Out of My Element

I am a veracious read, and with the purchase of my Kindle the number of books I read has exploded exponentially.    I have by tradition been a suspense book reader, with some mindless escape romances, historical fiction, a biography thrown in regularly and a few unexpected recommendations that I pick up.   At least once a year I read something science fiction, because it is my husband’s favorite genre, and though for the life of me I can’t find a redeeming quality in it except that my husband loves it.

Before Kindle, I spent hours scrounging for books at the thrift stores, libraries, rummage sales, book stores in any town I visit and online.   I was the keeper of piles of books beside my nightstand  for my reading pleasure.   I did not realize it, but I bought these books by their dust jackets and back covers.    If it wasn’t my kind of book, back on the shelf it went.   I had to make a conscious effort to read something out of the norm.   I had to be willing to take a risk on a book based on something a publicist had written to sell the book to the market audience.   If I was going to venture outside of my norm, then they were probably not writing to entice me to buy the book.

This change in my reading habits is due to owning a Kindle and  in part to Amazon’s “Top 100 Free” list that I visit regularly.  It is there that I grab books off the top 100 list that have a four or five-star rating.   I don’t read the reviews or what the book is about for the most part.    I also look at the top free  titles  in some of my favorite genres as well.    I cruise the best sellers that are discounted and the 100 for $3.99 or less.   Now these choices that require my hard-earned cash, and  I am more careful about my selections.  I select those things that interest me  and sound like a good read.   Money spent should be for a book you expect to finish.   One caveat to all this is that we have a Prime Membership.   Living in a rural area with limited services, we like the benefits of Prime, one of which is the ability to borrow one book a month free.  If you catch it just right , and we have, you can  pick up some really good in-demand at the library books using the Prime option.

With my Kindle, it has not only resulted in an explosion on my the numbers of books I read, but also the kinds of books.   Without the filter I had employed before, I end up with books of all sorts.   I will admit that if I start a book and that first chapter is poorly written, or does not suck me in, I rate it one star and delete it.  I would give a no star rating if possible, but Amazon has said one star is as bad as it gets.   On the other hand I have read some books that the whole time I am reading it I say “I can’t believe I am really reading this.”   I just finished a book about a mob family, gruesome, nasty book.  Lots of characters I really didn’t like but was fascinated by their character flaws and relationships.   It was not a five star book, but the author wrote that first chapter so well, I wanted to know more.   I could not deleted it after one chapter, in spite of the fact I did not like the subject matter.   I kept thinking I will skip forward to see how this is resolved, but found myself reading each page for the details and nuances of what was going on.   This is not the only book I have read out my element since becoming a Kindle owner but it was by far the one I am still most amazed I read from cover to cover.

So in the past I could clearly say I read certain genres.   Now I think that I have a preference for certain genres, but am finding that a well written book will draw me no matter the type…wait I still find that science fiction a chore to get one book read a year.   I am beginning to think I don’t have the right imagination to properly appreciate them.  All that aside I am finding myself reading much more out of me element and enjoying it.

 

 

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The Library Never Closes

The holiday weekend here is providing terrible weather.   We started with snow on Friday and it is still coming down.   Not like winter snow, but it is damp, overcast and cold.    It makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.

I have a collection of books on my Kindle, but tonight I want a quick easy read.   Nothing seems to be what I want.    I am looking for one of those pulp fiction novels you buy at rummage sales or Goodwill.   The freebies on Amazon are not fitting the bill for my mood.    Of course it is Sunday night and our local library is closed, it is late and many businesses are closed for the holiday weekend.

Enter my library’s electronic option.   Even in Montana many of our libraries have an electronic collection.  Tonight I signed in to library browsed the ebook collection.   I found something that met my wish for reading material tonight.  Two minutes later it is on my Kindle and the hot water is boiling.

I hope that everyone who reads this blog takes a look at their library’s electronic collection.   If you have a reader, you may be able to check out ebooks.   If you like audio books, your library will  have a great collection available to you.   I am guessing your system is likely as sophisticated as the one that many the rural libraries in Montana share.   It supports all sorts of formats in ebooks, not just the Kindle and Nook, but many other generic readers.   Audio books can be downloaded to iPods, MP3 players, your computer media players and more.     I can check out books anytime, the library does not have to open.   Libraries are not dead, and full of dusty old books, they are changing to meet our reading habits.  Check it out.

Sleepless Nights and Guilty Pleasures

I am not sure what cause sleepless nights.  Those nights when you wake up at 1 or 2 in the morning and can’t turn over and go back to sleep.   Sometimes when you wake up your mind is consciously racing and bouncing things around in your head, you are aware of them from the minute you wake up what caused it.  Other times you have no idea what woke you and why falling back to sleep seems impossible.

I give myself no more than one hour of this tossing and turning watching the clock trying all the method known to man to clear my mind, get in a restful state and no longer watching the clock.  When I finally give up on sleep, I go for one of my guilty pleasures…pulp fiction.  In my case those  one of those monthly romance novels.  Nothing to complex; always a happy ending.  Unlike a thriller or nonfiction I won’t keep reading to daybreak.   Instead they engross me enough to clear my mind, but not so much that I can’t put it down to go back to sleep.

I keep a supply on my beside table, from the local thrift stores.   A guilty pleasure that won’t break the bank, and doesn’t add pounds, can’t be all bad.