So the book buying ban is going swimmingly. Only another 12 books have been added to the collection. This week I’ve bought 3 new actual books, 2 ebooks, and, a whopping, 7 audiobooks. Admittedly, 2 of those audible purchases were with 2 of the credits I’ve been letting stack up so I didn’t exactly pay for them this week. I’m trying to get better at not using up all of my space though and have spent some of today sorting out things I no longer need/want. It’s hard because I’m a pathetic hoarder. I need to go on a TV show like obsessive compulsive cleaners or something and just have someone else sort my life out. I’ll just sit over here reading so I can decrease the size of my TBR pile. Currently it’s taller than the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building).
- The Answers by Catherine Lacey
So, my sleeping pattern hasn’t exactly gone to the picture perfect plan I’d painted last week (huge shock!) but I’ve still continued reading this week. As I get further into this, I’m getting more worried that this is turning more into rom-com territory than it is Black Mirror. If this all ends up with the main character falling in love with the guy who planned the whole Girlfriend Experience then I’mma be pissed. I’ll keep you posted.
So, I caved and bought three books this week. I’m not proud of myself but I’m super happy with all of them. So, what am I gonna do?
- Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh: The latest cookbook from one of my favourite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi, is all about desserts. Two of my favourite things, the second being sugar, coming together in a gorgeously designed book. I had to have this. If you haven’t checked out of Ottolenghi before then you should. His recipes are so flavoursome and interesting.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood: So I already have a couple of copies of this book but I saw a post on Waterstones’ Instagram that made me impulse buy another. This new, hardback edition of the book is bloody gorgeous. It’s all black with a bit of red and loads of embossed details. I fell in love instantly. Check my Instagram soon.
- Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen: When buying The Handmaid’s Tale I had the choice of paying for delivery of buying another book. Clearly, I went with the more expensive option and bought another book. I love Bruce Springsteen (but, really, who doesn’t?) and have wanted his memoirs for ages. I’m probably going to end up getting the audiobook because it seems like the best way to do it. But having a paperback copy too can’t really hurt.
- Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets by David Thomas Moore (ed.): This book appeared on my BookBub email one day and it sounded too intriguing to miss. This is a collection of stories from a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy writers that takes the famous detective in a whole host of new directions. It sounds kind of fun and silly. I’m not expecting greatness but what harm can it do? Especially at the price I bought it for.
- Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: This is one of those books that most bookish people seem to have read so, again, when it appeared cheap on BookBub I decided it was time to try it out. It’s a crazy mystery set in a bookshop. How am I not going to love this?
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: This is one of those super exciting Audible original dramas that has such an amazing cast that I couldn’t refuse. I don’t think I’ve ever read Treasure Island. My knowledge of the original comes from my love of the Muppet version. Now, consideirng how faithful Mupper Christmas Carol is to the original, I’m gonna say that I’m aware enough of the story. Still, this adaptation should be pretty good.
- Believe Me by Eddie Izzard: I’ve loved Eddie Izzard’s comedy for many years and think he’s an incredibly inspirational and interesting person. To be quite honest, I used to have a tiny crush on him back in the day but, let’s face it, I have a tiny crush on just about everybody. So, I was super excited for the release of his memoir earlier this year. Rather than buying the book, I decided it was better to hear the audibook. There’ll be something about hearing Eddie speaking his own words that just makes it better. I can’t wait.
- The Butterfly Effect With Jon Ronson by Jon Ronson: To be honest, this one was free so I didn’t exactly buy it nor did I really look into it before I did. It’s about porn and the tech industry. Not exactly my usual topics for light reading but maybe something interesting.
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Another book that I’ve never read and thought I should change it. And why not save myself some time by listening to it instead.
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Why did I buy this? It cost me 50p. If something is so criminally cheap then I really cant’ pass it up. Simple as that.
- The Podfather Trilogy – Season Four of The Ricky Gervais Show: I love the Ricky Gervais podcast and used to own a copy of all of the seasons. I lost them somewhere along the way so when these turned up cheap on Audible I thought “why not?”. I love Karl Pilkington and the relationship he has with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant is just glorious. It’s so hard to listen to these and not die laughing. I need these for when work is getting me down.
