I got the Kobo for my birthday, from my Firstborn, who always knows what I will love even when I don't tell him. In this instance I sort of told him when he was here for a visit recently, by dint of asking his opinion on the iPad. When he found out that all I really wanted that for was to use as an e-book reader, he suggested the iPad was a much too expensive option, both to buy and run. He looked up e-readers online and said, 'If they were cheaper I'd be happy to buy you one, but at that price ...' and pointed me at The Book Depository for cheap printed books.
So when my birthday present arrived, I accused him (in a thrilled kind of way) of being sneaky. He said:
I got lucky. They had been off the market for a while (presumably because of Borders and A&R going under), but randomly my housemate spotted them at JB HIFI and on the day I went in to check them out, they were on special. So I figured the time was right :-)
Indeed it was!
To my delight, it came already loaded with 101 books, described as 'classics' — and room for thousands more. I was amused to note that those already supplied ranged from Irish fairy stories to the Communist Manifesto! Even more interestingly, they included The Iliad and Anna Karenina, which I (shame on me!) still haven't read. Now I can. In fact have begun on The Iliad; still getting through the scholarly introductions, which are rather heavy going but I am interested to read them anyway. (I'm now on the one by Pope, reprinted in this edition, which is more fun than the contemporary intro.)
Then Firstborn reminded me of the existence of Project Gutenberg, where books out of copyright may be downloaded free. Whoopee! (I discovered that the books the Kobo came with must have been acquired there.) I immediately replenished my Dumas and Bronte collections, which had become depleted over years of moving house; and I added lots of Kipling.
There, see, my wicked stepmother did do something good for me — she had Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies on her bookshelves and I was allowed to borrow them. So I've been in love with them since I was 15. The stories are good, but it's the interspersed poems I've remembered all this time. Ever since I was 15 I have been able to quote the whole of The Looking Glass (Queen Bess was Harry's daughter!). Let's see, that's 57 years.
I interrupted The Iliad to re-read Puck of Pook's Hill, which I have done, and now I'm halfway through Rewards and Fairies. It makes me tingle all over and curl up my toes with pleasure.