. Fantastic and inspiring blog! I adore reading and Craig and I both love old book shops, having found a couple of first editions of the first world war poets, Sasoon and Wilfred Owen. Keep inspiring your daughter, literature is a wonderful thing 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, I really am starting to love reading just for the sake of it. Would be good to find more second hand bookshops.

  2. What an inspiring post & a very brave one too. You’ve come such a long way & the determination you’ve shown speaks volumes. I wish you well on your quest, do not forget ‘Pobby & Dingan’ by Ben Rice. It’s very moving & quirky. But it also questions the way how we’re all so quick to judge, our ignorances & prejudices. xx

  3. I have a couple of suggestions for books to read to your daughter…”Some Dogs Do” and “Where’s My Teddy”, both by Jez Alborough. I’m sure she will love them as much as my 20-month old does!

  4. Pingback: Finally an answer: dyslexia | Lakes and Pebbles

  5. Pingback: Academic ambition | Lakes and Pebbles

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