Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Why Motherhood has nurtured my love of ebooks

For the most part, I really love breastfeeding. It's easy, it allows me to have some (sat down!) quiet, quality time with my daughter and it stops those 'I'm hungry' cries in less time than it takes to make a bottle. However, all that time spent feeding can get quite boring. I've seen women at baby groups who can feed while standing up and heard stories of women who made apple crumbles while feeding but I've found that I can't really use the time to do anything other than, well, feed. Even eating lunch can be a challenge if Little Miss is being fussy. However, one thing I can nearly always manage to do is pick up my Kindle. There's no need to use both hands to turn pages, it never matters how heavy the book in question is and if I finish one mid-feed, I can log into amazon and buy the next with a couple of clicks. Breastfeeding has made me well and truly appreciate ebooks in a way I never thought I could.

My Kindle is also superb for night time feeding, when I'm trying to stay awake but don't want the glare of my phone disturbing my daughter or the TV keeping my husband up too. I can set the brightness of my Kindle to a glow which isn't too startling and I'm away. And if I can't reach my Kindle or it's out of battery, I can just grab my phone and carry on where I left off. There has even been the odd, isolated, occasion when I've been reluctant to put Little Miss down and go to sleep…

All of the free/99p ebooks I downloaded on a whim and never clicked open have now been read, as well as a few I paid full price for as I couldn't wait to get my hands on them (such as The Rosie Effect). Amazon's option for delayed delivery before Christmas in exchange for Kindle credit has been put to very good use and is the reason I have now read Gone Girl (amazing!) and The Young Elites.

I took an online Shakespeare course through futurelearn this autumn and it was brilliant being able to load the plays onto my Kindle to read during feeds. I never would have kept up with it otherwise.

Reading is such an important part of my life and I hope it will be important to my daughter too. My only misgiving about making such constant use of my Kindle is that it means Little Miss isn't growing up getting used to the sight of a book in my hands. I am worried that she is instead used to seeing me stare at a screen. But hopefully I make up for this through the amount of time I spend reading to her during the day. Her nursery is already full of picture books and one thing I definitely don't plan on doing is buying picture books on Kindle - I want her to experience the feel of the pages in her hands (and mouth!) and see the bright pictures in all their printed glory. Once she's being weaned and is feeding less I'll probably switch back to regularly reading physical books too. I've already got plenty lined up on the shelves ready to go once I am able to carry them around again.

I would love to know your thoughts too. Do you do anything while breastfeeding? Are you strongly against ebooks, or do you like the added versatility they offer to reading?

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