Congratulations, Amazon

The newest Kindle iteration has come just in time. I was already considering an e-reader for my birthday this November, but hadn’t quite been convinced of what I wanted. The announcement of a smaller, simpler Kindle has sealed the deal for me. It’s cheaper, and doesn’t have unnecessary bells and whistles that I really don’t want on a device used for reading books.

My primary purpose for ever wanting an e-reader has been to carry a selection of texts with me in a lightweight and ultra-portable device. The opportunity to download all those free books is just a delight for me, because while I love real books and always will, I usually can’t justify buying many of them with my budget. There’s an entire library worth of old books that are now free to acquire, and I will finally get a chance to read, or re-read the “classics”.

I find it a real chore to read novel-length works on my computer screens, and indeed, I still haven’t finished reading a small handful of e-books I’ve already bought/downloaded because it’s just uncomfortable and inconvenient. I want to be able to read in bed, or at the park, or in the car.

Of course, I doubt I’ll ever use an e-reader as my primary reading source. Books have too many things that you can’t recreate electronically. They feel good, and have textured pages. They smell of paper and ink and other books. There’s the sound of turning the page, and the satisfying faint clomp of closing the book when you’ve finished a great story. The cover art, and browsing the spines, and the small details like publisher logos…

One thing I definitely won’t mind is a lack of dust covers! I always take them off my hardcover books when reading, since I tend to tear them otherwise. But I really do hope my eventual experience with the newest Kindle exceeds my expectations. Even if I resent the idea that my books can run out of battery. 😉

~A

Re-reading

I haven’t been reading very many new books recently. I’ve just been way more interested in revisiting stories I’ve already read through. I’ve acquired new books (or as is more likely the case, second-hand books which I haven’t read before), and just not found much reason to delve into them.

I try and analyse why I feel this way. There’s a lot to be said for already knowing I enjoy a story. I guess as I feel like reading time is some pretty prime real estate in my daily life, I don’t always want to use that time on a book that I may not love at the end of it all. When I re-read a story, it’s because I remember just enough of it that I know I will feel great about it afterwards.

I’ve never been one of those people who remembers a book really thoroughly, and that serves me extra well when I take to re-reading. I know the general gist of the story, but there are still parts that I don’t remember until I’m reading it again. Even in my most favourite book, which has been given well over twenty read-throughs, still gives me entertainment from my poor memory for details.

Of the new books I have read, I’ve enjoyed all of them. They’ve all been awesome, so the investment was well worth it. I don’t know why I am so hesitant to give the other books a chance, since there have been very few books in my life that I have actively disliked.

I think part of it, too, is that I love to re-read stories and see what makes them work. Why do I like it, how does the writer do it, what makes this story successful? