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Do you read real books?

September 7, 2011 3 comments

“Ahhhh….”

The arousing smell of  a new book, what I like to call the ‘newness scent’, is one not to be forgotten or taken lightly. The spine is in perfect condition and none of the pages are creased or crumpled. After a week of being carried around, transported to numerous destinations and read cover to cover the small wrinkles begin to christen your new novel. Perhaps like me, you make sure each book is kept in pristine condition and cherish each one; caring for its individual nature.

However this summer has seen the rapid decrease in book sales in the UK. It was reported at the beginning of July 2011 that WH Smith book sales were down by 4%. With the competition of online retailers and e-books, do paperbacks and hardbacks stand a chance?

The internet has made reading accessible, easy and above all, free. The Kindle has assisted the reading revolution and as reported in January 2011; the Kindle books now outsell paperbacks on Amazon. Kindles have their benefits: less weight to carry in your bag compared to a paperback, battery life of two months, enhanced PDF reader, built in dictionary, bookmarks, wireless access to Wikipedia and built in Wi-Fi. At a cost of around one hundred and fifty pounds from Amazon this electronic handheld can be a worthwhile investment.

However a Kindle cannot retain the memories of those found in paperbacks. It does not bear the smell of a book that has lived in different houses nor do the corners show where people have been gripping the book with sheer strength hoping that Peter will find his true love once again. A Kindle however remains cold and sleek and without emotion.

A book is not just a book; it requires a setting. Libraries, open fields and public transport are the main locations for reading. Libraries offer the perfect setting: you have unlimited access to a wide variety of books whilst being in a secure and tranquil setting. On the other hand, taking a stroll in the rural countryside with a flask of tea and biscuits adds a beautiful scenic backdrop to Jane Eyre. And there is nothing better than avoiding the smelly BO man at the back of the bus for the front seat with your paperback.

Remember the phrase: never judge a book by its cover. Well, I think that is one of the benefits of a paperback. You can spend endless hours wandering around your local bookshop examining all of the exciting and artistic front covers. However the Kindle shows you online covers with reviews and ratings, nowhere near as sensual.

Will it be a happy ever after for paperbacks or will the evil Kindle rule the land of novels? Let’s hope not.

 

The Passage, Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin is a gripping post apocalyptic novel that you have to read this summer. The military believe they can engineer and train a new breed of soldiers whom are indestructible. By testing the virus on twelve inmates on death row, the military try to achieve their dream.

However, the dream turns into a nightmare with the twelve subjects, virals, escaping, killing and destroying the world.

The world before the virus.

Blood sucking vampires (virals), Amy, an FBI agent, a nun, the army, survivors. The array of characters keeps you interested and the characters lives soon cross over as the plot unravels. One of the main character Amy, a young girl of six years old, is the enigma of the novel: she
has telepathic abilities, can communicate with the virals and is actually over one hundred years. You are constantly questioning her being: what is she? What are her powers?

The novel explores a range of emotions: courage, loss, faith and a human’s fight for survival. Cronin beautifully describes the fear felt by the characters when facing the hungry and crazed virals. The scenes are well written with gruesome and gritty details guaranteed to make you squirm!

The novel’s ending does not offer a resolution, however this is deliberate as Cronin is creating a trilogy: The Passage, The Twelve and The City of Mirrors. Visit Amazon to get your hands on this epic novel! The second in the series is out in October 2012, so the wait is nearly over…

Cheap Christmas entertainment

December 28, 2010 6 comments

The Christmas weekend is over. Most people have indulged over and over in the past few days and are probably  frantically writing New Years resolutions already. Left over scraps, biscuits and nibbles still remain. Family visiting in the next few days. So how do you have a cheap fun-filled night suitable for all with little time left to prepare? Simple, horse racing indoors. Neeehh, I hear you say!

Well in fact, the horse racing night is a DVD, suitable for all ages and can be as competitive as you let it be! The  horse racing DVD (race night) is a cost-effective night full of excitement and non-stop entertainment for guests. Each player has a limit of money and can bet a minimum of £25 on each horse. One person is in charge of all of the bets (the book-keeper) and once all bets have been placed guests view the race on the DVD. The footage on the DVD are from real races over the past few years which adds to the realism of the evening. Alongside beverages and food the evening is a guaranteed success.

Amazon also sells other interesting DVD’s for an evenings worth of entertainment. It is an evening for families to socialise and bond whilst also enjoying the thrills of gambling (safely). To make it even more fun, the host of the evening could supply prizes such as money, chocolate or drinks for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. So take a gamble and it may just pay off!

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