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Monday, January 30, 2012


I read a book this week – It took me just two days  and I read it entirely while traveling by bus  to and from my day-job and waiting in line at the post-office.
I know, you’re thinking big-deal! Lots of people read on buses. But I never did, mainly because I never wanted to shlep a book with me. I carry enough as it is and didn’t want to add to the load.
But now with my Kindle ( substitute any e-reader) it’s always in my small hand-bag, weighs next-to-nothing and contains several books I want to read.
I was also amazed at how many free books are available on Kindle. I had assumed that all the freebies would be – forgive me for saying it – junk. But that’s simply  not the case.
 I have downloaded several books that were on my to-read list, free of charge and  I've bought several others at ridiculously low prices.
There are several sites for free and cheap e books. Amazon have a monthly list of 100 free books and  on Twitter  you can follow @pixelofink and #freekindlebooks and get daily updates, some of which are new books.

Friends have said – well you can’t use it on Shabbos (the Sabbath when we're not allowed to use electronic devices) so why bother, but the truth is I read completely different material on Shabbos anyway and I’m sure we’ll always have bookshleves full of ‘real’ books, but there is definitely a place in my life for a Kindle.

And by the way, I’ve also downloaded a free Siddur and Sefer Tehiilim so that’s another couple of items I don’t need to carry with me during the week.

If anyone has any more ideas / links  I’ll be happy to  hear.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


What do you do when your daughter’s  wedding and a writing deadline fall on the same day?
Well you can’t postpone the wedding, so you have to bring the deadline forward, at least psychologically, and I had to tell myself that I had to  send the copy and photos in a week early.
I knew if I left it any later, it would never get done – as it was, it was touch and go.
The big plus was that the articles that needed to be written were all about places in my hometown of Jerusalem, so I didn’t have far to travel for research and photographs.
My sister had already arrived from the States for the wedding  and so I persuaded her to accompany me on a walk around Mishkenot Shaananim while we chatted about family and I made notes and took photos.
Montefiore’s Windmill
Jerusalem Montefiore's windmill
Artists’ Quarter in Yemin Moshe
yemin Moshe
Then we went for a walk amongst the beautiful alleyways of Nachlaot
Nachlaot  a peaceful haven tucked away
and found some surprising parks hidden away
Jerusalem NAchlaot (2)
On we went to town Nachlat Shiva, one of the first neighborhoods to be built outside the Old City walls in the beginning of the 20th century, to visit some  of the attractive shops and restaurants.
Nachlat Shiva 7

Nachlat Shiva
Then it was off home to write it all up, chose the best of the hundreds of photos I’d taken – leave for  a day and re-read……….. and click ‘send’.
And then I could concentrate on the last minute arrangements for the wedding.

mazel tov 5
wedding 3