The 4 Reasons You Should Steer Clear of a Kindle

It’s no secret that I’m a bookworm, but you’ll never see me with a Kindle. So this is my rant about it.

The digital age has claimed another victim. It’s time to say goodbye to the spine and hello to the screen. Lazy day reading with the new KindleAnd I, for one, am not going to welcome it with open arms and here’s why.

1. Haven’t we got enough gadgets already?

Let’s be frank about this: a Kindle is just yet another device to look after, play with for a bit and then toss in the corner to gather dust? Now, alongside your iPod, your iPhone, your laptop and every other gadget, you have another item to dote on. It’s hassle that a book doesn’t demand. And don’t forget you have to spend money on it too, feed it your hard earned dollar and water it with electricity or watch it wilt and die.

2. My books are my prized possessions. Aren’t yours?

To me, an e-book isn’t even a ‘real’ book. My books are the collection of childhood. There’s nothing better than perusing a book store for hours on end and taking away a carefully selected, hand-picked novel. What about the smell of a new book, the touch of the paper, the look of a worn and well-loved paperback?

With a Kindle to hand, you might as well toss it in the bin. Add electronics and technology into the mix and it becomes so cold and impersonal, mechanical even. Forget about the content, it’s cover or blurb, it’s about seeing how many words you can cram into one electronic device. It tears the pages out of your book collection and reduces your beloved novels to nothing more than a bit of binary code; why would I ever want to do that?!

3. Forget to charge it? Bye bye reading time… again.

If reading with a time limit is a problem, then the battery life could be a deal breaker. It’s an electrical device so you’ll probably have to charge it every day, but then that’s what we get with our gadgets these days. It comes with the territory, right?

5088254388_a06654c463_oImagine reading a book, when the words fizzle off the page, the pages burn apart and you’re left with just the ashes, with no idea what happened to that man dangling from the mountain by his fingertips, whether the boy got the girl or if he survived that life threating surgery. Why should you have to wait? That’s certainly not what the author intended. You’re not frantically reading the final instalment of Harry Potter’s escapades when good ole JK abruptly stops, wand outstretched with just one Avada Kedavra between you-know-who and the saviour of the Wizarding World, and says “Hang on guys, just going for a coffee break, BRB xoxo”.

That’s what Kindle is asking you to do, to sacrifice your reading experience, your leisure time just because we’re in the New Age of technology. Reading shouldn’t have a time limit attached to it, especially one that you don’t get to decide.

4. Money, money and yet more money.

Who said e-books would be cheaper than the real thing? An e-reader is nothing without its e-books, and they aren’t actually much cheaper than your average paperback.5513908238_2835f49531_o

So why fall for another money making honey trap? The fanciest, flashiest (most pretentious) e-readers can cost up to £170. I could buy around 24 books costing £7 at that price! That’s a whole book collection. If I bought a Kindle, I wouldn’t be able to afford to read anything except the packaging and I certainly don’t want to throw more money at yet another global company sucking the life out of the local bookshop. No thank you.

Kindle literally means ‘to set on fire’. So go ahead, set your belongings alight, put a match to all that money and watch it burn because the digital age is taking over.

 

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Dublin: An Irish Adventure

The Student Travel Guide

Dublin: The friendliest, most welcoming city I’ve visited, crammed full of endearing Irish charm. And Guinness, lots of Guinness. But being the birth place of that weird burnt flavoured stout is just the tip of what Dublin has to offer, and it is pretty kind on us students too.

ImageThe Ultimate “Hey look at me! I’m a tourist!” Trip
The Hop On Hop Off Sight Seeing Bus: No, it’s not the coolest way to travel, but yes, it will get you where you want to go. It’ll certainly minimise the amount of time you spend emptying the contents of your rucksack to find your overly large tourist map from your “Dublin: Top 10 attractions” guide (remember Joey from Friends getting inside his map trying to explore London?). Its €18 for two days and I was genuinely surprised at how many sights there were to see. It takes you on two different routes, one around the main city and one around the docks, pretty good value for money if you use it as your main form on transport.

