Early this morning I became a time traveller. I visited ancient Greece, was aware of wars and counter attacks, prejudice in post War idealism and through the power of words cascaded into future realms with shadows of an Orwellian system of surveillance.
How did I achieve this epic adventure? I am sure, dear readers, that you have guessed already, by the power of the written word.
Something, that for me, still holds a wonder and sense of achievement. Although an avid reader from childhood, I remember often being frustrated and slightly embarrassed, at not always managing to read the classics. I remember being reproached by my English teacher for being still at the “Enid Blyton” stage.
When studying, I would have to read and re-read passages over and over to be able to get the message. Dickens? I loved reading his powerful descriptions but how could I manage a whole novel, when I couldn’t remember who this character was, or what had happened two weeks ago, either my time, or novel time? As for Tolkien…….. just too many characters with names I couldn’t pronounce all beginning with the same letter!
But I digress. Back to my travels, how is it possible, that I am now reading these classics and reading modern novels that introduce me to new ideas, touch on subjects otherwise closed to my befuddled brain?
Answer simple: Kindle and Goodreads.
I can access a dictionary, make notes, read reviews, summaries and find references within books. I can bookmark pages so that I won’t get lost, and re-read pages as necessary. If I am struggling with a novel, whereas previously, I would have given up, with the self deprecating inner voice nagging at me, “you can’t read this Sue, it is too difficult. You are not clever enough to know this. Why don’t you know what that word means? How can you not know that, call yourself a literature student? “You don’t know nuffin” to use the vernacular.
Kindle allows me to read several books at a time all in one ‘library’ accessed, bookmarked and available with just a click. So I can read a ‘lite’ relief book to give my brain a rest, and return to the ‘epic’ when refreshed. No worries, no problem, no ‘nagging doubt’.
Thank you Kindle for allowing me to slowly, I admit, but loving every word, read: Gnomom by Nick Harkwaway. A complicated but brilliant modern novel which takes the reader to places far back and into the future. It has renewed my acquaintance with Yeats (oh yes, he will feature on poets alphabetical) and made me want to find out about subjects and ideas that otherwise would have been a closed shop. Most of all, thank you Kindle, for teaching me that I am not stupid and that knowledge and learning is just a ‘click’ away.
Where did you travel today?