Why Kindles totally rock & a small announcement

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My sweet and faithful Kindle device is a third generation model that I bought when smartphones still hadn’t infected the masses, and iPad Minis were still a distant dream.

It’s a slim, sleek device that’s just the right size to emulate a physical book, and so light it’s actually better than lugging one around! It has a keypad that, even back then I thought, was rather pointless because I never really made notes in my books. It has a battery life of over a month which, you have to admit, was and still is revolutionary!

I have spent around five years fighting the ‘real’ vs virtual books debate. But nothing’s been more rewarding than watching my bookshelf (the physical one) get less cluttered.

The first time I felt love, actual real, true love, for my Kindle was when I realised just how discrete it was about what I was reading. I had actually started reading 50 Shades of Grey on my commutes to work and when I was done, I followed it up with real erotica – Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin. In fact, Nin is perhaps one of my best downloads to date as I keep going back to her writing every time I want a little date with bold characters who fearlessly embrace the carnal side of life, art and desire.

It also wasn’t long before I realised that Kindle editions of certain books were cheaper to purchase with the added advantage of instant delivery. This made me even more of a reader – one who found herself downloading two books – a long novel and a short single – every Sunday (more on this awesome practice soon); I often drunk-downloaded (it’s a real thing!) titles fresh out of drunken conversations so that I had something stimulating to read before passing out.

Having a Kindle also meant that I didn’t have to wait for the latest titles in the series I followed to release in India, which usually took at least a few weeks to a month. I received pretty much all of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series on their release dates, at midnight, GMT.

The Kindle has opened my worlds up to multiple possibilities and I’m glad that more people are embracing it these days. It has been a wonderful companion to me these last five years and I’m sure it will be just as good to/for my fellow readers out there.

That being said, there is still merit in owning hardcovers and paperbacks. I mean, there’s only so much space on a Kindle for autographs. Beyond that, physical books still have their pride of place on a shelf, because when you truly make a connection with an author and her/his writing, it lasts forever. Like true love. My first two copies of the Ibis trilogy by Amitav Ghosh (third one’s in pre-order… I can wait) is testament to that. Why, my Harry Potters are so worn and weathered from annual readings, but I never once considered purchasing them in e-carbon ink when they finally released in e-book format.

In that sense, I think the Kindle is perfect for impulse purchases, bestsellers and fast-paced reads that you’re only going to read once. They’re also perfect for the books you’d rather not brandish the titles of for whatever reason. But they’re never going replace the ink, paper, how-many-trees-do-you-think-died-to-make-this-physical book. Not your favourite titles anyway. But yes, your Kindle will help you save time, money and a whole lot of space (especially when you lug  89 or so weightless books on holiday) like a boss!

Use it wisely, treat it well and you will never long for anything to read at a moment’s notice ever again.

A small announcement:

Starting this week, I’m going to be listing two book recommendations that make for perfect reads on the Kindle. I’m hoping to publish this list every Saturday – that’s tomorrow! – so it will hopefully be in time to make your weekend reading list.

These recommendations will come straight from my own reading history and will feature some personal notes and comments so you know I’m not just rewriting descriptions off Amazon or Bestseller back covers.

I hope this helps all my friends who’re always looking for first-hand recommendations. This ‘series’ is also for those special folk who just recently purchased Kindles and are looking for fun, easy book ideas so they can spend all their time focusing on their new style of reading.

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The slow train to literary heaven

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There was a time in my life, a few years ago, when I read for four hours every day. Three hours on the train to work (there and back again) and another hour before bed. I read an average of three books every month. When I ran out of books and didn’t have money to buy more, I’d just re-read the books I set aside for re-reading.

I didn’t know then that this was as good as it would get in my ‘career’ as a reader.

It has been a while since I read a book from cover to cover. I thought at first it was because I moved cities, started a new life and didn’t commute to work anymore. But having started a new job which comes with a long, long commute — an hour and fifteen minutes each way — I thought I would go back to a book a week again.

But a bus that twists, turns, swerves and honks has nothing on a train that doesn’t make any sudden moves. If anything the gentle lull from side to side is more soothing than sitting in a bed with the covers up drawn to your knee.

A train is a thing of beauty, dear reader. You’re going somewhere but as long as you’re inside you’re going nowhere. Life is ‘happening’ but you’re not going to be part of it until you reach your station.

The train is, without a doubt, the best place to read epics and and fantasies and mysteries and romances because as long as you’re on it, there’s nothing for you to do and nowhere for you to go except forward. Which is perhaps the best direction in which to be if you want to read, isn’t it?

I’ve stopped reading since my days commuting on the train. The bus is too loud and noisy and sunny and hectic. But there is still some hope for me, I suppose. I’ve started listening to audio books.