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HtCC – Wet Weather Necessities

If your Twitter time line is anything like mine, this week, all you’ll have read is “OMG ITS RAINING AGAIN” or “LOL LOL LOL HOW CAN WE STILL BE IN A DROUGHT LOOK AT THE RAIN” (Don’t understand how we can be in the wettest drought? This article from Channel 4 explains it).

I’ve actually been quite happy about the rain – I bought these short wellies from Primark a month or so ago, but the weather hasn’t been completely horrible to justify wearing them without people giving you a bit of side eye. Whatev, my feet are dry. They remind me of these Mel booties, although I prefer the Primark bow. When the weather was starting to turn horrible a week or so ago, I looked at the broken brolly I was using and quickly placed an order with Amazon for a new one. Thanks to my Prime account, it was delivered the next day – I bought this Susino umbrella* for about £12, and I love it because I like clear umbrellas, its not a dome shape (so I can share with other people!) and it has a button to automatically open. That was exciting when I was 8 and had a little red umbrella, and its not gotten any less exciting as I’ve gotten older.

I’ve blogged before about raincoats, but I thought I’d share some cute wellies and umbrellas, because lets face it, we live in the UK, you need a decent umbrella at the very least.

1. Fulton Lulu Guinness bunting via Amazon, £22.95* – 2. Fulton spotted via Amazon* – 3. Small London via Cath Kidston, £20* – 4. Small black frills via Dorothy Perkins, £8* – 5. Rainbow via Amazon, £6.99* – 6. Red spotted via Cath Kidston, £28* – 7. Claremont poppys via Radley, £30*

1. Tommy Hilfiger via Zalando, £90 * - 2. Joules via Zalando, £64.99 * - 3. Cath Kidston, £38 * - 4. Hunter via Amazon, £55 * (approx – price varies on colour) - 5. Joe Browns, £24.95 * - 6. Wedge Welly via Amazon, £42.94 * - 7. Ted Baker, £75 *

Thoughts on eBooks

I’ve always been known for being a massive reader – my mum used to say that I’d look at the paper when I was 1 as if I was reading it, and taught myself to read when I was 3.

I currently have two large bookshelves groaning under the weight of my book collection. In my office, I have shelves full of business related books and downstairs is my fictional book collection (oh, and there’s a small stack in the kitchen of cookbooks of course).

I got an iPad back in September, and have enjoyed reading books on it, but I still love reading my “physical” books. However this week, two different things appeared which made me think about books. The boyfriend bought himself a Kindle (which should hopefully stop him buying so many heavy books at the airport!) and a hardback book that we have both been wanting to read. The book, GCHQ, is about the history of the Governments communications agency, going back to the origins in 1919 and the work done in the Second World War at Bletchly Park.

I’ve only gotten a few chapters in, for a few reasons
1) It’s a heavy topic. I do enjoy something more than the trashy chick-lit books I like to read to switch off, but there are only certain times that I can read this book
2) It’s a heavy book! I normally will carry around my book with me about the house (and then leave it in the fridge) but I can’t hold this book comfortably one handed (while I make a cup of tea with the other, of course)
3) There are some things that I don’t quite get, so have to look them up, which usually ends up to a Wikipedia spiral and I emerge, an hour later, reading about something so far from the original subject.

Two of these problems are solved by using my iPad. It’s a little awkward, but I can carry it with one hand, and by highlighting a word, I can look it up in the dictionary. Easy! I’ve not had much of a chance to use the Kindle, and have only looked at the dictionary so far. It looks like it would be quite good to read on this, because of the small size (it’s smaller than the iPad) but it doesn’t have a back lit screen, so the iPad would win out over this again.

I would have bought this book in iBooks, but for two reasons.
1) In the e-book (at least in the sample of this book I downloaded), there were no images. That probably doesn’t seem like such a problem, but at the start of the book, there are two maps, one of the UK and one of the world, with numbered points to show where certain places are. In iBooks, this is just a list of places.
2) Pricing. The physical copy of GCHQ costs £16.44 on Amazon at the moment. (Not including any delivery costs of course). The Kindle version and the iBooks versions are both £10.99. I believe (please correct me if I’m wrong!) that VAT is charged at 20% on e-books, but at 0% on physical books. This seems a bit off really, since the quality of ebooks, even those you purchase can be… crap. (Matt covered this a lot better than I can on his blog but I agree – if I’m paying a hardback price, I expect the quality to match!)
The other thing on pricing is that with things like my trashy one-night-read chick lit books, I can pick those up at Tesco or Asda while doing the weekly shop (“Oops, these books just fell into the trolley”) on offer – 2 for £7, Buy One Get One Free. On the iPad, you’ll never see that sort of offer. (As a comparison, Tesco’s grocery website is offering Stephen Fry’s “The Fry Chronicles” for £8. iBooks is charging £12.99.)

This post has sort of gone into a bit of a ramble about all my thoughts on eBooks. Let me try and close this properly.

  • Ebook readers are great, and there is sure to be something that matches your needs and budget.
  • I wish they had been around when I was at uni, and I would like to see a lot more lending ability (how great would it have been to borrow textbooks from the library and carry them around in your handbag?)
  • Quality is generally meh for what you pay for
  • Pricing is ridiculous, especially when I can buy physical books cheaper at the supermarkets*
  • I have spindly weak arms, and get annoyed carrying books.

What do you prefer – physical or technology-based books? If you have an ebook reader, do you find you read certain types of books on those more than others?

* I know that some people might dislike the whole book selling at low low prices at the supermarkets, but how different is it to buying from Amazon?

Birthdays and Wishlists

Ooooh, its nearly my birthday. I’ll be 26 next month, and looking back at my list from last year, not that much has changed. I did get my iPhone (and how did I survive without it? Oh Apple, I bloody well love you) and I ended up buying the beautiful PPQ dress for Lou and Naths wedding (and ended up having a baby throw up all down it. Because I am just that glamourous.)

I’ve been compiling various wishlists, so instead of having to say “um, erm, I don’t know. Money?” when someone asks me what I want for my birthday, I can just point them at this list! Yay!

birthday 09

Amazon * ModCloth * ShanaLogic * Topshop

There are of course certain things that you can’t put on a wishlist, but I’d love the following things:

A house of my own (I know, I don’t ask for much. But this is my wishlist, so shh) * A decent blog theme (I’m a geek for putting it here, but it needs a makeover!) * A weekend in a gorgeous hotel in a random city (dare I say it, a mini break even) * A decent nights sleep (I honestly can’t remember the last time I slept all night without waking at 4am, and I seem to have lost the ability to sleep past 7am completely. A sign of age?) * An amazing party, in a fabulous bar with all my friends there (I already have ideas where I’d have it!) * A nice photo of me (I’m starting to think all cameras hate me)

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