Replacement reader

I broke my Kindle. I have to say that although I’m a fan of actual books, and the feel and smell of their pages, having a Kindle is actually convenient at times. It’s easy to carry around, and you have access to several books, and you can store pictures, music, and other media. It’s all kinds of awesome.

And I broke it. In the spirit of full disclosure, I broke it almost a year ago. What happened is that I dropped it one to many times, and the screen cracked. It remained usable for several months, and in all that time I planned on getting a new screen, but I never did. What I did get myself is a smartphone instead. No more ancient flip phone technology for me. I embraced the modern communication age and I forgot all about my Kindle.

My phone is useful for lots of things, but reading books is kind of a chore. It’s smaller than I want, and holding my phone for hours on end just doesn’t appeal to me. And reading on my computer is also a pain. Laptops are cool and all, but I don’t want to lay in bed with a computer on my chest, or stuck at a desk or table. I like to lay in bed and read, or on the sofa, reclined in the seat of my car. In other words, I want to get cozy. It’s hard to do with my laptop.

A few days ago, on a whim, I looked up Kindles and I saw that the prices have dropped significantly for the Fire 7. Now it’s the bottom tiered product, more than $100 cheaper than when I first got it, but it’s more than enough for what I want it for. I placed my order a few minutes ago. Unfortunately, it’s still not here. Drat you Amazon!

I have a book to finish reading and reviewing by Monday, but I’ll have it in before my next book is due. True story, I bought the actual paperback book for Illusion, which is currently sitting of my to be read stack of books, but that third book? I’ll be reading the hell out of it on my Kindle Fire 7.

Kindle Fire 7: This isn’t a commercial, but you can still give me money for advertising it on my blog. What? How many visitors do I get on here? Er…It’s bed time, and man am I sleepy.

I think I’m rambling again

My best friend has been asking me if I have started listening to the audio copy of Ernest Cline’s novel, Ready Player One. I have had to admit to her several times that I haven’t. I just cant’ make myself listen to it, despite the fact that I spend two hours commuting to and from work everyday. Nope. Can’t do it.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that I’m a horrible listener. I have trouble understanding what’s going on if I don’t’ actually read the words for myself. I have the same trouble with music and songs. I have to actually read the lyrics to have any idea about what’s going on. It’s just the way I am.

So, very reluctantly, I’m having to buy the book, and it’ll have to be a hardback because that’s what I like. I have a few paperbacks, but I prefer the feel of a hardback. It’s nothing personal. It’s purely an aesthetic choice on my part. I just haven’t made it to the book store, yet. I hope to make it this week.

But speaking of books I need to read, the head of a writer’s group I’m in is releasing her second book soon. I want to be supportive, and I bought a Kindle copy, but I haven’t read it. My Kindle went kaput after I dropped it for the umpteenth time. That’s okay, because again, I want an actual copy in may hands. I just can’t seem to warm up to e-books. In this case, it’ll have to be a paperback, since that’s all that’s available.

I want to support self-published authors. I really do, but I’ll admit that I’m not really being selfless in my support. I want to build some good karma should I ever actually publish something. A co-worker said that I probably would never do so since I would never be able to let my book go. Maybe they’re right, but that’s no reason not to read a self-published novel.

I’ve read several that I enjoyed during my time as a book reviewer. There are several talented authors who have chosen to publish themselves rather than to seek the traditional route. What amazes me is the sheer number of people writing and publishing their own works. It’s mindboggling!

I would like to join the swelling throng of writers. Until then, I will gladly be one of many who supports them. It’s not too much to hope that one of the writers I support will be picked up by a traditional publisher, and they themselves become a successful author. Would that it could be me!

I’m aware that I’m rambling. I should probably go to sleep. I have a lot of books to read, and I think I should get to it. I just need to finish my own work, which feels like it’ll never happen.

P.S. I promise to read Ready Player One, Amy. It’s on my list!

A snow day is just a reading day

Looks like I may be snowbound in the morning. Even if I’m not, I have no intentions of leaving the house. Tomorrow will be a day just to relax and maybe do a little reading for myself. I don’t have, or maybe it’s truer to say that I don’t take, the time to read anything just for the pure enjoyment of reading. It’s become a chore to read and that’s a shame.

Yesterday, I made it to the book store. Maybe I should back up a little. Last week I went to the local Barnes & Noble for attend an A.G. Howard book signing for EnsnaredWhile I waited for the signing to start, I browsed the selection available, and I found The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I have to admit I’ve watched the movie but I never read the books. The horror!

Also catching my eye was a book by Guy Consolmagno, SJ* and Paul Mueller, SJ entitled Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? …and Other Observations from the Astronomer’s In-box at the Vatican Observatory. I’ve come across Br. Consolmagno on several science shows on Discovery. I have always found what he has to say to be illuminating.

