I have finally joined the ranks of those with an eReader.
Yes, I know I am slow at adapting to the latest technologies, but I have some sound reasons. The main reason was a reluctance to buy any more books. I have many piles of unread books and magazines cluttering various parts of the house. I have been trying hard to get on top of these heaps of reading materials, but the list seems never ending. One day I will overcome this problem – I guess – though it has the benefit of never having to look far for something to read. (You are probably thinking that my house is a very untidy mess of books and magazines. Wrong. It is a quite tidy mess of books and magazines.)
But back to the eReader.
It was a freebie from my bank’s awards’ programme, a Kobo Aura. It was very easy to set up, and even easier to buy books. (Too easy, as my wife has discovered.)
My first book was The girl with the dragon tattoo, one I had been planning to read for some time. The reader is very easy to use and especially easy to read in bed. I recently read Peter Fitzsimons’ huge 800+ page tome called Gallipoli. I managed to read it partly in bed, but it was not really ever comfortable.
I won’t do a review of my first book just yet. I did find it a riveting tale and read it in only a few days. All I will say for now is that despite the compelling draw of the story I did not particularly enjoy the book. Sadism is not my thing, and several characters in the book are brutally sadistic in nature.
From that interesting read I have moved on to a second ebook, The Kite Runner. So far I am enjoying it.
The dangerous world of butterflies: the startling subculture of criminals, collectors and conservationists written by Peter Laufer, PhD.
This is a book I probably would have glanced at in a bookshop – and not taken much interest in it. My copy came into my possession via my wife who bought it for me for Christmas. The title and subject matter intrigued her and she took a gamble, hoping I would enjoy it.
Her gamble paid off; at times I could hardly put it down. The author, Peter Laufer, a journalist of note, had tired of writing about serious, world shattering events and theatres of war, and jokingly said at a book launch that his next book would be “about butterflies and flowers.” The idea stuck with him, but he didn’t realise how life changing that throw-away line would prove to be.
The more he delved into the world of butterflies, the more he became intrigued, fascinated and amazed. The book is written about three main aspects of butterflies: crime, collecting, and conservation. Rare and beautiful butterflies are much sought after and there is a thriving black market for the most sought after. Collectors will go to extraordinary lengths – usually illegal – to add to their hoard of specimens mounted on card with a pin. Conservationists, however, try desperately to protect the last few surviving beauties. It is a dangerous world indeed, not the least for the poor insects themselves struggling to exist in an increasingly hazardous world.
Laufer deals also with valiant attempts to breed endangered species, detailing the amazing life cycle of these beautiful, delicate miracles of nature. Large breeding centres also sell large quantities of more common species for release at weddings and other ceremonies. I’d never heard of this “use” of butterflies but the idea appeals to me. Apparently you can buy butterflies for this purpose here in Australia, though it remains mostly an American custom.
“So many books, so little time.” Frank Zappa
I have so many books that my home is almost in dire need of more bookshelves. I have at least a dozen bookshelves, and still I need to make piles of them in most rooms. I keep on buying more and borrowing even more, and the piles never seem to diminish.
So, this year I have decided to make a concerted effort to reduce those piles and get to reading – and finishing – as many as possible. The delightful thing is, I will need to read, read, read for the next three to five years to make any impact on those ever growing heaps of books.
It has been suggested that I sell some of my books. That would be like plucking out my eyes. Not an option.
Oh – did I mention the boxes of books in the passage – and even more in the garage?
I am currently visiting my grandchildren who live interstate. It’s a joy I have only a few times every year, but so interesting to see their development and to play with them a whole range of games. Their ages are 4 and 1, so they are still developing in many ways, especially in their imaginations.
One of the special delights is cuddling up for story time. Both parents are book lovers, so their home has many books. Family and friends have also made sure the two little ones have plenty of books in their lives. And to add to the wonderful books in the home, a new branch library has just recently opened up in an old church building five minutes’ walk up the road.
In reading books daily to the grandchildren – and sometimes several times a day – once again has impressed upon me the importance of reading in the life of a child. So much language development occurs in this pre-school period. So many books are rich in wonderful language. But more than that, there is so much cultural heritage which can be absorbed by the young, developing mind. There are also the many environmental concepts which can also be introduced through non fiction. Last night my grandson and I spent nearly an hour pouring over a book about farming; he lives in Australia”s largest city so this is an excellent way of talking about my heritage; I grew up on a farm.
The case for reading to and with children is so important and soundly supported by the research. What is less emphasised, I feel, is the importance of reading children’s books if one desires to be writing children’s books. Just like in the importance of books in the life of a developing child, so is the reading of children’s books vital in the development of the aspiring children’s authors. You cannot read too many, and there are so many wonderful children’s books out there now you will certainly be entertained for many years to come.