Kindle love (or, I’m reading as fast as I can)

I can’t remember when I first fell in love with books but I know that it was early, and that I fell hard.

I read all through elementary school. I sat at my desk, a book tucked on my lap, and as the rest of the class learned fractions and state abbreviations, I paced my way through the Little House books and “Little Women.” I still can’t divide fractions but if I close my eyes, I can envision the cabin by the woods in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.

ingalls
I love you, Laura, and wish we could have met for tea or for a walk through the tall prairie grass.

My own houses have always been filled with books. In fact, I have very little furniture but I do have bookshelves. My idea of a perfect living room includes a sofa, a soft rug and bookshelves jammed into every available space.

So of course I resisted buying a Kindle. I wanted little to do with eBooks. I was sure that nothing could compare to the heady feeling of opening a new book (a new book!), burying my head inside and sniffing the scent of the ink. Of the words.

Then my sister bought me a Kindle for Christmas and brought it up when she visited Alaska in February. I opened it, held it in my hands. I thanked her, and then I set it down. I willfully forgot about it. I was scared, you see, scared it might rob me of my love for books

kindle
My very scary Kindle, or at least the same model as my very scary Kindle; I was too lazy to take a picture and stole one off the Internet.

My Kindle lay on the coffee table for almost a month before I picked it back up again. I downloaded a few books and, one night as I staggered to bed so late that it was almost morning, I smuggled my Kindle under the covers, dimmed the screen and read.

I read for over an hour and really, it was like being a kid again and reading with a flashlight beneath the covers. There was that same fugitive feeling of mystery, that same awed sense of wonder as I sank down inside another world.

Since then, I have been reading like crazy, reading two to three books a week. My work schedule is still friggin’-damned-busy and since I write and edit all day at my job I’m not writing/editing my own work to the extent that I’d like. Instead of stressing out about this, I pull up my Kindle and read. I might not be able to write much during this small phase of my work life but I can keep up on my reading, can devour books, can see what works for other authors and what doesn’t, can examine writing styles and plots, character development and voice.

kindle_book
Source

What I love the most about reading eBooks, though, is that it’s prompted me out of my comfort zone and over to genres I normally avoid such as sci-fi and fantasy and historical novels. When a book costs 99 cents a pop, it’s hard to resist, even if it doesn’t match my normal tastes.

Books I’ve loved and enjoyed so far:

The Gift, by Rachel Newcomb
Sleep Donation, Karen Russell
Rapunzel, Molly Greene
Confessions of a Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella

I won’t mention the books that were just so-so or that I didn’t like. Reading preferences are so personal, much like romantic interests: One person’s dislike is someone else’s great love.

Talking about love, from a reader’s point of view a Kindle is a great and beautiful thing. Yet a writer’s perspective is a little bit different. In my next post I’ll list some of the pros and cons of eBooks from an author’s point of view.

A must read: I don’t usually plug other people’s blog posts but this guest post on Nathan Bransford’s blog from Steven Salmon on writing with cerebral palsy deserves a read.

A shameless plug: Bloggy pal Kevin Brennan’s novel Yesterday Road is the Indie Author Land’s 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading in the literary books category. Follow this link and give him a vote, okay? Yesterday Road is a damned good, and funny, and warm and tender and wonderful read

 

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9 thoughts on “Kindle love (or, I’m reading as fast as I can)

  1. Wow–my feelings for my kindle are so similar to yours! I’ve had mine for about 3 years now, and I do use it–especially while traveling. I like it so much more than I thought I would! However, my first choice is always to read a physical book–and I will always LOVE the sight of my books in my many bookcases!

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    1. Yes, yes, “real” physical books will always be my favorite, too. I can’t imagine writing in a room without my beloved books stacked around me. It would feel so empty! But I’m surprised at how easily I adapted to eBooks. Kind of scary. Cheers and happy reading.

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  2. Thanks for the mention, Cinthia! (I never get tired of hearing “damned good” either!)

    I know just what you mean about the Kindle. I resisted for a while, finally relented, and I find that I’m reading a lot more, especially a lot of classics, which are cheap or free. Boning up on Melville, for godssakes! Plus, with the aid of a Ziploc bag, it makes for great bathtub reading…🛁

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    1. I know, Jackie! I was halfway through my hardcopy of “Feed for the Silk Dogs” when I started my Kindle love affair. Now I will have to buy the Kindle version, hee, hee. Another sale for you. See how this works to a writer’s advantage? Cheers and happy writing.

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  3. I love how this starts. My 5th grade teacher requested a conference about me for reading under my desk. I was grounded from reading. . . Anywho. . . I don’t have an actual ereader, but have the nook app on my tablet. I read the 50 shades books, and other risque books on it, as I have little ones (aged 5 and 8), and I don’t want them to accidentally read grown up books. As I tend to leave books everywhere (it’s time for the scavenger hunt game, because it library day. They both liked the cover of your book, btw! Luckily the 8 year old deemed it “too long” but he did like that there was an 8 year old named Jay-Jay, (my 8 year old is Jason) and that there were moose in your book!

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    1. Hi, Tolly? Guess, just guess what I was doing when your commented posted on my blog? I was reading while at work, hee, hee. I’m the only one in the office but it still feels delicious to sit at my desk and read when I know I’m supposed to be working. I can’t imagine a teacher grounding a student from reading. How cruel is that? P.S. I love that your kids like my book cover, too funny. And aren’t kids the best? My son graduated from college last year (yes, I’m that old) and I so miss his company. Cheers and happy reading/writing/hanging with your kiddos.

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