And unlike the tours in London, Paris and Rome (yes, I’ve unashamedly done them all) you get a live commentary from every jolly bus driver. I would honestly pay the €18 just for the chance to listen to that charming Irish accent and listen to their self-deprecating jokes. Don’t try and imitate the accent though, it’s just downright awkward.

The “I’m guaranteed to get a free drink” Tourist AttractionImage
Before I left for Dublin, I really thought I would give the legendary Guinness Storehouse a miss. I don’t like Guinness, at all; although I probably wouldn’t run through the crowded streets of Dublin yelling such an obscenity. I really didn’t think this attraction would be for me. But to be honest, there’s a reason it has been voted the top attraction to see in the city time and time again. It’s actually really interesting, it’s well set out and packed with surprising facts along the way. Three hours later and we still hadn’t reached the top floor. From food tasting to the history of the company’s advertising, you get a (literal) taste of what the Guinness brand really is.
Mak
e it to the fifth floor and you’ll get the chance become a master in the art of pouring the drink itself. Being a highly skilled bar assistant at the one and only Kent Union nightclub, Venue (N.B. the previous statement may be an exaggeration of the truth) obviously meant I didn’t need my pint pouring qualification (or rather I couldn’t be bothered to wait in the queue). But I guess if you haven’t had the pleasure of pouring your first pint, spilling it everywhere and carrying around the luscious odour of “Eau de Beer” all night, then it’d be worth a go. I hear you even get a certificate for all your effort (ooh la-di-da).

The pinnacle of the trip though, has to be the seventh floor Gravity Bar with 360 degree views of Dublin. And as promised, every ticket to the storehouse includes a free pint of Guinness or a soft drink if you’re under 18 (or can’t handle your ale like me). All in all, a must see attraction.

The “I’m trying to be all educated and knowledgeable” Tourist Attraction
Perhaps not the happiest hour of my life but a tour around Kilmainham Gaol is my number one attraction and for a student it costs just €2! It felt very much like being in Shawshank Redemption (but as a child, I did want to be an actress, so I guess this is the next best thing). The former prison saw countless leaders of Irish rebellions come and go with many being executed for their crimes. Seeing the cells and the places of execution was really fascinating. Maybe I need to get out more, but I love all the gory historical stuff. The tour guide literally knew everything about the history of the gaol and I’m still in shock that it only cost €2! Definitely worth a visit.

The Stereotypical “AImagect like an Irishman” Night Out
The Irish are renowned for their drinking and dancing, with over 1000 bars and restaurants in Dublin alone. If you want to find the hub of city on any given night, head to Temple Bar, a collection of typically Irish bars and clubs; every single one of them with a live band usually playing some traditional Irish tunes.

And you can guarantee there’ll be a raucous gathering of rather tipsy Irish men and women doing some weird jigging and jumping around in front of the band. I’m reliably informed that this is called “Irish Dancing” (Yeah… sure). Just one tip though, if you’re planning to get a little merry, stick to the beers and ales (probably Guinness to be on the safe side). What were essentially two shots of Malibu and a can of coke cost us over €16! Bloody cheek. But they’re just so humble and friendly, how could you argue with an Irishman?

The “Other bits and bobs I forgot to mention”Image
If you end up at the docks, stop off and have a quick look at the theatre. As I’ve mentioned before, it;s worth seeing if there are any cut price tickets left for that night. €25 to see War Horse for a seat that would cost you upwards of £60 in London. Bargain! Absolutely incredible play if anyone’s interested. (Watch out for a review in the near future).

If it’s shopping you want head to Grafton Street, but (for me) even better, go when the shops are closed and the street en
tertainers come out. There’s a truly amazing atmosphere at night. Or in the day, on the same street, try out afternoon tea at Bewley’s with a view over the shoppers’ hustle and bustle.

