Posts Tagged ‘books’

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Summer Book List

July 13, 2013
Woodpecker in a tree in my current backyard in April 2009.

Woodpecker in a tree in my current backyard in April 2009.

For the first time in four years (because of my own volunteer-happy stupidity), I now have a bit of free time. Feels like it’s been forever! Before I take on my next venture (that will be about me), I am enjoying the summer like I used to as a kid. Reading!

I do not remember having summer reading lists like today’s students, but I always loved reading and spent much of my summer and year-round free time reading. Best spot was in a tree outside our tiny little Linton, Indiana, house. It had the perfect branch for me to sit on with my back against the trunk. I took my – retro flashback alert – wait for it! – transistor radio with me and ignored the world.

Love my modern day transistor radio, otherwise known as an iPod and I still love to read. A couple years ago I bought a Nook Color. At that time, the Kindle did not have touch screen and after having that functionality on my Smartphone for so long, I had to have it … enter the Nook Color.

Now it sounds like Nook will die a slow death thanks to Barnes and Noble. Interestingly I have not liked the eReader world as much as I thought I would or as much as I like the eMusic and ePicture world. I can’t share my eBook with a friend, unless they happen to have a Nook and the publisher happens to allow me to share it. That in itself annoys me big-time because a publisher cannot prevent me from sharing my physical copy.

Another loss with eReaders, and I believe this is important, is that others do not see the spine of books people are reading. Many times I see a book someone is reading and ask them about it, or note the title so I can look it up. Wonder how this lack of visibility impacts book sales.

eReaders sacrifice the ‘warmth’ of holding a book. Feeling the paper pages and hearing them turn creates an emotional interaction with a good book that the eReader cannot replicate in my opinion. I do love being able to look up a word right in the book from my eReader and I like the highlighting feature. Still with a dictionary and highlighter pen close by, I have the same options with my physical copy.

Given the news from B&N this week, I am glad I have not invested a lot in Nook books. On that note, anyone know how I can save them to a different platform?

Anyone reading anything good this summer? I have found that YA books are some of my favorites, e.g., The Book Thief, In Between Shades of Gray. Let me know what’s on your kids’ summer reading lists … or yours.

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Only one

September 18, 2010

In today’s 24/7 information overloaded American society, it is hard to imagine having just one book or maybe two. Libraries (yes, remember them? where you can read books for free!), Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, not to mention the  few locally owned bookstores remaining around the country, hold infinite numbers of books and other publications. We can even skip the actual book part and simply download the content onto our Kindle, Nook or other reader.

Not that many years ago, in my grandparents’ lives or maybe your great-grandparents’ lives, books were scarce. I am reading one now, “The Book Thief” that I highly recommend, about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. She somewhat accidentally became the “book thief” and discovered a love of books and reading. Yet, she has just four books at the point where I am in the story.

When the wealthy mayor’s wife offers one to the girl from her collection, the girl declines. She recognizes she has enough and she can read them again…for the 5th, 6th or 7th time. Imagine!

Many books published today are not worthy of multiple reads. Meant for quick and easy entertainment only, our minds would dull quickly if we had to re-read these.

But some, like “The Book Thief” and “The Secret Life of Bees” and a few select others in my experience, I should read many times. These authors use our language to paint stunning images and I know I cheat myself by not committing them to memory. If I read them again and again, these pictures become etched in my memory and the flow of the words enriches my vocabulary.

Perhaps like much in America, bounty hinders us rather than helps us. Easy access to too much food has made us fat. Disposable products have made us wasteful. And a galaxy-sized library full of titles has diminished our love of literary grandeur. A shame…