My house is liberally scattered with books. They sit on shelves and tables, they teeter in piles beside chairs, they lurk under desks and scatter themselves around beds. I have always lived among books. When I find myself in a room without books I feel slightly nervous. Something is missing. I will never stop buying books or enjoying the feel of them in my hand. So when I was given a Kindle for Christmas, it was a surprise. I tilted my head to one side and thought ‘hmmm’. I understand all the misgivings about Amazon and the threat to high street booksellers, but I was touched and pleased by the gift; a shiny new Kindle HD Fire. End of advert. Why am I thinking about Kindle when I should be preparing a lesson plan for this evening? It’s because something unexpected has happened since I received my Kindle. Firstly, I am reading more. The Kindle sits by my bedside and I find it easy to reach for it, open it at the bookmark and flick through pages I might otherwise find cumbersome to hold and turn in bed. Second, I have discovered the pleasure of going away for the weekend with just the slim Kindle in my bag in place of the books I have a tendency to lug around with me. People had told me to expect this benefit, so it does not surprise me. No, the surprise has been to find that I am visiting my local bookshops more often than in my pre-Kindle life. When I browse the online store I find myself reading sample chapters and earmarking books I would like to own. I notice that I download the ones I want to read on the smooth screen (which I have adapted to a type size and background colour that suit my imperfect eyesight), but I make a mental note to visit the bookshop to find or order those books I wish to handle and add to my ‘real’ collection. In the past month my visits to an actual bookshop must have more than doubled. Has anyone else found this to be the case, or am I in helpless thrall to the pocket-sized marketing machine that a Kindle provides? Overall I would say that Amazon now has less of my business than before, whereas Waterstones and my local independent book sellers (of which there are three) have more. I imagine this is not what Amazon or Kindle expect of me, but it the case. I am enjoying my Christmas present.