There is a tall, unsightly and thoroughly inconvenient pile of books on my bedside table; my collected night-time reading spanning a period of years. I’ve been meaning to do something about it for a while. I won’t throw any of those books out (sacrilege!) but I’m also running out of house space. They’ll probably end up in the loft, alongside previous years’ book-piles. My wife worries that the weight of them will bring down the master bedroom ceiling. I can visualise the hole now, belching clouds of billowing plaster dust while loose pages flutter down towards our double bed, itself creaking under a craggy dark mass of fallen books in varying stages of decay.
The solution has been obvious for a while: switch to reading eBooks. And I have started to do just that. I have the Kindle app on my Android phone and I read Stephen Donaldson’s “Against All Things Ending” on it. I didn’t enjoy the experience much but that was mainly down to Donaldson’s turgid book, very much the nadir of the Thomas Covenant series to date. And I now have a proper Kindle, thanks to my kids who bought it for my birthday last month. That was really thoughtful of them. I had toyed with the idea of getting one but had been torn between continuing to use the Kindle Android app or maybe getting a tablet of some kind. Anyhow, I now have the Kindle and am delighted with it. It is a proper dedicated eBook device – as opposed to jack of all trades devices such as mobile phones, tablets or netbooks.
Finding myself with Kindle I obviously had to buy a new eBook to read. A bitter sweet delight as I had just started reading a print copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third book in the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I had completed the first two books some while ago and had delayed starting the third because the Covenant book had come out for Kindle. I have enjoyed the Millennium books very much and was just getting into Hornet’s Nest, but I could hardly leave a shiny new Kindle in the box. So the further adventures of the dragon-tattooed Lisbet Salander will have to sit on the pile of books for a while longer.
I have another reason to keep Ms. Salander waiting. The Games of Thrones TV series (based on George R. R. Martin’s book) starts in less than two weeks on Sky Atlantic. I have never read any of Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series but would love to watch the show, given the buzz around it, and would prefer to have read the book first. So I am now reading Game of Thrones on Kindle and can see right away why this series has made such an impression. Martin writes with huge skill and gravitas.
I’m in the odd situation of reading the Wheel of Time series (as Audible books) while starting out on Ice and Fire (as eBooks) and managing to enjoy both, different as they clearly are. Both series are hugely popular and their respective fans tend to be loyal to one series to the exclusion of the other. Maybe I can enjoy both and avoid falling into that tribalist trap.