Katie Piper's new book.
Katie Piper’s new book.

What do you want for your birthday? It’s a question I get asked with increasing desperation every year by my kids who know I’m notoriously difficult to buy for. Why I don’t know, because I love reading, and anything along those lines will keep me happy. Ah, but what book? Indeed.

Seeking a quick way out I told Daire an Amazon voucher would sort me out – I could choose DVDs or books, and I might even opt for Kindle books.

So when the voucher popped in my email a few days later I took a quick peek at the amount – £50 – and dashed straight to Amazon.co.uk And here’s the problem with Amazon. Postage. Last year I had another voucher and made the mistake of ordering books, only to see some of the voucher eaten up by postage. Which is why this time I decided the best value could be found in the Kindle Store. No postage, no brainer.

Roy Keane’s The Second Half was my first purchase – at £6.99. Then Kevin Pietersen’s KP: The Autobiography for £7.47 (yes, I’m a cricket fan). And in the same splurge I bought two books by the amazing Katie Piper – Beautiful £3.32 and Beautiful Ever After for £4.89. I decided at this stage it was best to read for awhile, so I went through the Keane book first (good read) and the Katie Piper books (highly recommended). Funnily enough, someone gave me a free copy of Keano’s book (not from the man himself, I hasten to add) while Katie Piper graciously sent me an autographed copy of Beautiful Ever After. What nice people.

I checked Amazon a few days ago and spotted Andrew Marr’s A History of Modern Britain for a mere £0.99 and snapped it up. Basking in my delight at finding such a bargain, and knowing I still had plenty in the kitty, I bought Frank O’Connor’s Collected Stories £8.23 (O’Connor hails from my home city Cork and I have always admired his work), Edna O’Brien’s autobiography Country Girl £5.39, two Brendan Behan books Borstal Boy £3.95 and Confessions of an Irish rebel £2.99.

There was still some credit left, so I splurged again. Christopher Hitchens’ Love, Poverty and War – Journeys and Essays was crying out to be bought at £0.85 – and I did. The good news was that I had enough to buy Niall Harbison’s Get Sh*t Done: From spare room to boardroom in 1,000 days £4.68. Yes, Niall, I’ll get around to reading it soon.

That’s a grand total of £49.75, leaving me £0.25 to start a new buying spree. I’m so impressed I asked my daughter for an Amazon voucher for Christmas. I can’t wait.