Jun 172011
 

When I was in school, I did not inspire a lot of love from my friends when we had English assignments due. This was in large part due to the fact that I am a natural speed reader. I had then (and have now) the highly irritating ability to blaze through a book and remember most of the details. As a child, I was quizzed on a lot of homework assignments until my parents realized I wasn’t making it up – I really was reading the assignment, and I really did know what I read.

This creates some unique issues for the adult me. I still love to read, I still go through books at a fairly brisk pace, and I am developing enormous space issues. Where does one put all of these books?

One answer, and this is a pretty cool one, is a bookstore that bills itself as an entertainment recycling center. (You may know the one I mean, but I’m not sure about naming it.) When I must have a paper copy of a book, I go there first – because hey, why not get it used? This has a couple of advantages. Here are the two I like best: I can get used books when available, and I can turn my books in – with certain restrictions – and get credit toward a new book. This is a good system for frequent readers.

The second answer – brace yourself, purists, because I’m going there – is an e-reader. There’s too much choice on the market today for this not to be a choice that is at least evaluated by people. I have a nook, the Barnes & Noble e-reader.

I got one not long after they came out, and based on what I’ve seen in the last six weeks or so, what I have is now a nook 1st edition. The 1st edition nook has a Lend Me feature where you can lend certain books to friends with a nook for 14 days. There are some slight design changes in the new nook, but it looks as if the biggest difference is that it features more integration with friends, making it a more social tool as well.  nook Friends bills itself as a type of social network, and I’ll be interested to see how that develops.

I also have the nook for PC app on my laptop, and I love it. The app syncs with the nook device, so all of my books are on my laptop as well as my nook.  I’m covered, which is an excellent thing for an obsessive reader.

I read both ways. The paper copies of books sitting on my desk right now are Hounded and Hexed, the first two books in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, and Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. The next book on my nook is Jasper Fforde’s One of our Thursdays is Missing.

Let’s talk. Tell me how you read. Do you have a nook? A Kindle? An iPad? Have you gotten the PC or Mac apps for nook or Kindle? Tell me how they work for you.

*post title shamelessly misquoted from Dame Agatha Christie

About Ashley Crump

Ashley and her minders, two very strict black cats, make their home on the bayou. One fine day, Ashley finally realized she did not want to write the Great American Novel -- she wanted to understand how writing worked. She set about doing this, and you are seeing her results. It's a long-term project. Enjoy! [The cats do her proofreading...]

  10 Responses to “Come, tell me how you read. *”

  1. I read a mix of physical books and eBooks, using my original Nook. I got the Nook for Christmas last year, and I love it. I’d use it exclusively, but I have a weakness for Half-Price Books and buying books at garage sales.

  2. Oh, I really miss living in a place that has a Half-Price Books!

  3. Why not just use the library?

  4. I read in many ways.

    I still have a tall stack of regular old paper books in my “to read” pile. But, I am trying very hard to not add any more to that pile, except books that either are better in physical format (I just purchased House of Leaves) or that I know I will want to hold onto for a long time (I still plan on having physical copies of all the Dresden Files books).

    I have an iPad which I use for reading all of my PDF books, which are mostly gaming books. Gaming books, being art-heavy, chart-heavy, and layout-sensitive, do not convert well to other formats. Thanks to the DTRPG relief bundles, I now have a couple hundred gaming books in PDF format. I\’m fairly slow about working my way through those, though, because the iPad has many distractions from reading.

    I now have a Kindle, which I very much enjoy reading. One of the best things is that I have discovered the huge trove of free ebooks from the Gutenberg project. I\’ve been catching up on swashbuckling classics, pulp, and mythologies of other cultures. It is really nice, especially when commuting, but I do find that I seem to be a slower reader on it.

  5. I read books almost exclusively in physical form. I plan on getting an Android tablet some time in the hopefully near future, which will house my rpg pdf’s and comics. But for novels I’ll keep to paper books as long as I can.

    Having my “Complete Chronicles on Conan” book on a pdf just wouldn’t be the same. ^^

  6. @Tracy — I had every expectation of using the nook exclusively, but it didn’t quite work with that. I am, most of the time, managing to be a little more selective about what I purchase on paper.

    @ConantheOctagenarian — Libraries are an excellent point to bring up! That’s a good place for paper books and I understand that some libraries allow digital books to be checked out now as well. I’m not sure how that works… but it’s definitely worth checking out.

    I’m glad you brought that up.

    @Lugh — I understood about half of that. :) I’m learning, though. It’s funny that you mention the Dresden Files (which I really like too); one of the series that I think I will always have on paper is Butcher’s Codex Alera.

    Am I understanding that PDF files work best for gaming books when they’re in electronic formats?

    I find that I do read a little slower on the nook than paper books. I have to go back and flip pages more than I do in paper books.

    @inkBot — I’m going to show my ignorance here. Is the image quality the same in comics when you read them on a tablet?

  7. I love my Nook so much it’s disgusting. I have read a greater variety of authors and genres since I got it than I EVER have before it. It is GLUED to me, now, for various breaks at work. I’m all on eReaders, all the way.

  8. Well, I have an iPad and, before buying it (I wanted and iPad to store some videos, access web fast and use good apps available from AppStore), I thought that reading in a mobile dispositive, without touching in the paper, would be very hard.

    But today, I think I’m using it much more when comparing it to physical books, and the main thing that makes me moving to it is the storage option: you can have thousands of great books in the touch of your fingers, and consuming almost nothing of space!

    I’ve never tried a Nook to compare it with iPad, but on iPad I love Kindle App and iBooks and, with this last one, you can view a PDF in Safari Browser and instantly move it to your app, so you don’t need to sync with your PC or Mac to read new books everytime. :D

  9. My wife and I are in the process of organizing our office/library. 2000+ books and not enough shelf space!

    Having said that, I wouldn’t give them up. I enjoy my collection and I’m a re-reader, so it all gets used again, eventually.

  10. I still prefer physical books, although sadly a small New York apartment doesn’t allow much space, so increasingly I read ebooks on an iPad. Like Tracy, I used to have an addiction to Half-Priced (when I lived in Austin) but I’ve tried to seriously limit my physical book library

    Thank for share :)

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