Thursday, August 5, 2010

Electronically Tethered Part Deux

I love to read. I love it. Anything. Everything. Yes, I was the kid who always read the back of the cereal box and each and every sign on the road. Aloud. (And my mother let me live, so that was kind and giving of her). I read new books as fast as I can get my hands on them and even have to have DSD hide them from me if it is a time I should be reading school books or studying for a test. I usually have a book in my purse, in my car, and in my backpack, with stacks as yet unread at my house.

When I was younger (read: more poor) I borrowed books from the library and I bought at used book stores. Then, of course, I returned those books to the used book store for credit for MORE used books. There were a few that I owned and carried through each successive move, but less than 5 probably. I did check out books (occasionally) that I had already read, but I thought everyone did.

Somewhere, however, I realized that I was no longer living paycheck to paycheck, that there were a few dollars left at the end of each month and (brilliant idea!) why couldn’t I actually buy a book or 2? (or 200?) This happened to coincide with my mother’s foray into
!Book Clubs! Buy 1, Get 10 Free! *You must then buy 1 book a month at OUTRAGEOUS PRICES for the rest of your natural life*

Ok, it wasn’t quite that bad, but she started buying and I started buying, hard covered books, some in Large Print and then we would get together and trade books.

And there were a lot of books.

One Sunday, several years ago, I decided to catalog all of my books. Sort them. Put them back on the shelves in alphabetic order after placing them in an Excel spreadsheet. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. DSD was not home at the time, but when he returned he almost had a stroke, because there were books strewn across the entire living room.

We have a pretty large living room by normal people standards (as opposed to billionaires or Royalty). Our living room has allowed persons under 5 feet tall to perform a series of acrobatic moves, like cart wheel, back flip, split. But I digress.

At the end of the day all of the books had been categorized and returned to the shelves in alphabetic order and I had an Excel spreadsheet of over 300 books.

So I got rid of a couple (maybe 4 or 5) paperbacks that I wasn’t going to read again and I continued to buy books.

I don’t keep all of them. Some I receive from my mom and I pass on to others or donate them to the Senior Center and Goodwill or I give them to her and she passed them onto various relatives.

But the numbers grew. And grew. And grew.

Until finally poor DSD had a choice to make. Should he call that show “Hoarders?”

Or should he just break down, cough up the money, and buy me a Kindle? For my birthday in April. It was incredibly unexpected and I was speechless for over 30 seconds. And then I cried. And he was very proud of himself. My husband rocks.

So now I own a Kindle. And I don’t have to have books on every surface anymore**. I have them all in my purse. The technology is simple. The reading is easy. The purchasing is easy… too easy, I can spend $30 in less than 3 minutes without ever getting up from the computer.

But there are many, many authors whose work I would never have tried had their books not been Free for download. I have read many books, then purchased the author's next book because the first one was so good. I have downloaded over 100 since the end of April. I have not read even close to that many, but I am loving the freedom that having all (ok, some)*** of my books on the eReader brings.

And DSD is loving the fact that he no longer fears huge stacks of books will fall on his head.

**Ok, they are all hidden behind the loveseat, which is not pushed up against the wall. But I am out of books shelves (and space for bookshelves) and I will eventually read and pass on all of those paperbacks.
***My plan is to eventually replace many of my hard backs with downloaded books, but I will never give up all of them.


Carl (aka Sofarsogoo) said...

Hi, Lady!
It's great to see that you're finally back!
And your reappearance shows that there's nothing wrong with letting hope spring eternally.
Throughout the seven or eight months of your putting nothing on your site, I had been checking it every few days, for at no time did I fear that you had demised. And in fact I knew that you were doing pretty much what you said you did.
Actually your absence created an interesting exercise in wondering what is the best thing to do when someone suddenly drops out of sight online.
I guess the only sensible answer is to do whatever one is inclined to do.

LeftLeaningLady said...

My plan is to STAY back, but we all know how crazy life get. I did not mean to be gone for as long as I was, but after a while it just felt weird to come back. I am glad you are doing well!