ladyloveswolves7: Beaugi bear (Default)
I have never had a wide circle of friends and my family is not large. The friends that I made in my life, few of them were readers. Those that were readers never read the same books as me. I consider myself an eclectic reader. I drift from genre to genre, subject to subject on a whim or a mood. I love lists and book lists in particular. Over the course of my long life I have read most of the classics but never fell in love with them. People who rave about Jane Austen make me wonder about myself. In some ways I think that I have not read all of Jane Austen out of sheer stubbornness. I should have so I won’t…pout.

I recently read a book blog by another book crazy lady and went through her list of the books she had read in the last five years. My first reaction was …I am falling behind popular culture. So many books, so little time. Am I wasting my time on books that are not worthy? In 2015 I challenged myself to 250 books (which I shall soon increase to 300). Goodreads Challenge…I am up to 218 books. For sure this year I am reading quantity, not quality but I am also reading what comforts me these days. I no longer read books that challenge my mind, are considered ‘good’, are best sellers, are life affirming or any other reason for reading. I do not want my emotions shifted, my heart moved, my mind increased. Been there, done that. All my life I kept a binder in which I wrote the title of every book I ever read. The thing is massive because reading has always been the be all end all of my life. It is my addiction, my only true friend but that friend is not classy, overly intelligent, famous or ageless. He changes frequently from science fiction to fantasy to mysteries to romances, to biography. Books of quotations, books about reading, books about cooking (I who never cook…read cookbooks). Books of jokes and books of cartoons. I have to possess books; going to the library doesn’t suit me any more…though when I was a child it was my favourite place in the whole world. On Tumblr…pictures of book shelves and libraries are what hold my interest most. There are books I read almost yearly. I have books that I have read thirty times. Funny things can put me off, I read Lord of the Rings ten times before the movie came out and now cannot read it at all. I have had my Harlequin romance years (the early years before sex), my Barbara Cartland phase, Georgette Heyer. I did read a couple Jacqueline Susann books but no Jackie Collins. A few Harold Robbins back in the day. Patrick O’Brien series is wonderful but work so I read Dudley Pope’s Ramage or Alexander Kent’s Bolitho more often. I fall in love with writers….Harlan Ellison, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote. There are writer’s whose lives are more interesting to me than their actual writing…like Virginia Woolf. I am set in my ways and time is short. It breaks my heart that there are so many books I might like to taste but don’t because time is limited and I would rather stick with my favourite ones. Still, I sometimes feel I am doing a disservice to my brain, that I am not reading up to my potential, that I am missing a lot of life. Then I listen to the news and realize…life is not what it is cracked up to be and I will continue to read stuff that doesn’t stir me to grief and tears or to nausea. In other words, reading lite…nothing too taxing. I go on binges in categories…one book leading to another as fast as I can buy and read. I do not write much on Tumblr, Dreamwidth and WordPress. I save photos on Pinterest. I have a Twitter account but do not tweet. I have a Facebook but seldom post anything…just look at what shows up on my feed. I am connected but not involved and that just about sums up my life in books I read but not much sticks. I have notebooks filled with quotes and lines that I fell in love with in books and feared I would forget or never come across again. I buy mostly paperbacks so I can underline and annotate. I can reread any of my books frequently…one of the side benefits of reading quickly and not absorbing. I love when a single line in one book or a name will send me to Google or to Amazon and off on a tangent to a new interest, a new series. I am not an adventurous reader…or at least I do not think I am. I am not that fussy about quality of writing. There are very few books in my life that I didn’t finish and of those only one I regret…Proust’s Remembrance. I think I grew too old to appreciate it and the last time I tried I realized there was no point. I am totally incapable of writing reviews of books I have read…I cannot break them down into what was good and what was bad or what was well written and what was not. I could recap with spoilers the entire thing but that is not a review. I have no discernible taste as far as I know. I have never read a book I hated or could not finish because it was awful. I also have seldom read a book I thought was absolutely fabulous. Books are either keepers or ones I know instantly I will never read again. When I am asked to rate books I am always ticked off that there are not enough stars. Often my feeling is 3 stars are too few and 4 stars are too many and my lack of discrimination makes me hesitant to ever use 5 stars. Books are like chocolate….even poor quality chocolate is great stuff.
ladyloveswolves7: Beaugi bear (Default)
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, and ebooks. I love books and reading to the exclusion of all else except maybe my pets. Given a choice between television and a book, TV loses every time. Socializing is given a pass every time. People lose out on my company if I have to choose between company and a book. I am eternally grateful to be retired so that all the hours of my day can be allocated to books. Sunshine doesn't see me as much as I am tempted by its beauty...I cannot read outside so the great weather is outside the picture window. I follow book blogs on Tumblr and people who love books on Facebook. I collect pictures of libraries, bookshelves, books, book memorabilia and crafts about books 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 reader 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 often 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 spend 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 and 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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July 2017

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