Friday, December 23, 2005

Nearly Christmas

I've just about stopped work now in anticipation of the big day. Jenny is having a party this afternoon for 5 friends. We went to Waitrose at 8.30 am to buy ingredients for icing gingerbread men, sweet salad and so on. The shop was packed. Every time I have this type of experience I am grateful for the Internet -- my regular shopping sites Ocado and Amazon, together with others such as Next (great for clothes for children, teenagers and adults, as well as an awesome delivery system) and Big Wednesday (cool surf shop in Cornwall selling brands like Animal, popular with teens). When Jenny created her xmas list a couple of months ago (!) I went into Kingston to find some of the things on it. Three hours later, I came home with a bottle of mouthwash. Next day, Sunday, I looked on the Internet and got everything I wanted within a couple of hours. Is this soul-less? Some may think so but I think not. Jenny will get what she wants for Christmas (assuming she hasn't changed her mind by then), and I did my shopping without getting exhausted and cross (crowds), and had (in theory) some time left over for reading. The Internet is great if you know what you want before you start out looking. Today all the book-related blogs are providing or linking to their favourite books of the year. My Amazon basket is thus even fuller than it was last time I wrote. In the end I just clipped the blogs, so now I have a house full of piles of books, an impossibly long shopping list on Amazon, and a set of "great books" articles clipped on Bloglines. This reminds me of the comments made by Alan Bennett about Amazon and other Internet sites destroying local independent booksellers. Maybe. But I do know that I buy a lot more books via Amazon or Abe than I ever could by foot. I buy obscure books, eg books I remember loving as a child long-since out of print. But that is a topic for another day's diary.