As a lover of fiction and fantasy, I knew I needed to buy The Hitchhiker’s Guide…, but as a Catholic myself, and one that has an interest in science, Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? also piqued my interest. At the time, I didn’t have any money to spare, and the little money I couldn’t spare was spent buying a copy of Ensnared to be signed.

Which brings me to yesterday. I had some time to burn, so I went back to B&N to browse and kill some time. I found The Hitchhiker’s Guide..., and I decided to buy it. I chose to wait until payday to the other book, but I had to buy a second book, reasonably priced. Since I’ve been wanting a new copy of it, I bought myself The Hobbit.

I’m almost done with Douglas Adams’ novel. I’ll probably finish it tonight. I may or may not read The Hobbit. I’ve read it so many times already. I do have other books on my too read pile so I have plenty to read, regardless. Either way, I plan to enjoy my day off and allow myself to disappear into another world for a few hours. It’s a nice way to get out of my own skin and into an adventure, all without leaving the comforts of home.

Now that I think about it, that sounds rather Hobbitish, and perhaps that’s not a bad thing. But I do have a rather Tookish desire for real adventure, just not enough to brave the cold and the snow.


*Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits.

Reading, writing, and I hate my job…

This is the first time since last May that I haven’t posted a book review. It’s a little weird. I had considered reviewing the Divergent series just for the hell of it, but time got away from me. I’m not committing myself one way or the other for now. I do need to get myself a book to read.

Actually, I don’t. I’ve focused so much of my energies to reading and reviewing, that my own writing has suffered. I need to get back on track and do some real writing. As you know, I pulled out a piece I started working on back in 2012, and I think I’m going to finish it. Then I’ll let a few people read it before deciding what to do with it.

But first, I have a book I’m beta-reading for a friend. Allan Krummenacker is working on his second book, The Ship. It’s a simple read and comment job, meaning I’m stressing out about it. I have a three-day weekend starting Friday, so I’m planning on taking some time out to actually read and take some constructively useful notes to pass along. I want this one to be better than his first!

Between you and me, I’m in an odd rut. I’ve ended my twice monthly reviews. I’ve stopped posting on a regular basis, and I’m not writing a diligently as I should. I have come to realize that my job will likely take me no where, that despite all the hard work I put into trying to move into full-time, the reality is that hard work is not rewarded at The Home Depot, cronyism is. That kind of bums me out.

So, my out is to write. Retail is a horrid environment, that offers only part-time work, and routinely cuts hours, further pushing me into poverty. I never had this problem when I worked at Wal-Mart. They gave me a chance and I moved up into management there, though I wouldn’t go back no matter what they paid me.

I’m going to work on my writing and hope this pulls me out of my funk. I can’t rely on employers to do it. They only feed the maw of poverty and the welfare state. I want out of the rut, and I deserve it, or at least I think I do.

Just some thoughts for me to consider while I drive to work this afternoon. Hope your Tuesday has treated you kindly.

What are you reading?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
~Dr. Seuss~*

I bought the Divergent box set recently off of Amazon, and it has sat of my desk for several weeks, begging me to be read. I found some time on Tuesday to crack open the first book, and instantly found myself drawn in by the story. I stayed up until three in the morning reading the book before putting it down to sleep. I finished it the next morning.

I’ve started the second book in the series, Insurgent, and I’m loving it. I plan to be done with it by this evening, and maybe start reading the last book, Allegiant. Then there’s the movies. Divergent is in theaters, which I’m planning on seeing tomorrow after I get off work.

It’s been a long time since a book has captured my attention in this way. Rowling managed to do so with her Harry Potter series, and once I discovered it, So did Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I read the Twilight novels, and I enjoyed them as well for what they were, and I fail to see why people reacted to viscerally against them, especially since most poking fun of the series probably have never read a book.

These are just a few of the books that have entered the popular consciousness to such a degree that they become inescapable. I’ve read plenty of other books by authors that have not cracked the Best Sellers lists. I’ve enjoyed many self-published titles, many I have reviewed for you here on my blog. On of my favorite author is Morris West, author of The Shoes of the Fisherman, and The Clowns of God.

I read to escape the tedium of life. I read to lose myself to the imagination. I read to transport myself into adventure. I read so that I may know, and in so knowing, to learn, to grow, and to better myself.

I’ve encountered strange ideas, thoughts that were at once foreign and alien to me, but once read, helped shape me into the person I am today. I soaked up ideas like a sponge, thirsty for knowledge, insatiable and unquenchable. I know I’m not alone.

I read mostly for pleasure, but what I read can provoke me to think about the bigger picture. What is the book about? What is the author trying to say?  How is what I’m reading relevant to me and to the world at large? Good books promote lively discussions.

My question today – as you can probably guess by my not-so-cryptic title – is what are you reading now? What ideas are you gleaming from the book or article? Are you willing to share with us? Leave a comment and share with us your thoughts. I would love to know!

“A home without books
is a body without a soul.”
~Marcus Tullius Cicero~*

* – Quotes on reading came from ThinkExist.