Sunday, 5 June 2011

read me

My sister asked me to order my niece a Kindle as she hasn't got an amazon account.

I actually didn’t know what it was until then.
Now I keep seeing the adverts for them on the TV, clearly meant to demonstrate how convenient they are but the bit that concerns me is the woman on her bike with it in the basket on the front.

Aren’t you supposed to be watching where you’re going ?
Who in their right mind is gonna be reading a fucking book whilst riding a bike.
That’s just asking for trouble, if I get run over by a demented bookworm on a bike I’m gonna sue Amazon.

And yes, in case anyone thinks I’m stupid I do realise that the point of that is to show how portable the thing is…..Wow ! How original.
Yeah ‘cos nobody ever realised you could take a book anywhere did they.
Thing is I know what I’m like when I get my nose stuck in a good book, I don’t want to put it down. However the fact that I need my hands to ride a bike and/or hold a book means that I can’t do both at the same time.
Now if only someone would invent a hands free book…..oh wait….yup, bad idea.

What are they gonna invent next - a device to install Kindle on your Sat Nav ?
Oh sorry Officer, I didn’t see the little old lady crossing the road because Harry Potter was just about to kiss Hermione.

Personally I don’t think a Kindle can ever replace a real paper book.
I love to read a good story but there is also something about the smell of a new book, or even an old one.
And no matter how old fashioned it becomes I will never tire of thumbing through pages.
I still have some of the books I read with Son when he was little, had they been on a hard drive no doubt by now the files would’ve been deleted and replaced or lost on a crashed device.
I plan to read those books with my granchildren one day.

I really don’t see how a small grey electronic screen could ever replace a brightly illustrated children’s book.
Kids learn the stories through the pictures and that is the first step to reading, associating words with pictures and then beginning to mentally connect sounds with letters.

You’re never going to do that unless you can capture and hold their attention and I don’t think a Kindle will do that for a three year old.
It doesn’t do it for me and I’m way past the age when I need pictures in a book to follow the story.

Well unless it’s porn.

As much as I appreciate the technology available now I do think that we are in danger of losing out. It’s nice to get emails but for me there is still something special about a hand written letter that can never be replaced.
I had a friend that died in the tsunami in Thailand and I have a letter that she wrote to me whilst travelling. I treasure that letter, had she sent me an email I might still have it saved but I would not see her writing or be able to hold something she had touched and keep it in my box of memories.

I’m sure that servicemen and women appreciate a handwritten letter far more then an email too. I know you can recieve an email the minute it's sent, as long as you have access to your email account of course. But you can’t carry it with you or keep it under your pillow and read by torchlight if you’re feeling homesick, lonely or just because you want to. And if you have childen who are too young to use a computer they can't send you a scribble or a drawing by email.

The other thing that concerns me is whether having access to so much technology is actually going to have an adverse effect on the education of our children. Who needs to learn to spell correctly when spellcheck can do it for you, or when you and your mates converse lyk dis.
There was no text speak until teenagers all got mobile phones.

When there is so much information readily available online at any time will we get to a point where people think there is no need to actually learn anything, other then how to turn a computer on in order to ask google. I suppose that isn’t always a bad thing, I have to be honest here and say that nowadays if there is something I want to find out it’s usually the first place I look. However there is also a lot of misinformation on the internet, any idiot can have a website and put whatever garbage they want on it.

Fuck sake even I have one now, and look at the amount of crap I put on it.

But I do worry that we are too reliant on the new gadgets and in danger of forgetting basic skills.
Many years ago I worked in a nightclub and we had to total up the cost of drinks in our heads, and give out the right change. And the rule was if your till was out by more than a pound you were sacked. Our tills were usually spot on to the penny when cashed up at the end of the night.
Nowadays you wouldn’t even need to enter an amount - just press the button for the drinks ordered and the till does it for you, any idiot could do it.

Last week I was in the Supermarket and there were two young lads in front of me, as they were getting served they asked the shop idiot assistant if they would be able to use their cards to pay half each.

