November 2015

All posts in the November 2015 category

This House Believes that Kindles are Better than Books!

Published November 10, 2015 by Bookclub

… or does it?

We debated this hot topic and came up with some great arguments for both sides, after some fairly heated discussion!

Those favouring the Kindle made the following points in its favour;

– You can often try a free sample from a book before you decide to buy it

– lots of books are free and many others are lower priced than paperbacks

– you can start reading your book immediately

– you can decorate your Kindle and it smells nice (this point was much debated!)

– Kindles don’t take up any storage room, you can keep 1000’s of books on them and you can just delete any that you don’t need any more


– you can adjust the brightness to your own requirements and you can read them in the dark!

– you can adjust the size of the lettering to your own needs

– they are modern, reliable and fit well into your surroundings

– you can buy different coloured cases to protect your Kindle

– unlike books, Kindles don’t get ripped or rotting pages!

– you have to return your library books, but you can keep all your books on a Kindle

– Kindles are easily portable and ideal to take on holiday


Those who preferred the old fashioned method of reading a book totally disagreed with most of the above points – instead, they argued that;

– a library gives you access to all the books for free, whereas you have to pay for the Kindle and most of the books

– you can swap books with your friends and family

– you don’t have to recharge your book, it won’t malfunction and if you drop it, it won’t break!

– books are less likely to hurt your eyes and are more restful to read before bed


– books are better for the elderly, who don’t always know how to use new technology

– with a book, you know how many pages are left, you can skip bits if you want to and you can stop and re-read a passage any time you want

– books smell better than Kindles and there are no games to distract you from your reading!

– they are unlikely to be stolen

– not all books are available on a Kindle

So, what do YOU think?




“The Star of Kazan” by Eva Ibbotson

Published November 9, 2015 by Bookclub

“The Star of Kazan” tells the story of Annika, who is abandoned as a baby, but brought up in a loving home in Vienna, by two servants.  Annika’s deepest wish is to discover her real mother, so when a beautiful aristocrat arrives to claim her as her long lost daughter, it appears that her life is about to change for the better.  But all is not what it seems and there are many secrets to be uncovered.  Annika may be in danger, but who can she trust?


When we discussed Eva Ibbotson’s novel, we discovered that some people loved it and some loathed it, with strong feelings on both sides.  As there was one Book Club member whose response was in the middle, the rest formed into two teams, in an attempt to persuade her to join their side by the quality of their arguments.

Fans of the book liked that there were several mysteries throughout the book, each of them enthralling, with most chapters ending on a cliffhanger that made them desperate to find out what happened next.  It was interesting to hear from the several different viewpoints of Annika, Ellie, Stefan, Pauline, Zed and the professors and these added depth to the story and fuller explanations of how the mysteries were resolved.  There were many surprises and well developed characters.

Those that didn’t enjoy the book felt that it was confusing where it switched viewpoints, that there wasn’t enough background information and that it was too slow moving in places, causing them to feel a bit bored.  It was pointed out that the Star of Kazan itself was not really the major focus of the story and that the title was therefore a poor choice and not representative of the main themes.

The result of our debate was that our undecided team member stayed with her “3 out of 5 rating” but felt more positively about the book.  She was persuaded to believe in the back story of the great aunt’s past life and how the wonderful descriptions transport the reader into the world of the story.

The debate continued long after the meeting ended!