Yes, I do have a Kindle! Yes, I have an iPad! Yes, I also read downloaded books on both devices … nevertheless, I still do buy books, real books, paperbacks, hardcovers. Books for me are essential! And whenever I’m in the States or in England, I’m in heaven! Book stores with English books wherever I look.
When I started to read English books in earnest – nearly 20 years ago – Austrian book stores were equipped with one shelf max displaying English books – IF there even was a shelf. (At least in the medium sized 24000 people town – tiny compared to US standards – I used to go to university to!) And then I either already had the books, they were typical English school literature books like “1984”, “Animal Farm”, “Lord of the Flies” and “Catcher in the Rye” (not among my favourites anyway) or they simply just were of no interest to me.
So, in my severe pain all I could do was use the internet – remember, Kindles and iPads were in the distant future still – and order the books I wanted to have. Not such a bad thing either, but it’s definitely more fun to browse in actual shops and have them immediately instead of waiting for a few days!
Occasionally I went to Graz or Vienna and then was in 7th book lover heaven visiting the “English book store” or larger book stores with two shelves of English books.
Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re turning up the whites of your eyes right now, sighing, asking yourself, “Is there anything she doesn’t like to buy? Clothes, shoes, bags … and now books!”
You are so right! But hey, I’m a girl! What else do you expect? But in my defence, I DO love books very much! Does it surprise you that I bought and bought? Lugging home suitcases and backpacks of books from my London trips? Stacking them next to my bed until they were in danger of toppling over? Not putting them in one of the book cases, which, as my friends constantly pointed out, are designed particularly for books? Nooo, they absolutely couldn’t go onto a book shelf, at least not onto one with the other read ones. They haven’t earned their right yet to be displayed next to the others. I have to read them first before they are allowed there.
Times have changed, of course! Thanks to eReaders! I love my Kindle too, cause I don’t have to take at least ten books on vacation but have dozens stored on my Kindle and iPad. Book stores still tempt and draw me in like moths to the light, though. All those beautiful books, the smell of printed paper … just lovely! Thankfully, HE loves books as much as I do. Even though we completely differ in our tastes. While I’m more into mysteries, Regency era romances, romances and political conspiracy novels, he’s into the more serious stuff like history … Which makes our book discussions even more interesting. And I just love to have him pick a book for me to read, expanding my horizon. Totally and absolutely different but usually surprisingly well written, fascinating and even entertaining. Both of us always put much thought into which books to get each other, and so far neither of us has been disappointed. Am already looking forward to the next one HE will pick for me … I already have something in mind for him. Happy reading, you all!