My Kindle is turning into a mixed blessing. It’s being slightly aggravating in that I have to reconnect to our Wifi nearly every time I use it, which isn’t supposed to happen. It may be a Friday afternoon Kindle and have to get sent back for a replacement at this rate. Do hope not. I’m also spending too much time reading when I should be writing – and washing up and cleaning out stables and gardening and feeding children … you get the idea. But I suppose that was kind of the point in getting it – to do more reading!

So quickly on to its redeeming features. With a Kindle, you can download samples of books you’re interested in. This is brilliant. (I’d best not mention that one of these is ‘Naked, Drunk and Writing’ in case you get the wrong idea of me sat at my computer.) I’ve bought a good few books from Amazon in the past, seduced by the title or the author’s track record or a handful of good reviews, but, when it’s arrived, found it to be frankly dreadful. The reviews must have been written by relations or morons, possibly both! (This has been the case with several of the ‘life in France’ books I’ve acquired lately as research for my own version. But more on them another time.) That won’t happen again now. You can base your decision on an actual excerpt. These are generally generous. The sample of ‘Vampire Knits’ I obtained has one of the knitting patterns in the sample, Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Cooking with Friends’ furnishes several soup recipes, and another books gives m e 5 out of its 101 tips on preventing headaches. Ruadhri learnt some cool new knock knock jokes with the sample of a book on that subject and I’ve got 5 chapters on getting organised. And in case you’re wondering, yes, you can even get samples of naughty books. I checked on your behalf!

Only one of the samples has so far led to a purchase (‘French Fried’ by Chris Dolley which nearly got me thrown out of the doctor’s waiting room the other night as I was laughing so much while I was reading it!). But I haven’t read most of the samples through properly yet. Plus, I mustn’t go too mad or Chris will confiscate my Kindle I expect. Prices range from free (out of copyright classics mainly), to a few dollars to the majority around 13 dollars or so. This is actually more than I was expecting, which also explains why I haven’t bought that many books yet. But weigh this against the price of the paper copy plus postage, and also bear in mind you get your book with 60 seconds of requesting it, not to mention the saving on trees. I’ve been waiting for a paper book from a warehouse for over a month now. So Kindle compares very favourably on that basis.

The Kindle doesn’t come with a carrying case and you need something. I’ve been using a padded envelope so far which is totally not cool and good for my image. I think I have a Peruvian shoulder bag in the box of unsold shop stock sitting in the loft (llama trekking customers are dreadfully reluctant to part with their money sadly), so that might do the trick. If not, I’ll have to splash out on a custom-made one from Amazon – plenty to choose from there.

Overall verdict? Very pleased on the whole. Just hope the Wifi problem sorts out.