I love this illustration because it conveys an angst that so many parents feel, that our children spend their days glued to their screens and perhaps they aren’t reading as much as they ‘should’. I won’t get into the discussion about how much screen time is too much – I’m sure you’ve read plenty about that already.
The point I want to make is that the two things are not mutually exclusive. Much of what I look at on my various screens is the written word, and (much to the horror of some of my book club colleagues) many of the books I read are read on a Kindle or (heaven forbid!) on my phone. Perhaps even more outrageous (for the book club stalwarts), I have now discovered listening books, which has resulted in me being ‘plugged in’ to my phone when I’m walking the dog, cooking the supper or doing the ironing.
I did a fair bit of research into listening books before I plumped for Audible, which is owned by Amazon. There are various companies offering audio books and they all seem to work in much the same way – you pay a monthly fee and for that you can download a certain number of titles (or unlimited titles in the case of All You Can Books, as the name suggests). For an Audible membership, you pay £7.99 a month for which you get one credit (1 credit = 1 book) and you can buy extra books too if one a month isn’t enough. The clever bit is that I can listen to a book on my phone, and then if I want to switch to listening on my computer, the story will start at precisely the right spot, without me needing to know which chapter I was on.
As a lover of books (in all their guises) it was an easy decision for Fingertips to be a sponsor of the Chiswick Book Festival, now in its ninth year. The programme this year (running from 14th-18th September) looks just as enticing as ever, with plenty of big names taking part, including Clare Balding, John O’Farrell, Jeremy Vine and Maggie O’Farrell talking about their books. There will also be workshops as diverse as how to write an autobiography, developing great plot lines and the best way to research for fiction writing. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this wonderful celebration of reading (and listening) – you can book tickets here.
In the meantime, if you need help setting up your Kindle or iBooks on your iPad, or advice on a listening books membership, please get in touch here.