I never thought this could happen to me. I was a non-believer, an agnostic at best. I've always eschewed them, some of my best friends are Luddites, it took me years to throw out my leather-bound BBC Filofax, remember those? (But to be honest this was at least in part because I HAD a leather-bound BBC Filofax, from when I worked there millions of years ago).
But now I have ripped it from its packet at last, from where it was languishing, rejected and unloved since Christmas when I rashly bought it as a present for Husband and it backfired spectacularly: "But you know I hate them, Elizabeth." I have appropriated it as my own, worked out how to use it, bought a book to read on it, read that book, and now I am completely in love with the Kindle. Sorry, the eReader (no branding here).
I know what I said. I know I said they are witchcraft. I know I said I like proper books: the feel of them, the smell of them, the swank of them. But you can't take proper books on holiday with you, can you? Not lots of them. You can't take a The Rough Guide to Herculaneum and Pompeii with you on the train from Sorrento alongside the novel you are currently reading and not have the combined weight of them in your handbag break your arm off as you walk around the best preserved Roman amphitheatre in Europe.
And there numerous other benefits I hadn't even thought of. I can turn up the font size so I don't need my reading glasses. I can continue reading my book even when the Captain says, "Crew, dim cabin lights for take-off". I can instantly look up words I don't know the meaning of, like ithyphallic, (a prize to the lucky reader who can guess from this clue which book I am currently reading) and incidentally this is all very good news with regards to the book group of which I am currently a member, since recently I had been struggling to keep up with the reading.
This is in part because I had gone off reading books completely in favour of writing books and reading newspapers, which was in turn in no small part because reading books had become such a chore. And this, I now realise, was because of two critical factors: font size and availability. Sort out the font size, make the words HUGE, and it's a lot easier to read them even in the trickiest of conditions. Have the book with you at all times in your bag because it weighs next to nothing and suddenly you can read it in places you wouldn't ordinarily have done so, like planes, trains and automobiles… or even downstairs.
I just read a book with a lot of fight scenes in it (this is not my usual choice of reading you understand, I was reading my brother's novel) and although I am sure lots of people LOVE books with fight scenes, they are not usually my cup of tea and with the Kindle I found I was able to read these bits quickly, the pages skimming by in a whirr of electronic characters at a speed my eyes and page-turning skills alone could not have managed.
So now I have high hopes. I'm reading everything much faster. I really might be able to get that mountain of books on my bedside table despatched before next Christmas. I might even be able to get my book group book read in time for the next get-together, and even perhaps that novel a kind friend dropped through my letterbox some weeks back with a sweet note, which read: "the whole time I was reading this I was thinking of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did." (How lovely!)
The Kindle has opened my eyes to new possibilities. I honestly can't see a single thing wrong with it, except perhaps that I can't lend out books to friends anymore, but I never liked lending out books to friends anyway.
Now, where on earth has that charger gone?