Sunday, March 04, 2012


I'll admit that I resisted ebooks at first. I called myself a traditionalist and worried about carrying an expensive appliance on the subway, where I do a lot of my reading. The idea of having 10 books at my fingertips without sacrificing luggage space won me over, though.

Today I crossed another threshold. I downloaded my first ebook from the library. I have 14 days to read Into Thin Air. I got so giddy over the idea of going to the library without leaving my couch that I turned off the TV and proceeded to read the first 25 pages right then and there.

That's what turned me. What did we say when people first criticized the Harry Potter books and later the Twilight saga? They get kids excited about reading. That's got value. It does. And not just for kids. I've been moping around my house poking dully at books and deeming them unsatisfactory for my purposes for 3 days at this point. None of my books are delicious, woe is me. On a whim I checked out the ebooks at my library, though, and I'm face first in a tale of heartbreak and adventure! If it's exciting me about reading then I'm calling it a good thing.

Maybe even a very good thing.

For the record, here's what's been on my shelf recently. King of Torts by Grisham was liking reading a balance sheet. I'd have felt less awful reading a balance sheet. It was fucking terrible and depressing to boot. The Blind Contessa's New Machine was something I got as a customer loyalty gift from my local bookstore. I had no way to know if it was my cup of tea, I got to choose it from a group of gifts and I did so kind of blindly, if you'll pardon my saying so. It's a lovely little book! It's light but visually stunning and a real joy to read. I tried to read One Day and I just gave up. It was the despair of reading even the first few pages of One Day that led me to download a library book. Apparently dead people on a very tall mountain are preferable to the two crazy kids angsting it up in Edinburgh. For subway reading I've got Kissing in Manhattan. So far it's a decent book of short stories.

Whatcha reading? And what medium are you reading it in?


  1. Ebooking and paperbacking equally. most recent finishes ... Outlander (Gabaldon) in paper and Neverwhere (Gaiman) on the kindle. Up next is the Dirty Life (paper) and I-can't-remember-which CS Lewis on the kindle.
    Glad you found something exciting to read! Must check out library ebooking myself, thx for the tip.

  2. I have very little patience these days for those that turn their nose up in the air and proclaim with a sniff, "I like real books."

    well fuck you. (not YOU but you know...)

    I like real books too. LOVE them even.

    but it's not a one up-man-ship. it shouldn't be.

    However, and whatever we're reading, isn't the bottom line that WE ARE READING? ebook, ipad, nook, kindle, library, trade paper, book club edition...does it matter? Not to me. Not one little drop.

    I'm reading a lot of literature. Flannery O'Conner. Eudroa Welty. Fitzgerald. Hemingway is coming up. I'm waiting for the ah-ha moment that will lead me to my thesis topic.

    I'm keeping a list of reads for "downtime" The Game of Thrones series, to be sure. I want to read more Christopher Moore. I've got tons on my Nook that will be there waiting when I can breathe again. I did just finish Rob Lowe's bio. . . made me love him even more.

  3. i just finished a few books, so i'm rereading the Pern series and making a second attempt at reading Son of a Witch. haven't found any others to add to the "play"list, so to speak.

    the Pern books i've got on the Kindle, and Son of a Witch is in dead tree format.

  4. I read both e-books and library books. My own bookcase is still overflowing so I don't dare add to it. On the iPad I have Mudbound by Hillary Jordan and the next book in the library stack is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

  5. Being the luddite I am, I am pretty old school when it comes to books. I love the smell of books especially. However, I hardly ever buy them and use the public library ALL the time. You can get e-books there but since I have yet to purchase an i-pod or even update my cell phone to a smart phone (it's almost four years old), the chances of me spending money on something I get for free it highly unlikely anytime in the near future... especially when my almost seven year old MAC laptop needs to be updated.

    I have 78 books on hold at the library at the moment, and stacks by my bed because my other half only likes buying books. Since Christmas, I have decided to go back to my comfort food of books, which in my case are mysteries. Preferably mysteries that are in series. Right now I'm bouncing between four different series: Mc Beaton's Agatha Raisin (she's got 22 or so in this series and I think I've got #19 on hold at the library waiting to be picked up- this is a British cozy with a wacky sense of humour in the best sense), H Mal Malton (I just read #3 in her series about Polly Duncan, a puppeteer and puppet maker who lives in cottage country Ontario but some of her books have theatrical settings so you can guess why I picked that up), Giles Blunt's series about Inspector John Cardinal, a police officer who works out on fictional North Bay, northern Ontario... just finished the second in his series. His are less light, more forensic based but quite good... then there's Mary Jane Maffini's series about a professional organiser set in upstate NY (although the author's also a Canuck)- I can usually figure out who done it pretty early in hers because they're not deep but the main character Charlotte is quite fun and has two daschunds and a love of Ben and Jerry's that keeps her out of some trouble.

    For my heavier fare, I am 200+ pages into Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, which I started on the plane while en route to my honeymoon. I don't like Dickens and have never liked Dickens but after a break of 15+ years, thought I would give him another shot... but still, dry, dusty and as overwritten as ever. I MAY make it through it by summer but I'm not holding my breath!

  6. I just finished listening to the Lakeshore Limited by Sue Miller. It was ok. There was a dog in it.

    Before that I listened to The Night Circus. Loved it!

    I'm reading, in book form, a collection of beach stories I found in an antique place last summer.

    and I just downloaded a couple of samples onto my Kindle.


  7. i love reading what everyone's reading.

  8. I am pondering books on tape, to go along with knitting. And because I am a sucker for the spoken word - but also for the written one. I'm reading Matt Debenham's Book of Right and Wrong - lovelovelove short stories, and I owe you for introducing me to him, because I found out about him through a blog you directed me to - thank you, Alice-Bradley-via-Kizz!

    My first Kindle read was 1Q84, and I had no idea that it was gigantic and massive, so it felt weird that it ate my life for so very long. R & I share an Amazon account, so my e-bookshelf has all kinds of robert-y things on it - I read parts of: Fight Club, which I wouldn't have downloaded (but it was interesting to see the foreshadowing on the page, vs. on-screen); Origin of Species; a Philip K. Dick 'best' collection; a neuroscience-y book; something unspeakably stupid I can't even remember, but it was fast and free. And I read all of Hunger Games, which was thrillingly fast because I couldn't put it down.

    I find the format highly conducive to my ADD, in both good and bad ways. That is, it's easier to be in the middle of a bunch of things and not realize it than with printed books, but I'm pretty good at that in print, too. I am currently herding my inner crazy-cats by doing different things in different seats/stations... I stand at my laptop to surf the web and do the email thing, but sit with laptop to do real writing/real work. It feels like riding the horse in the direction it's heading - but that is a digression, which I suppose is kind of a counter-argument to whatever it is I'm now saying.

    Thanks for asking!

  9. i have to figure out that library>>ipad thing. i know it's possible, i just...