Friday, 6 January 2012

A Gift

One of my Christmas presents from my lovely daughters was a Kindle. In the past, I had resisted having one thinking it to be 'just another gadget'. How wrong I was. Sometimes, of late, I have had difficulty reading books and magazines with small print, and the Kindle has been a revelation. It is light to hold, I can alter the size of print, and most importantly, I find the screen easy to read. It will never replace books in my life. They are important to me. Their delicious smell, especially old leather bound ones; holding them and turning the page; their design; the front cover... There is nothing not to love about a book in my eyes. However, the Kindle will supplement my reading pleasure, as I was finding it more and more difficult to read a book while in bed.

I am mentioning all of the above because of a recent find. I adore the author Carol Shields. To me she encapsulates all that a great storyteller should be. It was such a tragedy when she died in 2003 after her lengthy battle with Cancer. She was taken too soon. I often wonder how many more wonderful stories she would have written had she survived. In the words of her son and four daughters (when expressing their sadness for the loss of their beloved mother) but also for the loss of the novels that would now remain unwritten. In a Tribute to Carol Shields, Tim Adams wrote: When she wrote, it often felt as natural as breathing, and as essential... She was always a beguiling writer. She'd have you think her concerns were only little affairs of the heart, the minor compromises men and women make with love, the ways in which her characters might find hope and comfort in the domestic and everyday. She was able to invest this detail, however, with such generosity and wit that it amounted to a world view.

The first book of Carol's that I read was Happenstance. I purchased it in Rhode Island in the late 80's when visiting friends. I was hooked! After that, I bought them all. Or, I thought I had. Looking at ebooks for the Kindle, I just happened to type in her name and up came Dropped Threads a book edited by Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson that is a collection of revealing essays and short stories by 35 Canadian women. How had I missed it? I am about halfway through reading it and enjoying the diversity of the storytelling immensely. Not only have I gained another Carol Shields' book, I now have an introduction to several women authors whose books I will investigate further. I can say, without doubt, the Kindle has been a huge success. Thank you dear daughters. 

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend. 

1 comment:

Sian said...

We bought my MIL a Kindle this year - and I'm hoping that she has a similar reaction :)