Read the Old-Fashioned Way

I am a die hard reader.   I read daily at least an hour, sometimes more if I can fit it in.     In the days before the e-reader I had piles of books beside my bed, beside my chair and they filled a whole bookcase  in the family room.    Since I made the conversion to the e-reader my pile though invisible to RangerSir is larger than ever.   I still keep one shelf of books in the case of a power failure.    It is full of those lifetime keepers, but also a few books that are  pulp fiction, because if was an apocalyptic event we would need some levity.   My paper collection of books  is more discriminating than the collection on my e-reader because I am limited to one shelf since I seldom read hard copy any more.   This week for the first time in a long time I am utilizing my safety net of real books.

how_to_read_a_pile_of_books

I am rediscovering the paper book right now because I am without an e-reader for the first time in many years.   My current reader after years of daily use for at least an hour was starting to need to be charged more than once a week.  It wasn’t at the end of its lifespan, but for the first time I was becoming aware that there will be an end in the future. As a result I was toying with upgrading, but nothing had gotten me off the dime to do so.    E-readers are not like computers or phones, they are simple one use devices.  There are few changes and most of they don’t make a big difference so we tend not to upgrade as often as manufactures would like us to do so.   This week Amazon gave me the push I need they were offering to buy my device and give me an additional $20 e-reader credit.   For me that was $55, more than half of the price of a new one.   The sucky part was that they did not give you all this wonderful credit until they first had the old one in there hands.   This was major stupid.   I sent my old one back last week and now I wait for it to arrive at Amazon, credit to appear on my account and then I can get my new one.   I suspect I will be without an e-reader for a little over a week.   I realized the inconvenience already when I was in a waiting room and realized  my reader wasn’t in my purse and I had not brought my book along because it would not fit in my purse.  Last night I put a paperback in the Goodwill box because the font was just too small. The book had potential but event with cheaters reading was a struggle.  I did not realize until I was holding a book again that the Kindle really was much easier to manage than an 800 plus page book.

I am hoping today my UPS tracking tag tells me that Amazon has received my old e-reader and I soon get a new one.   I knew how much I liked my e-reader, but never as much as now.

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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.