And for some more cultural beauty, head to the Phoenix Park to see where the President sleeps at night. Pretty impressive house but no matter how long we waited,he didn’t invite us in for a cuppa. Not as friendly as we first thought then.
Whatever it is you want to do, Dublin probably has it. All I need now is one of those I love Dublin t-shirts and a stuffed leprechaun to cuddle at night. Irish Adventure complete!

Top 10 Lies Student Tell

Top 10 Lies Students Tell

Student life really is like no other. It’s the independence and freedom you’ve been craving for 18 years. There’s so much to do and see and try out.  But sometimes, is it maybe too much freedom? As students, we get a little bit excited by our new-found independence and are more likely to be found sleeping in, lazing about and doing what your parents always told you not to do. Here are a few white lies you might recognise…

Pinocchio

1) I will attend my 9am lecture every week.

We may have the best intentions to attend every one of those lectures, but 9am just isn’t a realistic time for a student. You’ll promise yourself you’ll go next week, but then that snooze button keeps calling.

2)       So, what did you have for tea today?  Vegetables, fruit and more vegetables…

Mum, when you call and I say I’ve had vegetable soup for tea, I haven’t. There may be some veg lurking in the cupboard but it’ll probably go out of date before I get round to making that roast dinner. Besides, beans on toast, cheese on toast and basically anything-else-you-can-find on toast are just too tempting.

3)       I will stop procrastinating.

Why is it that we’re suddenly eager to do the washing up, clean our rooms and take the bins out as soon as the word ‘work’ is mentioned. You’re probably reading this article to procrastinate right now. Well done, we students are masters of procrastination.

4)       Seeing as you’ve all done the reading this week…

You say you’ll do it but that doesn’t always seem to happen. Then it just gets awkward when no one has done the reading and no one understands what’s going on. Then your seminar leader suggests, ‘If you’d like to do some extra reading on the topic…’ It’s usually met by enthusiastic nods of approval and murmurs of ‘Of course I would!’ but followed up with a sideways glance to your friend and a whisper of ‘Not happening.’

5)       I feel ill today Mum. Aw, you must be overworking yourself! Or I’m hungover?

Every night seems to be student night especially if you’re a fresher so the hangovers tend to be a common occurrence, but that’s not something you’ll probably openly admit to your parents. We’ll all happily take the sympathy, even if we feel a little bit guilty.

6)       I will stay in, work and drink less this week. Promise.

We might like to think we are strong-willed and sure of ourselves but the minute you hear that someone else is ‘having a night off’ and just going out for ‘one drink’ all hell breaks loose. Peer pressure is our biggest enemy!

7)       I will stick to my budget.

Student discounts are just too enticing, alcohol is expensive and going out is just too tempting. It happens every week. Budget = Gone.

8)       I will not leave my assignment until the last minute

Ever been to the library on the last day of term and noticed a sea of confused, stressed and befuddled faces? It’s amazing how quickly that deadline springs up on you even though you promise yourself you’ll be prepared this time. Pulling an ‘all-nighter’ is getting a little bit too familiar.

9)       Have you voted in the elections yet? Yes, of course…

I’m sure most people have voted in the elections but let’s be honest; we have been bombarded by the endless leaflets, the door to door campaigns and the emails for a long time now. Apologies to the candidates, but sometimes it’s just easier to say you’ve already voted.

10)     I will not lie to myself anymore!

A new term looms and the same problems threaten to return. We will promise to work harder, get up earlier and be healthier but in reality? It. Just. Won’t. Happen.

Sound familiar to anyone?

If it doesn’t then, then you may be lying to yourself… again. Face facts, 9am doesn’t exist at university and hangover days will happen, a lot.

Sorry Mum, sorry Dad, but if I say I’ve been up since 9am working in the library, cooking beef  from scratch and doing my reading for next week’s seminar, it’s likely to be a slight fabrication of the truth. In other words I’m in bed watching the entire two seasons of Game of Thrones, in a onesie with a mug of tea and a packet of bourbons… just to avoid my impending deadlines.