It’s rather daft, actually. Two or three years ago, the bungalow needed a new boiler. The plumber had the bright idea of putting it in the loft so that it wouldn’t be in the way in the kitchen. Good idea, except that now one has to get the loft ladder down and clamber up through the trapdoor whenever one wants to adjust the heating. Especially bright idea when Dilly was pregnant and didn’t feel able to do it. Now, the job has fallen to me.
Just as well we went through to see if there was any post this evening, because we discovered that the trip switch had flipped and there was no electricity. In fact, it was the laundry room light bulb that had blown and triggered it, but I might not have realised that. And while I’m on the subject of light bulbs, does anyone else find that those so-called long-life bulbs may be low energy but are anything but long-life? Although being more expensive than the old ones that actually gave off a reasonable amount of light, they last no longer, sometimes less time. The one in our passageway has to be replaced every few months. I hate them, I can’t read by them and have to have on an additional lamp.
Talking of reading, I wonder how you’re all getting on with your Kindles and other reading apparatus? I see that the sale of real books has actually gone up over Christmas, and I have to say that I’m not surprised. I do read on my phone and iPad, and I don’t mind reading on a screen at all, but it’s simply no substitute for a book. One has no feeling of how far one has got through an electronic book – I know you can look to see what page out of how many, but it isn’t the same. And the price of new books is bemusingly high. It’s hardly cheaper to buy a downloaded book than a real one, but you don’t own the download and it can be taken away from you – you can’t lend it or bequeath it (not that too many books are actually mentioned in a will, but you know what I mean) and it didn’t even have to be printed or transported. I have read a lot of books on my screens, but the main dissatisfaction with it is that you can’t flip back and forth. I like to check details – having little memory for names doesn’t help and I often want to remind myself who a character is, or what specifically was said or done, and what I have got is a good memory for the placement of words. If you ask me about an article in the newspaper, for example, I might be able to say it was only a few pages from the front, on the left hand side in the middle at the bottom … or whatever. You just don’t get the same feel on a Kindlish thing.
What’s been said in the papers is that people take them on holiday and promptly drop them in the hotel swimming pool and are therefore without books for the rest of the holiday. I say those people are pretty damn silly. I take more care of my things than that. I’ve never even dropped a book in a swimming pool, and I think it’s a jolly good thing to have on holiday. And when waiting in a queue or lying in bed unable to sleep. But a book is, mostly, far better to my way of thinking. And I’ve given the download every chance and will continue to do so, so I’m quite sure I’m not prejudiced.
Where they do come into their own is that out-of-copyright books are free. That’s jolly useful. I’ve reread a load of classics over the last couple of years.