Thursday, March 3, 2011

For the Readers

I love to read.  I always have, for as long as I can remember.  I was in pre-K and already reading.  I remember my father getting called to the school being chastised for teaching me to read, after all that was a teacher's job.  He said he didn't.  I don't know how I learned to read, or when, but I've always been a reader. 

I used to win all the library reading challenges in school.  It wasn't difficult for me.  I thought it was great to get rewarded for something I did naturally. 

However, being a voracious reader has it's disadvantages.

Over the course of the years, I've spent a lot of money on books.  I've also been fantatical about no matter where I lived or what I was doing, the first thing, the most important thing, was to get a library card. 

Authors, with the possible exception of James Patterson, just don't put out books quick enough for me. 

I also run the frequent chance of picking up a book to read that I've read before.  I can't remember by title alone if I have read the book, until I'm halfway through the first chapter.  Sometimes I don't mind re-reading the book, it's like discovering an old friend.  But other times, my mind is impatient and wants to devour some new material. 

I've read the gambit, romance, action, thrillers, cookbooks, non-fiction, history, political...heck I even read the role call roster sheets from the Civil War once. 

I'm explaining all this to you, to introduce my favorite bits of technology that has made this reader's life a very happy place to be. 

My newest love is a Nook.  My darling husband bought me one prior to us traveling to the Dominican Republic last year.  His motives were probably selfish, as he had more luggage space that way.  However, my husband is a technology fiend.  I know he did his research and there are tons of e-readers out on the market, but he chose the nook.  It was a wise choice.  His reasoning was that he can pop the cover off, change the battery himself, upgrade memory and a million other tech like things without paying to send it back to the factory to be short, it's technical.  But the other reason he chose it, was because after investigating all the e-readers on the market he said I would never have a problem reading any format, whereas some e-readers are limited.  He was right.  I can read any format, and can download audio books as well.  I can check out e-books from my local library and purchase books from anywhere, and the free books available online are unlimited!!  I've noticed at times the library will have two versions of an e-book.  One format will have a ton of people on a wait list, while I can zip through to check-out with the other format.  Oh, the best thing about an e-book library - I can visit from the comfort of my home in my pajamas!  Happy Happy Day.  I could rave on and on about my nook, but honestly, it has more features than I need, and I would be wasting your time.  If you've been on the fence about getting an e-reader, procrastinate no longer. 

My next great embrace of technology comes in the form of a website, Good Reads.  Even if you do not have an e-reader, this website is a reader's dream come true.  You can chat with your favorite authors, find out when new books are coming out, chat with other reader's in a forum atmosphere, get book recommendations, swap books with others, enter contests for advanced reading copies of new releases, search for any book that has ever been published, and more...One of the most important features to me is my virtual library.  There I can track the books I've read and the books I want to read.  I'll never pick up a book again that I've already read.  It also helps me keep up with which series I'm reading and where I was.  I can make notes to myself, and even give reviews.  A book nerd can get lost on this website.  It's also seemlessly compatible with your facebook account.  Another great feature is a section for e-books.  A quick search for a book will let you know if a book is available in e-format.  If it's free, you can download it right then and there without searching the rest of the internet.  If it's not free, it will provide you with a list of venues where you can purchase the e-book and how much it costs with each vendor. 

I do want to share one more thing about Good Reads...I recently entered a contest for an advanced reading copy of a book, and I won!  I'm eagerly awaiting this new book via parcel post and will review it for Good Reads and you as well.  The book is "Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue" by Kathyrn Atwood.   

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