I decided to abandon my Kindle and have a break from Amazon for a while, to go back to the more traditional methods of choosing books.
First, a trip to Waterstones in Uxbridge where I enjoyed lingering over the displays, picking up novels, flicking through memoirs, salivating over cookery books. Much better than doing it virtually.
And yes, I did buy something - a book on photography for a birthday present.
Next, it was over the road to the newly refurbished Uxbridge Library where it was buzzing with people reading, writing, using computers and – good heavens – drinking coffee. One year since the library’s refurbishment it’s great to see it flourishing, particularly when all over the country libraries are closing.
I easily found books by several of my favourite authors and eventually settled for Joanna Trollope’s Balancing Act and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
It was particularly satisfying to think I’d saved up to £20 by not actually buying them, while also aiding my feeble attempt at decluttering the house, which is still heaving with books even after several visits to charity shops.
After handing my choices to the librarian I waited in line to have them (oh joy) date-stamped. It took me back to when, as a child, we used to play at libraries and post offices with mini stamping sets. Now they’d be used for tattoos, I suppose.
‘Which are your books again?’ the librarian asked, as my turn came.
The man behind me suddenly looked very interested when I replied - ‘It’s the ‘Trollope and Tartt’.
* I sometimes despair of on-line buying. I had a message from Marks & Spencer to tell me the boots I was due to pick up in Uxbridge are no longer in stock. They had taken the money out and then refunded it. Fine. Then I got an updated’ message on Feb 13 2015 telling me I can collect my boots after all on January 8 2013 - in Belfast.
* Make sure you catch our own Anna Kennedy’s story on The People’s Strictly on BBC 1 on March 4. She is one of six local heroes, picked out of thousands, to take part in a version of the popular show for Comic relief. We’ll all be rooting for her.