About books and reading

I’ve always been an avid reader.

We did not have a telly at home. My father believed it would destroy family time, the pleasure of being together. Doing stuff like playing with me and later my sis and me. Yep, he was a family man, my father.

I did not read comics either. My father thought the connection between short text and images had a negative effect on imagination. He also believed comics made people lazy and not read real books.

We got a television set shortly after my father passed away. It was 1972. When my mom took me to a huge store I saw all these athletes on a zillion screens doing athletic stuff. I was 13 and missed my father so much it hurt. It was but many years later that I made the connection with the Munich Olympic Games. I had no recollection of the terror that had struck either.

Instead my father took me to the library and made me a member. Told them I could read anything I wanted, that I should not be limited to the kid’s section. There were hardly any Dutch books available. The kids section contained only a handful of completely worn-out books and comics.

We lived in Schaerbeek, a commune of Brussels. It’s at that time was Roger Nols. He was a hardliner and a member of a right Walloon/French party. Dutch speaking people were disliked and seen as less than nothing. One could almost link it with the Apartheid in South-Africa. There was only one small office window in the huge city house. Just to show we Dutch speaking were not wanted.

My mother suffered from migraine attacks and it was not unusual I went to the pharmacy or to a supermarket. I was 8 or so but I still remember the times I was scolded at because I did not speak French when arriving at the counter to pay.

I do know very well how it feels to be rejected because you are in some way different.

I became a very regular visitor of the library. The Wednesday afternoons, when there was no school, I dived deep into Jules Verne and read everything about explores like Marco Polo, Vasco Da Gama and the likes.

When I left my wife I had more books than anything else. Most of them I threw away while moving out. I kept my Black Sparrow Press collection of Bukowski books though.

In 2011 I got a Sony PRS-T1 eReader. It was slow, had no back-light but it gave a good reading experience. I did not get hooked though.

Little A. has it now. Well has it or uses it.

When Princess and I visited Bonn in 2013 we took a look at an awesome bookstore situated in an old theater.

They sold eBook-readers too. Back-light, small and linked to the Thalia.de bookstore.

Gently Princess pushed me into buying the Tolino Shine.  I am glad she did.

You see, during my marriage buying stuff for the kids, buying food and paying for the daily costs was okay. We both worked but whenever I bought something for myself I was angrily told I was an egoist. That we had kids and I should not buy stuff for myself. Years later I left my marriage with a strong sense of guilt and it took a few years of therapy to get the most of it washed away.

I liked this new eReader. At work somebody gave me a stick with about 5000 books (yeah I know).

Lately I have been reading blogs and stuff about BDSM and rope and the such. I don’t have many new books. They take up space and are expensive.
The Tolino had become less used and replaced by my iPad. The reading experience though wasn’t that good. If often left me double sighted after a few hours of reading.

I had read a few books written by Simon Beckett. I loved his crime series around forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter. “The Chemistry of Death” (2006) was a delicious read and a high-quality literary psychological thriller.

“Calling the Grave” was his last one and was published in 2010.

A few days ago, while browsing the Internet, I read Simon Beckett had just released a new book in the series.
I got my Tolino Shine and connected it to the huge bookstore in Germany. Created an account and ordered the book as a download for the Tolino Shine.

Previously I had bought eBooks on Amazon reading them on the Kindle App on my iPad.

Germany is a part of the European Union with free traffic of people and goods. I’ve bought rope in the UK and in Germany too. Hell, I’ve ordered stuff on Aliexpress in the recent past.

I was unable to purchase the eBook because I did not live in Germany.
Fuckin’ Shit.

Continue using my iPad and the Kindle app and ruin my eyes?
The Tolino Shine was slow. A huge Belgian bookstore also sold the new Tolino. But I did not want to link myself to a ‘small’ Belgian bookstore and I did not want to get another Tolino either. It made no sense replacing what I already owned by a slightly updated version. Besides, it is not compatible with Mobi nor can it read the Comic format.

I don’t believe one can find an eBook reader that is not linked to a bookstore anymore.

So eventually it was simply about making a choice between the Nook (Barnes & Noble), Kindle (Amazon) and Kobo (Kobo).

I compared the bookstores and then the devices they offered. After an evening of reading a zillion reviews and watching tons of Youtube reviews I decided I would go for the Kobo Aura One.

I have been reading quite a lot these past few days and I do not regret my choice. The image quality is incredible, almost like a printed book. Back-light changes to orange in the evening filtering away the blueish light that seems to interfere with a good night’s sleep. The Aura One is well build and has a few interesting options.

By the way, I am enjoying Simon Beckett’s “The Restless Dead” very much. Signing up with the Kobo Bookstore gave me a 5€ voucher.

Kobo also has “Princess and I, The Early Years” by a certain Franco Bolli on its shelves. It is free. Maybe you should check it out.

One thought on “About books and reading”

  1. I wouldn’t read as a child….so the “professionals” told my Mother that if I showed any interest, in anything for reading — let me do it. So, it was Archie’s Comics and National Geographic World Kid’s magazine) left in the bathroom, that got me to become a “book worm”. XO

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