Avid Readers, Occasional Bloggers

Tag: IPad

The curious denial involved in book addiction

book_addict_funny_reading_gift_magnets-rfbc62b02da644f53bf83f3ca128cf0ee_x7js9_8byvr_324I will admit it. I just don’t have the discipline nor motivation to blog on a regular basis.  My life is not suited to it at the moment and I don’t have the drive or will power to overcome that. That’s reality. No matter how I wish it were otherwise.

One thing that did strike me in the week or so since I lasted posted was the curious form of denial that is involved in my book addiction.  Yes, despite not managing to produce content on this blog I continue to collect books in an alarming rate (and read them at a not too shabby pace).

The denial involves the belief that somehow buying more books than you can ever possibly read is a good use of your resources.  Or that with as many books as I currently have I should be looking for more.  Why do I continue to visit bookstores, browse Amazon and sign up for book content on social media and email? I really don’t need anymore books.  I haven’t counted but I have a great deal of books at home that I have not read (both physical and digital). Hundreds of books I would guess.

The curious denial involved in book addiction

book_addict_funny_reading_gift_magnets-rfbc62b02da644f53bf83f3ca128cf0ee_x7js9_8byvr_324I will admit it. I just don’t have the discipline nor motivation to blog on a regular basis.  My life is not suited to it at the moment and I don’t have the drive or will power to overcome that. That’s reality. No matter how I wish it were otherwise.

One thing that did strike me in the week or so since I lasted posted was the curious form of denial that is involved in my book addiction.  Yes, despite not managing to produce content on this blog I continue to collect books in an alarming rate (and read them at a not too shabby pace).

The denial involves the belief that somehow buying more books than you can ever possibly read is a good use of your resources.  Or that with as many books as I currently have I should be looking for more.  Why do I continue to visit bookstores, browse Amazon and sign up for book content on social media and email? I really don’t need anymore books.  I haven’t counted but I have a great deal of books at home that I have not read (both physical and digital). Hundreds of books I would guess.

Interesting perspective on the Kindle

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air discusses City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson and Commentary’s Peter Wehner.

I have the book on my new Kindle and hope to review it here (hope springs eternal, right?) but I wanted to point out Ed’s interesting perspective on the Kindle:

After seven years of blogging, I had almost stopped book reading entirely.  Blogging is a process that takes up a considerable amount of attention, and I used to tell myself and others that I had no time left for book reading.  Three weeks ago, I bought a Kindle for the First Mate, mainly because the selection of audio books for her was small and the commercial titles rather expensive in CD or cassette format; even the Braille Library is limited in newer releases.  The Kindle has a text-to-speech function that works with most Kindle books, and since she’s already used to the computer-generated voice with her PC, she took to it enthusiastically.

After playing with it for a couple of days to get it set up for her use, I decided to buy one for myself — and I love it.  In the past couple of weeks, I have read The Road to Serfdom, City of Man, Peter Ferrara’s President Obama’s Tax Piracy, re-read The Three Musketeers, The Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy, and bought the subscription to Reason.  (The classics can usually be found for free or for under a dollar.) It’s been a wonderful experience in diving back into what had once been my passion as a child and younger man, and I can’t recommend the experience more highly.  Right now, I’m in the middle of A Shattered Peace by David Andelman, a book about the Versailles Treaty and its repercussions all the way to today.

I chose the Kindle mainly because of the price and the text-to-speech feature, which the Sony and the Barnes & Noble devices didn’t have.  Occasionally I get asked about the iPad, which also serves well as an e-book reader, but the iPad is more costly (around $600 to the Kindle’s $139) and has the backlighting that tires out my eyes.  The 6″ Kindle is more portable and more convenient, at least for me.

American Spectator E-Book Debate

The American Spectator has offered a couple of different perspective on e-books this week.  On Wednesday, Lisa Fabrizio didn’t so much denounce electronic books as worry about what their growth might mean:

And so it was with trepidation that I read last week that Amazon.com announced that for the first time, sales of titles for its Kindle e-readers outpaced those of hardcover books. Now, I’m no luddite when it comes to the advance of technology, but I hope I’m not wrong in predicting that the surge in the sale of e-books is merely a fad and not a trend As we grow more and more into a technologically based society, we are losing touch with the sensible world around us. This push-button lifestyle brings us further and further away from simple pleasures; those that may be enjoyed even without electricity.

As did my father when I was a little girl, I encourage children to read: read anything that catches their fancy and if Kindles are the only means to this end, then fine. But my suggestion to the young is to pick up a real book, love it, and reread it until its pages are yellow and dog-eared and then pass it on to someone else. Then none of you will have cause to pause when someone asks you that popular question: If you had three books to take with you should you ever be stranded on a deserted island, what would they be?

Mark Goldblatt, author of Sloth, responds from the perspective of a reader and an author. He concludes it is not an either or situation:

As unsettling as such innovations may seem, they needn’t encroach on the experience of traditional readers — not even those seduced by the siren song of a Nook, Kindle or iPad. The option of sight reading, of scanning down the page line by line, without using the cursor, will always remain. But the range of new possibilities is sure to impact how writers write; many will write with an e-book specifically in mind. They will become orchestrators as well as wordsmiths — deciding, in the case of Sloth, what to annotate, but, in the future, deciding what to score, what to illustrate and what to animate. The results will be hybrids… not unlike the way today’s graphic novels are hybrids of traditional novels and comic books.

Not surprisingly, I am in the both/and camp. I love my Kindle and its conveinence.  But I also love books qua books. Just one example, my wife and I love to buy classic children’s books at used book stores and library sales because of both the classic stories and their great illustrations.  And lest all the authors out there are worried, yes we enjoy brand new children’s books for similar reasons.  This is something that can’t be replicated on a Kindle – at least right now.

I don’t know how the various markets will work themselves out but I am not afraid that art and illustration and the joys of books as physical objects will disappear.

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