Book Club discussion: books vs tablets

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We've recently been having an inevitable discussion in our Book Club on the subject of books vs Kindles or ebooks. We are all avid readers and now that books are available to download from libraries all round the world and for a fraction of the price of the real thing then it's becoming easier for lots of people to read on a tablet. It's an interesting issue that goes from the feel and smell of real books, to the cost of buying books, to the ecological issue of using trees for paper, to having one small thing, that you can take with you anywhere at all, that contains hundreds of your books, if not the whole collection. It also seems to be easier on the eyes, i.e. less eye strain if you read on a kindle compared to a book. 


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It's like the difference between having CDs and your music collection on your iPod. However, CDs are hard plastic encased objects that are not aesthetically pleasing, compared with books that definitely are. I cannot imagine having a house that does not have one book in it. I am always reading, I may even be reading more than one book at a time. My books are part of me, they speak to me, they entertain me, they are there if I need to refer to them or reread them, they reveal something about me, they are part of my interior decoration. I love them and living without books for me is impossible. I love cookery books, books on art and photography, but most of mine are novels, mostly in English, some in Spanish. I shall probably, rather like my fellow book club members, get a tablet or iPad at some stage and discover that reading on them is good, but I shall never ever stop buying books or get did of the ones I really love. I download music all the time but downloading books is still a way off, at least for me.

I found a hilarious video online, here:


In relation to the point above about what sort of books you like and what people who visit you can learn from your choice in books; this video offers a solution, naturally it's a spoof but it makes the point.  

It's a funny thing about reading but different nations have different reading habits and in England it seems the English read quite a lot. I don't know how many books a year, it may also be a generational thing, an age thing, who knows. But certainly being read to by my parents as a small child was part of my upbringing that I treasure, I read so many books and plays as I was growing up and cannot imagine giving it up. In Mexico the story is quite different. There is a statistic that caused alarm bells to ring round the country some time ago, that adults read just one book, yes, just one book a year. I remember arriving in Mexico the first time and not seeing books in people's houses. Where were they all, I thought. It never occurred to me that they may not have been reading at all. As a teacher we obliged our students to read and there were always complaints, lots of moaning. When I made my students read in English it was even worse, but I insisted and threatened them with exams, etc., and so they were obliged to wade their way through them, but the point always came up: Mexicans in general don't like to read books. It's a question of habit and naturally there are lots of Mexicans who are very cultured and intellectual and read all the time but the majority have never cultivated the habit of reading. 

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