On a day like today, fresh from a long restful night of sleep with plenty of time for my pages, I anticipate this being one of those amazing reading days. My agenda consists of coffee with the dogs; taking place as we speak, followed by another walk in about two hours (as we three were up at six as usual) and then a day of books that will be interrupted solely by an afternoon facial. Ideal day? I think so!
One exciting thing I should mention is my weekend acquisition of an iPhone, which followed my S.O.’s addition of an iPad to our wired life. The main reasons I’m excited: books and the music I can play while reading them. Oh and since my iPod passed away after almost ten years of good service, this just about makes my year. The point of all this techy-talk is basically to illustrate that I have books everywhere I look now. Woo hoo!
One of the coolest discoveries I’ve made in the past year has been Calibre which is an online program that converts file extensions (let’s say you have a Kindle file but need to read it on a Nook, for example.) Recently having learned that some e-books are locked and the file format cannot be converted, there have been several instances where DRM has interrupted the flow of things, but I could still use the Kindle App on my laptop. I could still read anything that was unable to become an EPUB file. DRM (from what I’ve read) is like a lock that is put on e-books to stop sharing or distribution in formats other than what the author intended. There seem to be mixed feelings in the media about this tool, but I can see both its value and it’s pain in the butt potential.
Now, in addition to the glorious Nook I received from Santa, the Kindle app on my computer, and one lost Android phone, Apple has invaded my reading world. And I love it! Briefly exploring the iPad, I was able to read the Times and search for books I want in a fast, efficient manner. Yes, I can do this on my Nook too, but this is a whole new world, is not limited to B&N and can be interspersed with all my emails at once and the ability to browse pics of my pups in between. Bonus!
My little white beauty of an iPhone is something I have wanted for some time now. Thinking about the newsstand shelf looking naked when I brought it home, I was actually dreaming of what to fill it with as I drifted off to sleep last night. Waking up this morning, I peered lovingly at its petite charging frame, and can’t wait to play with it some more. All of this emotion for inanimate objects has made me recall an article that I use in my class as a discussion piece. It revolves around love vs. obsession and is all about the iPhone.
Interestingly, there is a question as to whether people who use the iPhone actually have feelings of love for it. I would have previously giggled and said that was ridiculous. However, looking at all the possibilities with iBooks, I am seriously reconsidering. Funny are the ways in which our mediums evolve. A year ago, I was fighting with myself about how I felt mean to my paper pages if I were to venture into the world of e-readers. Today: download city.
This weekend I visited an awesome indie bookstore in Maplewood, NJ that is aptly named Words. While I did buy two paperbacks, I realized my motivation was different this time. I want to meet the author of The Story of Beautiful Girl at an upcoming event there and immediately thought book signing! The other was Swamplandia, which has a really cool cover that looks as if it has a croc chomp taken out of it. I simply can’t resist things like that.
I know that it will always be a comfort; and often an instinctual reaction, to gravitate towards the printed page for me…BUT I also know that my eyes are continuously opened further to all of the data-covered bliss I can have when I add e-books to my libraries two by two. And I love that it’s now libraries plural. As far as my e-books are going, I just finished Campaign Promises by one of my favorite indie authors: Laurel Osterkamp, which is available free from Amazon (what are ye fellow e-readers waiting for?) Next up: Taylor Wilmering’s No Safe Place already in progress on the Nook, along with Blood Harvest for some promising creepy gore.
So no matter what medium you’re reading in, just think of all the possibilities. And remember, whether you go book looking in person, or download your favorite (and usually really well priced) indie title, embrace them all and be kind to your books. Obsession or love aside, books are the unconditional friends who take us away and make us feel better no matter what kind of day we might be having. Read on!