Monday, 22 April 2013

When the Dragons Came

My son will be starting school this year, one thing I don’t have to worry about will be his reading. He is absolutely obsessed with books.

One of his favourite books is ‘When the Dragons Came’ it is also one of my favourites to read to him. When a family of dragons arrives in the sleepy town of Poppledown not everyone is happy about it but before long the scaly visitors prove that even dragons can be kind and helpful.

The book is colourful, imaginative and fun. It is short, easy to follow and full of brilliant artwork that really grabs the imagination. Any young child will love this book.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My Kindle

Well, I finally did it, I bought a Kindle. I shouldn’t really see this as ‘news’ considering Jessica has had one for years now but in my longstanding tradition of being slow on the uptake I’ve only just joined the club. And what a glorious club it is.

This is one of those times when I genuinely ask myself ‘why didn’t I get one of these years ago?’ Compact, lightweight, easy to use, cheap (for what you get) and thousands of books to download in the blink of an eye the Kindle is ideal for casual readers and bibliophiles alike.

Jessica, reading over my shoulder, just scoffed and said this article sounds like an advert. Since Amazon isn’t paying me to review it I will try to be as objective as possible.

Kindle is a handheld device about the size and weight of a thin paperback. Using the internet you can search for and purchase books which download directly onto your kindle handset. It even allows you to download a ‘sample’ of the book for free to see how you get on with it before committing to buy the whole thing. It is undoubtedly convenient. Not only is it able to download whole books very quickly but it also duplicates said book into your Amazon account so, even if you drop your kindle into a puddle and ruin it, you won’t lose your books.

My favourite feature is that you can ‘highlight’ passages you like and revisit them with ease. You can also make notes. There is a dictionary available which you can use anytime whilst reading just by highlighting a word. Kindle books in the ‘public domain’ are completely free to download. For newer books there is a charge, usually less than a paperback.

Despite all these ‘pluses’ the Kindle is not perfect. The basic model doesn’t have the touch screen feature meaning you have to navigate, type and select using buttons which can be slow and frustrating at times. Another minor criticism is the screen for the basic model is only black and white. This isn’t a major problem for just reading novels but if you are a fan of comic books (sorry, ahem, graphic novels) the illustrations will not have colour. Sadly Amazon can only convert books electronically with permission so if, for whatever reason, an author or publisher doesn’t want their book to be available on the Kindle they can prevent it. For this reason one of my favourite books, To Kill a Mockingbird’ is not currently available. I have no doubt this will change in time.

Overall I think it’s a great bit of kit, particularly if, like me, you live in a small maisonette with limited room for bookshelves. Now all I need to do is get over the guilt of finally giving up on paper…


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

We're back!

The last time we made a blog post here it was July 2012, during the biggest sporting event in British history; the London 2012 Olympics. Both Jessica and myself were directly involved in the Olympics and postponed blogging until it was all over and done with. When the Olympics finished one thing followed after another and the blog was temporarily forgotten.

However, now we are back! We’ll be blogging here in the same format as before, trying our best to be as eclectic as possible. We’ve read a lot of books since July 2012 and we look forward to telling you all about them!

 Chris & Jessica