Books

I hate it when I type a huge amount of text and then hit something and it wipes out everything I wrote.  That just happened.  This is about an epiphany I had today about reading, books, ebooks.  I love books and reading to the exclusion of all else except maybe my pets.  I follow book blogs on Tumblr and people who love books on Facebook.  I collect pictures of libraries, bookshelves, books, book memorabilia and crafts on Pinterest.  books are my life.  My constant refrain is…there are not enough hours in my days for all the books I want to read.  Life is too short.  My pile of To Be Read books gets higher and higher and I still buy more and find myself rereading books instead.  I bought my first ebook and was thrilled at being able to carry so many books around but over time I let it get away from me and my To Be Read pile on Kindle alone is huge beyond belief.    At one point recently my guilt was riding me and I was determined to make a dent in the huge number of Kindle cosies awaiting my attention.   I am so anal, I started at author A and began reading..that is I began rereading the old ones by each author till I got to the new ones and then on to the next.   It became work and I was not enjoying myself.  I kept finding other things to do…even television drew me away.  I began to think that cosies were poorly written and that I had wasted my money buying them on Amazon for Kindle instead of in paperback that I could trade in when they were not worth rereading.  Since I cannot trade them in I feel I should reread them but because I am forcing myself I am not enjoying the experience.  There are cosy series that I have in paperback and this week I skipped a few letters of the alphabet of authors and pulled out a C author from the bookshelves and started reading and was immediately engaged.  I wondered if it was that particular writer who held my attention and kept me relaxed and reading and instantly opening the next volume when one was finished.   The thought that occurred today was…it was not the author (though she is good), it is the paperback itself.  It is the ease of picking up the book and instantly finding my place.  No waiting.  Ebooks are great for waiting rooms and saving space but I am beginning to be suspicious that they are not actually conducive to an enjoyable reading experience.  Pushing buttons, waiting for loading, difficulty regaining place after going to other book or trying tor read multiples.   There is something about a book in hand.  I do not deface many books but some have stuff that I want to remember and I underline or write in margins…of paperbacks.  One cannot do that with a Kindle or at least the ability to do so is cumbersome and flawed compared to a pencil and finding the marked up pages again is far easier and does not require memory.   All those ebooks awaiting my attention …buying them for the Kindle was a disservice to the writers…or at least I am beginning to think so.   I have come to the conclusion that it is so much easier to pick up a book, carry it from room to room, put it down for any length of time and not have it go to sleep, necessitating turning on and waiting again.  I do not have to watch where I put the paperback and can even take it into the tub without care.  Weather does not matter to a paperback and spillage can happen.  Even hot coffee will not destroy a trusty old paperback and if it does, well replacing an 8.00 book is a lot different than a 100.00 Kindle.    I had already decided to ween myself away from Kindle because when I spent money on a book I want to own it, I want to give it away, I want to trade it in, I want to donate it, I want it to have existence and I want more than one person to read it.  I want to get my monies worth out of every book I buy and ebooks do not cut it.  They are more expensive than paperbacks and I cannot share them unless I also want to share my machines.  If I find a writer is a one shot, I am stuck with an ebook I cannot reread, cannot give away, cannot exchange for money or in kind.  I can delete it from my ebook so I do not see it every time I turn it on, it will still be in the cloud for download should I decide I want it back on machine but in my mind I have paid for something, found I could only use it once and might as well have burned my money.  Once is not enough.  If I cannot reread it, I want someone else to read it…many someones in fact.    When I finish this writer (I have several of her books in ebook format and we shall see if they hold my attention as well as she does in paperback) and go back to working my way through my authors.  Maybe now that I have some understanding of why the stories are not holding my attention…that it is not the fault of the writers but of the format and my type of attention span or needs.   My Kindle has 350 books and my Kobo another 40.   There is something so comforting to a bookaholic to have that much of my drug on hand so easily but I wish my habits of a lifetime have not caused a hiccup in my joy.

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