My First Love

I love to read. Reading for me, has always been my escape. It has been my magic wardrobe, teleporting me AWAY. Away to worlds of magic, and space. Future and past. High adventure, and deep learning. When the world around seems too much to bear, escaping into a book, and being elsewhere for a bit is one way for me to calm and recenter.  Add a warm cat (or cats) on the lap, a glass of wine, and a nice rainy afternoon, and you have something very close to heaven, in my opinion.

I have been reading a lot this week. The bout of Bronchitis that I had at the first of the month? I thought it was gone, but I was wrong. It came back with a right to the kisser – complete with fevers, aches, coughs, clogged ucky blechy non goodness. I have been out of work all week on doctors orders. God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I will be back to work on Tuesday. (Monday was already scheduled off. Felt the need to celebrate the birth of some presidents, don’tcha know!) Most of this week has been lived in my chair (laying down was and still is a no go – drown in my own blech). Asleep for a couple hours, awake for an hour. Only in the last day or so, have I been awake more than asleep. Reading has been filling the waking hours, when there was no energy for anything else.

Part of reading for me, is the sheer sensual pleasure of a book. The smell of the paper, the rustle of pages, the feeling of progression (and some little bit of sadness for inevitable endings, with a gripping story) as pages transfer from the right to the left through the reading, The look of a well stocked bookcase, inviting browsing and finding that perfect world to fall into for a while…

I had put off getting an ereader because I wasn’t sure that I would like it. So many of the tactile parts of reading would be missing. At this point, it would be… words on a screen.

When my Dad sent me a Kindle for my birthday, I decided that it was time to try. I am glad that he went with a basic Kindle. These have what is called “e ink”, not backlighting. This means that I need to have ambient light if I want to read, but I don’t have to worry about the lighted screen headaches. I already look at lighted screens a LOT. Reading gets me away from that.

I have been getting good use out of my Kindle. As I stated in a previous blog, my anniversary present this year was The Dresden Files collection, and I got it on the Kindle. I have to say, I had an enormous amount of fun reading these books, and will definitely be reading them again!

I read, and re read, and re re read books. I love to revisit places, and always find some new thing that I hadn’t noticed in previous visits. I don’t have any one particular genre I read. I love anything that is well written. It doesn’t have to be weighty, or full of hidden meaning. Sometimes, a good story can be just a good story and valuable for that alone, regardless of what my lit teachers tried so hard to get me to believe. So there. Pbfthpbfthpbfth. (See how mature I am? RASPBERRIES!)

One of the pluses that I found right of the bat, is how light and portable this thing is.

I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both of my hands, and holding books, especially large meaty ones, tends to make my hands cramp up, fingers get numb, and things just all round unpleasant. This is alleviated somewhat by using a book holder from Bookmatesplus.

I found these marvelous book covers when I still lived in Denver. They have thin but flexible strips of metal in them, that allows a book to be closed, and yet will hold rigid when open. Add a see through, snap on plastic strap, and the book is held open, so that if one has a place to prop it, no hands at all are needed. If no place is available, it is still easier on the hands to hold the book like a platter – resting on the palm of the hand rather than cupped between fingers and thumb.

I still have a couple of these lying around, and of course Bookmatesplus isn’t going to lose my business any time soon. I go through these things. When I say I read a lot, I mean a LOT. This does cause some wear and tear, and eventually, I wear and tear them to pieces. And while I do see myself buying books for the Kindle more often, I still love used bookstores, and still have a large collection of books that I am not going to duplicate on the Kindle. I just can’t see paying a new book price for a book I already have, or can easily get from a half priced bookstore due to popularity/age. (especially since publishers still have these electronic books priced at regular, printed book prices.)

I can see how handy it could be for traveling too. When I go anywhere, I take a mini library with me. I am terrified of running out of stuff to read. Even here in town, if I am half way through a book, I will have the next one in my bag as well – even if I am just going to work, and may only get a few pages read in the time I am gone. It is kind of a security blanket for me. Going somewhere for a week? I will usually have at least 10 books in my bags. My husband laughs at me, but hey! I am prepared!

Now, once my collection has grown a bit, it could very well be that all of my reading material for a trip will be easily stored in one small thin, light little doo hickey! It is going to be a while however, before that happens.

I am kind of anal about reading. I like to read things in order – from first to last. I will often hold off reading a series until they are all out. If the series is protracted, I have been known to read each book as it comes out, after having read all the predecessors immediately prior. (Yes. This does mean that when I read the Harry Potter books, The Sorcer’s Stone was read at least 7 times before I read The Deathly Hollows.) Laugh if y’all want to, my husband does. It amuses some of my friends as well. What can I say? I yam what I yam.

This does pose a problem for some of the longer lived series I have. Take for instance, Jean Auel’s Earth Children series.

I started reading these books back in 1980, when she wrote Clan of the Cave Bear. It has taken her 30 years, but she finally published the last book last year. I hadn’t been able to get it, but it was on my list of things to do. I finally broke down, and bought it, for the Kindle. Now of course, I have to reread the first 5 before I can read the 6th on the kindle. (I do cheat a bit. She repeats herself sometimes, and I kinda glaze over that stuff. Still, the meat of the story gets re read.) If I were going on a trip, I would still be lugging the first 5 (or however many of them I had left to read) and the 6th on the Kindle. Still, one less multi inch thick book is that much less weight. Am I right?

Eventually of course, I will have more series, like The Dresden Files, that are completely on the reader. However, I won’t be choosing books to read based on portability. As always, I will make the choice based on what world, or kind of world, I want to visit this time! If that means 10 or more regular old books, and the trusty old cover, so be it!

For now, I am roaming the Continental steppes of the last Ice Age, with Ayla and Jondalar. I am spending the winter with the Mamutoi, in agonies about who will win the girls heart? The tall blue eyed Jondalar? Or the flashing eyed, dark skinned Ranec? Of course I know. Still. I can be excited, and breathless and find myself eager to read what comes next. I can muse, in the very depths of my secret child heart that some book fairy maybe waved a wand and changed it… Even if that didn’t happen, I KNOW that I will find some little nugget, some treasure, that has been passed over, or not seen in the previous readings of the book. Old beloved friends, who even after a lifetime of knowing, can astonish and delight.

How much better than that can it get?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kittin
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 05:28:36

    Now, between you and Randy… I think I’m going to HAVE to read the Dresden Files. Ya’ll are evil… ♥

    Reply

  2. Vineyard
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 20:33:52

    I couldn’t see myself buying physical books anymore. Just think of all the trees that ebooks will save over time!! Oh, and here is a recommendation.

    http://www.amazon.com/Alchemist-10th-Anniversary-ebook/dp/B000FCKC4C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1329964326&sr=1-1

    Reply

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