Way back in 2012 I got a £100 bonus for completing a course and I decided to put the money towards one of those newfangled Kindle eReaders.
I'd been staunchly against the things because there was no way they could ever compare to the satisfying feeling of holding a real life book in your hands. But by 2012 we were living in our little cottage, there was an island-wide shortage of bookshelves, and most of my books were living in boxes in cupboards or the spare bedroom.
Digital copies of books seemed like a good way to save our space issues and allow me to keep on reading in the way I liked to.
So I got a Kindle Touch.
I loved that thing. I loved the sluggish way it 'turned' the pages, the way that the 'experimental' web browser was set up on it (experimental was apparently another word for rubbish), I loved the look and feel of the thing. I loved that it was the size of a paperback, weight just a little more, and that I could organise all my books on it just like I did on my bookshelves at home.
But it had its limitations. So around a year later Mr Click suggested that I upgrade. Mrs Click Senior (his mum) became the proud recipient of my hand-me-down Kindle Touch (it's still going, if not strong, then at least still going). And I got the Kindle Fire HD. I think it's the one which is now known as the 1st Gen Kindle Fire.
It was brilliant.
Suddenly everything was in colour. I could actually load webpages and go online with it. Books with pictures in them actually showed the full range of colours. I could watch films and YouTube and all sorts on it.
After a little while I even got a special case with a bluetooth keyboard for it and realised I could use it like a mini laptop when I was out and about. Since we didn't have internet access at home, I'd take it with me when I knew I'd have internet access and connect wherever we happened to be with free wifi. It went to England and Wales with me. When I went on a trip with work, I used it to write a report on the way home.
Unlike the Touch, it has an illuminated screen. Whereas before, if I wanted to read in bed I'd have to have the light turned on, or use a little bookmark torch, this was no longer an issue. I could turn the lamp off and read to my heart's content. In fact, sometimes (if I was feeling especially charitable) I'd even switch the background colour to black with white text to further reduce the amount of light it was throwing out into the room (not very often, admittedly, because this tended to send me to sleep!).
It's been wonderful and has served me well.
But in recent months, it's been doing some strange things.
It's been getting slower and the touch screen isn't as responsive as it used to be. Sometimes when I 'type' on it, it'll jump back and delete the word I was typing. This was frustrating but didn't render it unusable.
What did make it slightly unusable was the far that it seemed to have developed a touch of digital Alzheimer's. I wasn't actually aware of it at first but thinking back now I think it's been going on since before Christmas because there have been a few times I've got a weird sense of deja vu as I've been reading where I've wondered whether I'm rereading a book I've read before, even though I know I'm not.
I suspect that this little quirk may be part of the reason why it's taken me so long to get through some ebooks recently. I finally caught it one day when I made an effort to read to 75% of the Zen Culture ebook, only to fire it up the next day and find I was back to 70%. I knew I wasn't wrong. Just like I knew I was right when I read to 50% of the way through the next ebook, only to power it up and be back to 0%.
It was at that point that I realised that perhaps the time had come to retire the old thing. And Mr Click suggested I get a Kindle like his.
Which is how I became the proud owner of a 7" Magenta Kindle Fire (5th Gen) in a very pretty case (which I treated myself to because I wanted something pretty which would stand out as mine amongst all the other 7" Kindles in the house).
And would you believe, I'm yet to actually read anything on it yet. That's not because I've been downloading apps, surfing the web and listening to music. No, those are all things I did on my old Kindle and I've dabbled a little with some of them on the new one but mostly I've been organising my reading material on it.
You see the Kindle Fire HD didn't give me the option to sort my books into Collections. They were all just on there, jumbled up together. I could sort by title, author name or how recently I'd downloaded them. It's a little bit frustrating when you're feeling in the mood for, say, a thriller, but can't really track down a book which falls into that genre from all the other books on the device.
They did away with Collections on the Fire HD and then brought it back in an update for later models of the device. Mine was just a little too old for it. There are apps you can download, but they have their limitations. So I coped without it.
But now I've got it back. And I'm so happy.
I literally spent the whole of Monday evening sorting out the books I've bought (or got for free) over the last five years. I really enjoy sorting my book-books so as you can imagine, this was a thrilling evening for me. Every so often I'll come across a book which I've not got a genre for, so I'm making them up as I go along.
What's also impressive is that it also remembered the Collections I had on my old, old Kindle (the Touch). That saved me a lot of time with copying over nearly 300 books designated as 'Christmas'. There are some which are no longer needed, like 'OU Books', so I trashed those, others have been renamed and shuffled around. It's so useful.
So am I happy with my new Kindle?
It's just different enough from my old one that I'm still finding my way round it, learning where everything is hidden and how to get it to do what I want.
And now I'm whizzing through The Way Through The Woods by Colin Dexter, so I can get on with reading an ebook on my new toy!