When their bill was totalled it came to £104.50. She said
“that’s ….ummm…..errrr…….” after two very painful minutes one of the lads said,
“£52.25”… to which she replied,
“are you sure ?” and got a pen and then spent another two minutes trying to check.

Fucking hell, how thick ?
Even I worked that sum out the minute she said it and I am SHIT at maths.
I was trying not to laugh, as was one of the lads but when I caught his eye he had to turn his back.

Clearly you don’t need any level of even the most basic education to work in Tescos, which is good news for the dumbasses of the world I suppose. But where is the incentive to learn to add up in the first place if you always have a calculator to do it for you.

Fine I suppose until your batteries run out.

Or there’s a power cut.
Then you’re screwed.

I'll just get a candle and read a book.


  1. you would never want me to have a book on a bike ... when i read, i fall asleep. so i'd fall asleep riding.

    it's a stupid invention

    love you dirty

  2. applause applause applause!!!

    kindle and nook can kiss my butt.
    read a real book: yes, please.
    write with paper and pen: hell yes.
    learn math: don't get screwed over w money as easily.

    technology in the hands of idiots can be dangerous. like the huge rig driver next to me on the hiway- attempting to text and shift.
    way to go sport, maybe pull the fuck over instead of jeopardize the lives of others.

    and i loooove writing letters, and just sent out 7 this week to friends.
    on paper.
    with a stamp.

  3. Kindle is the future for people who need to refer to a lot of books and have nowhere to put them all. So much easier to have them on a memory stick. Nothing wrong with was keeping a few real books as long as they're made of recycled paper rather than trees.

  4. @Andrea - you'd be in the extra high risk group then lol
    @Violet - I watched a quiz show last week and one of the questions was how much is a first class stamp, they didn't know - and it was multiple choice.
    @GB - I get that, I can see the value of them for students for instance, but all the marketing I've seen shows people reading them in relaxed situations. Of course it's a great idea, but for me it'll never be better then reading a proper book.

  5. I suffer from book addiction. I used to work in a book store and could quite happily spend a day sniffing the inside covers of new hardback books. A strange fetish, l admit. Customers also found it slightly off putting. I am still confused when people attempt to read books whilst running on the treadmill. How they do it without killing themselves is a wonder....xx

  6. Well, this post was well said and so true! Of course, these gadgets are great for portability. But I am a bookworm and my daughter is worst than I am. Neither of us can make it out of Barnes and Nobles without buying a book and most times it's books. I have TONS of them in every room.

    However, when my (truly over obsessed) daughter purchased her nook last week I was thanking the book gods. She plans to have a room in her home (when she has one of her own) designated as a library; but I have but a two bedroom home and space is limited.

    Like you DirtyCowGirl, the books I read to her when she was little I will be reading to my grandchildren one day. So, I'll stick with the traditional books for the most part so I can pass my love of books and reading down to those young ones.

    As for the cashiers in the shops today... well, my comment is already long enough and a bit on them would turn into a rant... but if they have to think to long their brains start leaking from their ears.

    Have a good week!

  7. I've been offered a Kindle on three gift giving occasions and have turned down each one. I love the feel and smell of a book in my hand, I just thought it was ludicrous to get a device that is meant to replace that… technology is making idiots out of our kids anyway (for reasons you stated) and I lumped this in with.

    But lately, my shelves have no more space and I like to do a lot of breezy summer reading, things that I don't care to own but enable me to enjoyably pass time without switching on the TV. My friend has a Kindle and there are LOADS of free classics and contemporary work that would be perfect for this. I'm also sure my groaning bookshelves would thank me. So I'm considering selling my soul and getting one, but for now I'm still the only woman I know that regularly uses her library card with pride.

  8. "That’s just asking for trouble, if I get run over by a demented bookworm on a bike I’m gonna sue Amazon." HaHaaa!

  9. Maybe I am a little disturb, but I love the smell of printed paperback on my hands. Among other things that I like to do with my hands.
    Just sayin'.


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