Thursday, 3 March 2011

Today's little amble

Despite loving the feel and look of books I've just bought a Kindle. Apart from all the known advantages the big one for me is the cheap and easy access to books which are no longer available, even second-hand. For years there have been a few Anthony Trollope books that I've wanted to read but haven't been able to get hold of. Even the British Library doesn't have lending copies. Some of them could have been downloaded onto my computer but I don't think I could happily read a book on my computer – especially when I spend so much time on it doing other things. And now, at last I can access them all. And the price is ridiculous. I've just paid less than £5.00 for over 90 books.

One of the fascinating aspects about reading books from the nineteenth cenury is learning about all the little things that people did which no longer apply in this day and age. As many people will know the middle and upper classes all had visiting cards which they carried around with them and would leave if they visited someone who was out. (No means of checking if they're in by a quick phgone call!) But did you know that that if you folded down the top right corner it meant that you had come in person rather than just sent a messenger with an invitation or something. If you folded down the top left corner you were saying congratulations while the bottom left was a sign of condolence.

Well, She-who-loves-tea has just made a cup so I'm to sit down and have a chat...


  1. I have been considering one.....I'll have another look......have fun with it.

  2. Well I'm fascinated that you now have a Kindle. I think when I return to the UK I shall be joining you.

  3. I love 18th/19th century books, English especially. I do suspect that one day in a not too distant future I'll end up with a Kindle or similar too, for much the same reason. I think now you mention it that I've heard about the folding of cards to show it was a personal visit - but not that folding different corners had different meaning.

  4. Oh, I so love tidbits of knowledge such as the one about folding the corners and what each corner means!
    Just like today (almost) everyone knows what "LOL" and :-) mean, they had their own codes back then which were accepted, used and understood.

  5. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for a Kindle yet. I hate reading stuff off itty-bitty screens, and find my mobile phone very frustrating at times.

    But after reading various posts about Kindles vs. books, I am beginning to see that the Kindle may have its place. So perhaps it's not necessarily an either/or proposition, but a case of both having value in the modern world.

    Re: the visiting cards: How fascinating. Victorian visiting cards always seemed like such a nice civilised idea. But I hadn't heard about the turning down of corners. Must be a shorthand extension of all the messages which could be sent by your choice of flowers.

    Thanks for sharing. Say "Hi" to Jo and enjoy your tea.
    Hugs, Canadian Chickadee

    PS -- The word verification is "aphwe" -- as in "aphwe any milk or are we all out?" Sorry, couldn't resist.

  6. CJ,
    I haven't broken down and caught up with the 21st Century in the electronic book department, yet. I still love to hold a book in my hands. There are many at the university who have Kindles or other readers...even in the professional writing department.I can see that a change may be in my future.
    I also did not know the tidbit of info about the calling cards. I enjoy wonderful pieces of information such as that!


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