- Ricky Gervais Show: The Complete Fifth Season: See above.
- Netflix Binges: Modern Family
I’m meant to be ending my subscription of NowTV at the end of this month so I can finally get back to Netflix. However, it was my plan to also watch the first season of Westworld before I do that. However, I keep finding excuses not to do it and am, instead, still making my way through all of Modern Family again. This, in itself, it fine but I’ve already seen it. I need to use this time for good.
This week I went all nostalgic and watched a film I’ve loved since I was a teenager. Read all about my trip back in time in my last TBT review.
Anyone who knows me well enough will have heard me ranting about eReaders for years. I’m infamous at work for my stubbornness about Kindles and my desire to stick with the physical book form. So it shocked a few people when I made the decision to buy on this week. When it comes to reading, I still prefer owning and holding a book in my hands. I think books are a beautiful thing and having full bookshelves is better than wallpaper in terms of decoration. However, over the last 27 years of my life I’ve amassed a rather large selection of books, which, sooner or later, I’m going to have to pack up. If I have to move soon then it’s going to be hell transporting my library. It was time to find an alternative option.
As I’ve said, I’ll always be a lover of real books. There’s so many reasons why they’re better than a kindle. Over the years I’ve honed my ranting to a few key arguments.
- If you damage a book it’s really not the end of the world; in most cases it actually adds character to you bookshelves. You break a kindle and you’re paying out big time. Not worth the danger.
- Reading in the bath (see above argument).
- The feel of reading a book is so different to reading a Kindle. You feel more involved when you hold a paperback in your hands and turn the page yourself. If feels more personal and involved. It may sounds crazy but its the fucking truth.
- Reading before bed is a bad idea on a Kindle. We all know the one about turning off our electronics an hour before bed and we all know that reading before bed is calming. There is a major conflict with these rules when it comes to Kindles. I have enough trouble sleeping at night without having this new problem.
- Books are pretty: eBooks are shitty.
- Reading on a screen will always get annoying after a certain amount of time. Eye strain caused by gadgets may be a third world problem but that doesn’t make it any less real.
- A physical book is a memento of your past. Some of my favourite books are the ones I’ve read over and over again. The copies I love most are the well-thumbed versions that I reread every few months/years. The books I’ve been given as gifts. They mean something. What memories does an eBook stir up?
- The financial reward to the author tends to be greater when it comes to physical books and that fucking matters. Authors need to make money to be able to write and only the big names can rely on a meaningful income. Less well-known readers need people to buy physical books rather than eBooks.
- A study from 2014 showed that Kindle readers recalled less information about a novel than those who read physical books. You want to remember a book? Then you’d better read a real one.
So there we have nine whole reasons why I never thought I’d buy a Kindle. However, space is a real issue in life. I love having books everywhere. My room is covered in piles of books where I’ve had bookshelf over-spill. Having a room full to bursting with literature is a fucking beautiful sight. Of course, the issue comes about when you have to move elsewhere. I, like every other late-twenties failure, still live with my parents. They keep threatening to downsize their house, which means sooner or later I have to man up and box up my belongings. The idea of getting my novels into boxes actually fills me with dread.
My problem is impulse buying. As a general rule I will definitely buy every book by my favourite authors and I will, though I’m trying not to, buy multiple copies of my favourite books. I’m also pretty easily manipulated by things I read on the internet. This means I tend to impulse buy a load of shitty books that I either read and hate or leave to get dusty. It is this category that I feel like the Kindle will really help with.
If I ever get the urge to read the next big YA book thanks the reviews I’ve read/heard then I can happily just buy a digital copy. I don’t need to find space for it or feel guilty when I read it once and give it to charity. I can buy every shitty book I want to read without feeling bad about the ever-increasing pile of books that threatens to engulf me whilst I sleep. They’ll just take up by memory.
I’ll still buy the beautiful hardback and paperback editions of books that mean something to me. My favourite authors will always have a place on my shelf. It’s the likes of Rainbow Rowell and trashy crime novels that my Kindle was made for. All those books that BuzzFeed, Flavorwire and Huffington Post always convince me to get. I’ll save my shelves for the books that mean something.