In the last few weeks my central vision has deteriorated to the point where I can no longer read some of the settings on my PC. This has been frustrating and, as yet, I have not resolved all the problems. However, Liz has very kindly offered to transfer this blog post onto WordPress for me. This is exactly the kind of enabling which is so difficult to ask for and so wonderful to receive. Thank you, Liz.
Naturally the Olympics have dominated much of August. I have enjoyed events I would never have dreamed of watching before. During the first week of the games I went to London to collect my nine year old granddaughter. We paid a visit to Kings Cross to see if we could find Harry Potter’s Platform . We did and she had her photograph taken by the shopping trolley disappearing into the wall. The stations were not crowded, but on our way back to Euston we fell in with about 100 police on their way to change shifts in central London. They were relaxed and friendly and added to the festive atmsosphere of the Euston Road with its volunteers handing out free water and ice cream.
This being the school holidays I have learned some new skills from the younger generation. I can kill zombies, cut ropes, become an angry bird and many more. After watching my six year old nephew’s nimble fingers flying over the ipad screen I decided to persuade him and his parents to come to Avoncroft to look at some early and slower technology. What a day we had!
After braving some belligerent Romans and Britons we found our way to the stone cider press, the blacksmith making chains, the working windmill and the vast collection of telephone boxes. We were able to dial TIM to find out the time and luckily the Tardis police booth was locked or who knows where we might have ended up. Even the six year old was impressed and, with a lot of help from his parents and the fascinating exhibits, he did make connection between the old and the new.
Today is the day of the ‘New Boiler’ to replace the ‘Boiler from Hell’. Two friends and I spent Sunday removing books from shelves so that the floor can be opened up for new gas pipes to be installed. I am now left with the dilemma of whether to put the books back when the work is finished. I can only read books on Kindle or ipad with enlarged print and wonder why I keep so m any hard copies. Some are for family and friends, some are too beautiful to part with and some for sentimental or reference reasons but many are old and brittle and easily replaceable if necessary. They are too fragile to be released for Bookcrossing or given to charity shops. It calls into question the whole psychological connection with books. I may return to this theme in future blog posts but would be interested to receive comments on the subject.
I can understand you not wanting to get rid of beautiful books. There is something nice about just having them around you, at least I think so. I think it perfectly reasonable to hang on to them – and as you say pass them on maybe one day. I do sometimes think the look of a book does make a difference often to how it makes you feel about it – silly maybe but it does. Look at how so many of us covet and salivate over the beauty of Persephone books for instance. I also think that some book publishers are really making more of an effort with the physcial beauty of books now in the wake of the ebook competition.
Thank goodness for kindles eh? As much as I love real books – I do think that Kindles are a wonderful reading tool. I read a couple of great free books on mine when I was away – The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West and Vera by Elizabeth Von Arnim, goodness it was a dark story but so compelling!
Thanks for that comment. I agree with you about the physical aspect of books. It is so good to see and hold well produced editions. Persephone is a prime example and I also have harbacks from cildhood which bring back memories of long spells of reading. In some ways it is comforting to know that classics c an now be replaced on Kindle free of charge. How good is that – especially for me when I can alter the p[rint to a comfortable size. I have even downloaded classics with the original illustrations.