Post-Christmas Investments

Christmas 2010 has now been and gone, and hopefully it will have left all my readers and friends with happy memories.  I hope Santa has remembered you all kindly as he stopped by on his annual visit.

I think he must have remembered me very kindly indeed, as I opened a wonderful collection of presents this year!  I received some special combs for my hair (E-Z combs), a lot of bath things and smellies (which come in useful to someone who tries to bath every day!), some slipper-socks (x3 - thank you Grandma), some pretty candles, some lovely cups, a lot of tasty food and some Christmas earrings from my auntie!

But there were three presents I opened that I was especially happy with and deserve special note. 

The first was from my fiance's sister.  She gave us a beautiful framed photo of her equally beautiful two year old daughter.  I have two nieces and a nephew from my fiance's sisters who I don't get to see as often as I would like, so I am always pleased to get photographs of them all.  This one is particularly lovely, and will take its rightful place soon enough.

The second was from my grandparents.  They bought me something that I would never have expected them to get for me, although I understand some help was given (thanks Mum and Kelley).  It is a lovely woollen poncho in black, and is thick and warm.  Finally I can go shopping in this cold without shivering!  On top of that, it looks rather lovely as well.

The third was from my fiance.  As my readers may remember, I am a big fan of sharks, and I'm also fond of silver jewellery.  I had discovered that the Thomas Sabo Charm Club had produced the most beautiful shark charm for its collection - something that none of what is now a mass of charm bracelet makers had done.  I was immediately interested, and a little poking around taught me that there were many other charms I could get.  So I hinted to my fiance that a bracelet like that might be a good christmas present for me, and on Christmas day I found out that he remembered!  My new bracelet and sharky charm now sit proudly on my wrist!

Alongside these lovely gifts I also received money...just enough to buy something I have wanted for a considerable amount of Amazon Kindle.

Okay...initially it was the Sony e-reader until I read up on the Kindle, but they do the same thing.  As someone who can easily spend a small fortune on books each year and a lot of time worrying where to put them when I have bought them, the prospect of a little device that can let you read nice new books at a fraction of the cost without having to find space for them is an exciting one.  To give an example of the advantages to owning a kindle, I will use the example of finding a particular book.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a wonderful book that inspired several video games and has been hailed as the eastern equivalent of the Odyssey in terms of importance, is impossible to buy in any mainstream bookshop.  Some obscure little bookshops (the type that we would all love to find) may well stock these books, but to make a discovery like that relies heavily on chance.  The only other place to find them is on the internet.  Six years ago, before the Kindle, I managed to buy both volumes of Romance of the Three Kingdoms on  They cost nearly £18 each, and are large paperbacks that require some space.  Three months ago I did a quick kindle search for the book, and found that I could own the whole thing for £2.96!!!!  I won't insult you by sharing my initial reaction, but I am certain that will be added to my library very quickly.  You can also buy the latest releases by your favourite authors for the price of a new paperback, which is handy for those who are too impatient to wait.

As you may have guessed, I have ordered my kindle as of last night.  Today I got an email to tell me it had been despatched, and another to tell me that the kindle has been set up with my Amazon account so I can start buying books striaight away, and that if I wanted to buy the books now, they would be automatically sent to my kindle so that they would be waiting for me.  Interestingly, al lot of classical books and mythology/folklore related books are free to add to your kindle, and there are a lot of them.  I was delighted to find that this included Homer's Iliad, which is a book that has been at the top of my wish list for some time.  Needless to say, it was the first book I picked up!

I'm very excited to get my Kindle (estimated to arrive by January 5th at the latest), and hopefully I will be able to tell other mythology enthusiasts if this is a worthwhile investment for the free mythology library.  If it is, a lot of time and money (in the long run at least) will be spared.


  1. Sigh. I love Romance of the Three Kingdoms. :D Have you ever made it through Outlaws of the Marsh or Water Margin? It's also sometimes called All Men Are Equal, but they're all the same story. It just depends on the translator. They're almost as popular as "Romance" and the Chinese author is the same as "Romance." I haven't been able to get through the whole collection of stories yet. It's a series of shorts about various outlaws and how they all joined up together to fight tyranny. If "Romance" is China's King Arthur story, "Outlaws" is Robin Hood. LOL Sorry. Don't mean to babble. I have "Romance" on my Google search and your site came up, so I thought I'd pop in.

  2. Victoria, it is always a pleasure to meet a fellow Three Kingdoms fan! Thank you for commenting, and for feeling my blog is worth following!!

    I have only recently heard of Outlaws, for which we have the Kindle to thank. It will certainly be added to my library, and after the Iliad I will give it a good read. As I pointed out the UK does not seem to make such titles avaliable in bookshops. I actually became interested in reading the book thanks to my fondness for the Koei game series Dynasty Warriors, otherwise I may never have heard of it.
    I much prefer your comparison to King Arthur for Romance. I will remember that one rather than the Odyssey.
    Thanks again for your comment, but even bigger thanks for the recommendation :)


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