First I have to apologise mentally to my lifelong friend Paddy. This is difficult as she is on a sort of Grand Tour of England, Scotland, Outer Hebrides, France – anywhere that takes her fancy really – and is wisely incommunicado, but here goes: Paddy, I silently scoffed when you confessed to liking talking books. I take it back.
With the frugality of my ancestors I calculated that if I could fit one thousand books onto my new Kindle, and a download typically cost $10, I could do some serious spending, so I turned to the trusty Gutenberg project http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
There are so many books I read in childhood – on the bus,in the library,on the swings, in the garden – or on holiday by the Med, totally immersed while my children fought off octopuses, heat rash and glace vendors – and I wanted to revisit them. Such happy days.
First was Middlemarch, which I had read on the Plage Pamplonne with an umbrella, a sarong, an apple and a bottle of water, so this re-read was suffused with squeaky sand and the smell of salt and Ambre Solaire. It was a hefty tome and a long read, and I had the bright idea of listening to it while I was cutting out and sewing.
Now the Kindle has the reading style of a GPS – in fact the GPS wins on matters of inflexion. It’s like having Ida Blankenship read out loud to you, but I can get over that, for love of immersing myself in story. I have a new mental holiday.