The Thamensian: ‘Kindles can wait, cherish books and bookshops’

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I AM what they call an ‘early adopter’.

Like Madonna, but different.

An early adopter likes to have new gadgets as soon as they hit the streets, even if they are going to get cheaper and better as they become more established.

I have Sega Mega CDs, I have MP3 players which boast ‘can hold up to a whole album’ , and Sat Navs which say ‘turn the horse and wagon right in 300 furlongs’.

However, I have been holding fire on one piece of technology for a couple of years now.

I am a voracious reader, getting through a book a week on average and happy to pick up books of all genres.

You will spot me at car boots all summer picking up 50p books of all description to keep me going through the winter until my ever generous mother-in-law can supply book tokens for Christmas.

Much of this stems from the brilliant Miss Cookson’s English lessons at Lord Bills, which led on to three years in higher education reading classic literature.

And when I graduated I then rebelled and read nothing but DC and Marvel comics for the next three years.

I suspect this shows that I have serious issues, but I digress.

Although I love words and language it is the books themselves that I cherish.

I was given a biography of Charles Dickens recently and was in love with it before I even read a word: it has a wrap cover, gilt edged pages and a little bit of string to act as a bookmark. Like a proper book.

Because books take up so much room I am under pressure from Mrs The Thamensian to get a Kindle.

This electronic tablet can store up to 1,400 books and its sleek ergonomic design would usually be right up my early adopting street.

I was toying with this idea on Saturday when I went into the Book House in Thame.

I bent across the slightly too small doorway, hopped up the first little step and sidled past the browsers as I perused the new arrivals.

That shop has been a fixture in Thame for as long as I can remember and I must have at least different saver 27 cards with little stamps on.

As I tilted my head to read the book spines I was listening to the assistant ordering a book for a customer.

In the background a four year old was reading aloud in the excellent children’s section.

Why, it was almost Dickensian.

As I left I still had no new book, but I did have a new resolution.

Kindles can wait.

It’s the books and bookshops like this that kindled my interest in the first place.