I wonder what Charlotte Bronte would have thought of me reading her wonderful novel again, this time on the iBook app on my iPhone. Could she even conceive it or imagine a world where we would need such a thing? It was my first attempt at reading an eBook and I found that I liked it. I didn’t have any expectation about it but it was the simplicity of it – not to heavy, didn’t have to worry about finding my bookmark when I fell asleep mid-page, could whip through a few pages anywhere I liked. There was even that surreal point where I was so immersed I completely forgot where I was and what I was using and it was all about the story. Aah perfect.
Which makes me think about my wonderful book group. A few years ago (when we had little kids) my two girlfriends and I found we were still trying to sneak in a good read amongst all the family responsibilities and would talk to each other, but be constantly interrupted, or not have read the same book. So we decided to all read the same book and gather over a coffee to chat. Now there are nine of us in a more formalised group who read one book a month and get together to discuss it. We are all busy at various stages of family and work, ranging in ages over 40 years apart, and yet we all have a need to understand and interpret the world through another’s writing.
If it wasn’t for the innovations in providing information to us, and I mean literature too, we would have fallen apart long ago. What I mean is this… One of us borrows the books from the library as CDs and plays them on her hour long journey to Uni twice a week. Sometimes its a longer trip if it’s a good book. One of us downloads the ebook version from her library to put on her mp3 player because if she spends all day at work on the computer then reads at home she has vertigo. So she clips it on and listens whilst cooking dinner and doing house chores. One of us reads on her iPad because, let’s face it, if you had an iPad wouldn’t you use it all the time too? One of us (me) reads on the Kindle so that she can read anywhere anytime there’s a spare few minutes and carry a stack of books all on one little device. Some of us read the library’s large print version and some actually buy the books. So we all, despite our busy lives, are able to do what we really love and that is read. Without this little community of readers I would have become hopelessly stuck in my favourite genres and I am thankful we can continue to broaden our horizons with a lot of help from technology and some lateral thinking.