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Archive for February, 2011

Kindles and Rocky Road

This week I have been thinking a lot about Kindles. Mostly I have been thinking why would a person buy a Kindle? I do understand the allure of thin gadgets. When I first came into contact with an iPhone I immediately started surreptitiously posing with it, making pretend calls and whizzing through the contacts list for no reason. It wasn’t even my phone.

Whilst the iPhone is the natural and sexy successor to bulky Nokias from days of yore, the Kindle is not sexier than books. Hear me out. Is there really anything more amazing looking than a pile of books all higgledy-piggledy? I keep piles of books round my flat as part of my interior design scheme. If I break an ornament I just stick a pile of books in its place.

Books are things of beauty. If someone offered to remove all the art and posters from your home and replace them with a single gadget containing all your pieces in digital form, you would probably say ‘no thank you crazy person’. If the Kindle takes off then what will happen to all the books? Homes will look dry and sterile and you won’t be able to impress guests with your complete set of Muriel Spark novels or a random book on German limewood sculpture that you never even read.

I am not such a superficial person that I only value a book for its cover (and its new book smell, and the ribbon page-marker things, and the joy of cracking the spine for the first time). I also think they are quite practical. Proponents of the Kindle claim that it is less cumbersome, lighter and more ‘user-friendly’ than a book. Well, I’m sorry but we’re not all reading The Count of Monte Cristo in the dark. I tend to take normal-sized books on my commute. That’s why I still haven’t finished Wolf Hall. If you really are the type of person who is going to droop under the weight of a 400 page book then might I suggest a novella? Simonetta Perkins by L P Hartley is both a delightful read and, at 134 grams, is lighter than a Kindle (yes, I weighed it).

A few weeks ago I was randomly looking through some books and when I flicked through Gulliver’s Travels out fell a book review I’d written when I was about 12 (judging from the hand-writing). Wow, I thought, I was a super cool 12-year-old. And also, what will happen when Kindles take over the world? Where will all the embarrassing notes and love letters and chocolate digestive crumbs be stashed?

Clearly this post isn’t about food at all. I just wanted to share my thoughts on Kindles. Here is a picture of a rocky road I made to make up for it. It has stem ginger in it. It’s a bit of a Nigella recipe in that you just melt down chocolate and throw other confectionary in before putting it in the fridge. It’s still delicious.

Melt dark chocolate with some butter and syrup from a jar of stem ginger. Stir in crushed maltesers, mini marshmallows, chopped stem ginger and anything else you fancy (kit kats, dried fruit etc). Pour the mix into a suitable container and refrigerate until set.

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