Thursday, July 01, 2010


The Internet really distracts me from reading books, and has ever since 1998 when I got my first computer.  
This is a real shame, because I love to read a good book.  
Cliff and I went on a road trip to Iowa last weekend, and I searched through our garage-sale finds for something I could read aloud as we traveled.  I discovered an Alex Cross novel we hadn't read:  Perfect!    
We've shared several books from that particular James Patterson series while on the road.  They're scary enough to keep you awake, with enough twists and turns to hold your interest.  You know there will be lots of people killed, and even Alex's family is never really safe, so in that way they're predictable.  But the magical thing about these books is that the chapters are only one to three pages long.  If you've never read aloud in a car to a person who is hard of hearing, you probably can't appreciate that; but short chapters give you lots of opportunities to take a break, look around, get a drink of water, and rest the old vocal chords.  If we didn't sometimes go on a road trip, I'd probably never pick up another Alex Cross novel; for reading on the road, they're perfect.  
When I spent a night at the cabin a couple of weeks ago, I took the Loretta Lynn bio, "Still Woman Enough".  It isn't the most well-written book I've ever read, but because it was about someone with whom I'm familiar, it held my interest.  Cliff read it later, and agreed; although he sure did hate Doolittle Lynn by the end of the first chapter.  "He's just a child molester, in my book," said Cliff.  "marrying a fourteen-year-old girl and then beating her up all the time."  
But I digress.  My point is, at the cabin there are no distractions, and I read like crazy when I'm there, as long as daylight holds.
Yesterday we were at Sam's Club and I saw a super-sized anti-gravity chair.  I've been wanting one of these ever since I tried one out at the State Fair a few years ago, and my birthday's coming up.  Cliff advised me to get it, since he figured if I didn't get it while we were there it would only mean a trip back in a few days.  
Sitting in this wonderful creation is like being in my recliner.  I spend a lot of time, mornings and evenings, sitting in the yard watching my dog and enjoying the flowers, and now I'll be doing it in comfort.  It even has a pullout tray with a spot for my morning cup of coffee.  
I wondered to myself if this chair in my yard would be distraction-free enough for me to get lost in a book, and looked through my collection for something I had not read; I chose "The Color of Water" and headed to my comfy chair.  At first I had my Ipod playing on shuffle beside me; then I realized it was distracting me and turned it off.  Yes, I am as easily distracted as a two-year-old.  
The book is great; I'm halfway through it.  Maybe I'll get back into reading again!  
My friend Joanna brought her Kindle along when she was here, and I think it would be a great thing to have; I do have a problem with the prices of most of the books to be downloaded,  See, I'm used to getting my books at garage sales, never paying over a dollar.  If there's a book I want to read that I haven't found at garage sales, I go to; there I can find most any book I want in paperback, used, for under $5 with shipping.  
In case you're wondering why I don't just go to the library, I don't drive.  The nearest library is ten miles from here.  But I was just reading Jeanie's latest blog entry telling about her Nook (that sounds a little off-color to me, but it's just another brand of reading device that works like the Kindle).   She mentioned choosing from the Library:  I'm thinking that simply means choices from Barnes and Noble... surely the public library wouldn't be that simple to reach.  But in the future, I'll bet that happens:  You browse your local library VIA wi-fi, choose a book, and it stays on your Kindle for a couple of weeks, then disappears.  It would have to disappear after a given time due to copyright issues.    
What a wonderful world of possibilities!  
By the way, "The Color of Water" is a great book.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that is easily distracted like that. When I'm reading or even on the internet I like it quiet. Most of the time the radio or TV are on at my house only if I want a distraction. Your chair looks wonderful. Enjoy your reading!

Lindie said...

If the local library can ever download to a Nook or a Kindle, then I will get one. Meantime, I use the library a lot! Mid continent library is online and I order my books and audio books and just go and pick them up. If I am not done, I get online and renew them. I love the internet but like holding a book and reading it.

Astaryth said...

Ummm.... that is exactly how it happens... I go to my library's 'digital' download page with my computer. I find an e-book I want (by browsing or by searching book title or author or keyword). I put the book in my 'cart' and then I download it to my computer. At that point I bring up the program that holds my 'library books' (which I downloaded from the library page the very first time I did this) and I hook my Nook to my computer with a USB plug (just like you do with your Ipod. Then I move the book to my Nook, disconnect it from the computer and begin to read my book!! In 2 weeks it just goes away :)

The selection of e-books is constantly growing now that people are starting to use it more. I can also download and play audio books from the same place if I wanted. I don't personally like audio books, but they are pretty popular with a lot of people. It is great because I don't have to leave the house to get new reading material. A bonus when you live waaay out in the country! :)

Also, with my Nook, Barnes &Noble have a 'free book Friday' where they offer a free book each Friday. Sometimes it is something I want, sometimes not. Often it is a book I might not buy, but find I enjoyed since it was free. also, if you search their e-book store using 0.00 as your search term you turn up about 95,000 free books. Admittedly a lot of them are not that great, but there are some gems in there. There are also a -lot- of books for less than $5 and a bunch around the $2 mark.

So far I have read 6 books and have paid $0. I also have downloaded about 12 free e-books that I haven't gotten to yet from the B&N site. (Sometimes a book is offered for free for a short period of time, so if you want to read it you have to grab it then!) They also have a Lend Me option which only the B&N books have that allow you to 'lend' the book to someone else to read. Can you tell I love my new toy?!?

Astaryth said...

oops... I don't think I made it clear, when I said 'my library' I meant the Country Library System where I live. I already had a library card with them, and you use the same card whether you are getting a physical book from a physical building, or an e-book off of their internet page :)

Becky said...

I loved The Color of Water. Loaned it to my mother-in-law too. We have 2 of those anti-grav chairs in aqua on our back deck. So comfy! And I'll have to take a look at the Nook. I was pretty set on getting a Kindle, but it can't hurt to comparison shop.