Saturday, 16 July 2011


I swear you could type in and you'd be directed to Amazon. Whoever designed Amazon is a genius. (I'll be back shortly. When I typed what I thought was a fictional web address in just above, it went all hyper-link on me and now I'm intrigued. And slightly worried. Ok, I'm back. It was just a list of links to other websites where you can buys cars and computers and whatnot. Now I'm relieved. And slightly disappointed.)

The second I log in to my Amazon account special magic happens. Now I know I'm apt to use the term magic quite often and quite loosely to cover all of the things in the world that I don't understand. Like aeroplanes, which are far too big and heavy to fly and seem to do so just because they want to if you ask me. And TV because, well just because I have no idea at all. Even when it's explained to me. In fact especially when it's explained to me. And basically all of technology. Let's just say I get how a water mill works and anything after that is sketchy.

Anyway, back to the point. Actual magic occurs when I go to Amazon because IT KNOWS WHAT I WANT. It has spent time, while I was away doing other mundane things, compiling a special list of all the books I've always needed (and some I didn't even know I needed but now realise that I really do), and is displaying them in neat rows for me to view in all their glory. Headings like 'New for you' and 'Inspired by your wishlist'  sit atop these rows of tempatation.

Ruth, (it knows my name. It likes to use it. It knows I'll buy more because it personalised this whole experience just for me) would you like the latest series of House? Yes. Yes, I would. Thanks for suggesting it Amazon.

Ruth, you really love your shiny new kindle, don't you? Wouldn't you like a lovely new cover for it? Doesn't it deserve one? Yes. Yes, it does. You're right Amazon. You're always right.

Now Amazon has me in its grasp, it's not letting go. It brings out the big guns:    

One click buying (Sub-text: Don't look at the price. Don't even think about it. None of that matters. It's so easy. You want it. Just do it!)

I'm helpless. Even though I know Amazon loves you just as much as it loves me. I know it knows your name too. I know it's spent time compiling a special list of all the things you need and yes, I know it gives you one click. But I can't help it. The hooks are in too deep. I've been tempted and I've given in.

But it's nice. And my kindle deserves it, right? I mean Amazon said so, so it has to be right. Come on, admit it - who's received an Amazon package in the last two weeks, or is expecting one right now? What did you get? :D

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Kindle, I heart you a lot

I tagged this post Kindle, birthday, anniversary, cake - so you can tell it's about all kinds of lovliness before I even start :D This week it's been boy number two's 10th birthday. I didn't have a great deal of time to make the cake this year (enter lego) but said child was happy. I found candles that employ some sort of magic to make the flames different colours as well, so it was smiles all round when I produced this:

Three days later it was my birthday. As I ran through the living room in my usual I-now-have-minus-four-minutes-to-leave-the-house-and-not-be-late-for-work frenzy, I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of a sleek black package tied with black ribbon. A card with my name on it sat on top. I didn't have time to open it but it lured me anway, enticing me to reach out tentative fingers and actually shake the package. I couldn't resist. It was my birthday after all, and if I was late surely the kids in my class could amuse themselves for a short while - I mean most of them are six now, right? Reason went out of the window and it became of national importance to find out what was under the thick black paper.

I may have emitted a small squeak when I pulled out a plain brown box with Kindle written on it. I may have scrabbled at the aforementioned box in desperation to get to my new toy. I may even have let out an I-just saw-my-first-firework sigh. And there I stood, holding this in my hands:

So sleek, sooooo pretty, soooooooooooo against everything I thought I believed in when it comes to books. I distinctly remember a post-grad student taking one of my seminars when I was an undergraduate (circa '97, yes, I'm that old. Moving swiftly on.) We'd been reading The Name of the Rose - an excellent and rather lengthy tome by Umberto Eco. Post-grad boy assured us that e-books were the way of the future and that there would soon be no need for my oversized backpack carrying no less than two Norton Anthologies. I was affronted. I think (read know) that I actually clutched The Name of the Rose to my chest. How dare he? The very idea of it was sacrilege and the post-grad student should possibly die for daring to utter such blasphemy.

Yet there I stood in my living room, carefully peeling the protective film off my new baby.

Don't get me wrong, I own a lot of books. I have no intention of parting with them (try and take them from me at your own peril.) This is less than a third of the collection in my house:

I love books. I mean I reeaallllyyyy love books.

But my new Kindle? The tiny device that will let me own vast quantities of literature? I marvelled at the screen - the one that looks like paper. I downloaded two books in seconds. I fiddled with facebook on it. I commented to my ever-patient husband 'Look, look, it plays music too! And I can ask it to read to me!' I browsed the huge library of free classics. I even appreciated the new Kindle smell (it really does have one, I'm not making that up.) Yes, I heart my Kindle.

Two days after my birthday (today!) it's my twelfth wedding anniversary. Cake, birthday, Kindle, anniversary.

So how's your week been? :)