Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Needing to Read

On a forum I participate on, someone wrote a post about wants vs. needs and I thought abut what do I feel that I need and I realized it is books. Some people could go a year while only reading one book (according to my son and a statistic he once quoted me, that is the average amount of books read in the US in a year. Obviously they would never consider books a need. I see some people with 'needs' that I think are pretty silly. Who really needs shoes with 5" heels? But as I thought about it, this is what I came up with for my need to read.

I could go without a cell phone (I do), I could go without the internet (that would be tough), I could go without TV (no problem), but I personally need books and lots of them to keep me sane. Not sure what would happen if I went without a book for a week, but I suspect I would spontaneously combust. That being said, I know this particular need and handle it in the most economic way. I don't constantly buy new books, or download a new one to my Kindle as soon as I have read my latest book. Nope I buy them at bag day at the library, I borrow them from the library, I use the library to library exchange if I need to, I download FREE Kindle books, I read and review books for Amazon and they send them to me for free (maybe 30-40 a year). So a habit that could cost me at least a $1000 or more a year at the rate I read, probably costs me $50 or less a year. I think this is an example of dealing with ‘needs’ in the cheapest way possible.
I do love my books! I hope you do to!

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Kindle and Me

Been a long time since I posted, but not a long time since I read a book. I've actually read a lot of books, but get side tracked from writing up reviews on them. anyhow, for my birthday I received a Kindle Keyboard 3G .  When Kindle's first hit the market, I thought that there was no way in the world that I would ever want one. I love books, I love reading books, holding books,and having selves full of books all over my house. Then I started noticing just how sore my hands were getting when I read, especially books like thick paperbacks that are constantly fighting you. With severe arthritis, the last thing I wanted was more pain in my hands. I was also having authors asking me to review their work that was, surprise, only available on a Kindle or e-reader.

So I checked into Kindles, studied the descriptions and realized that since we are too far out of town to get WiFi and we didn't have it at our house, I would need a 3G Kindle so I could actually connect to Amazon's Kindle store. So with hubby's blessing I bought one and expected to only read some books on it. When it showed up in just a couple of days, I had fun figuring it out. I was happy to see that I had a dictionary on board and that turned out to be one of the first things that really got me happy. Now instead of having to pick up our 5# dictionary, I can look up words on my Kindle. I also found that I was able to download for free many of my favorite authors like Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte, Jean Stratton Porter. I found that my Kindle would alert me to my newer favorite author's latest releases and I was able to use it get a sample of their books to be sure whether or not I had read it yet or if there was another book in the series that I needed to read first.

This past week really showed me though, just how nifty a Kindle can be. I had checked a book out of the library, Jane Austen's Guide to Dating , when I started reading it, I kept finding references to Northanger Abbey one of Jane's books that I had read but only once so the references were obscure to me. So I pulled out my Kindle and looked up Northanger Abbey and started reading it. The book itself kept making reference to yet another book that the young ladies in the novel were reading. So I wondered to myself, could that be a real book? I looked up Udolpho on my Kindle and sure enough it was there!  Now I know I can find a copy of all Jane Austen's works at my local library, but the chance of finding this book that a book written in 1818 was commenting impossible and yet here I now have it on my Kindle! If my Kindle only had a good US and world atlas and a dictionary of old fashioned word usage it would make reading really fun. I think using my Kindle for more than reading, had made me realize what a valuable addition to my reading it can be even when I have  my  nose buried in an old fashioned book. Is this 6 degrees of separation when it comes to books?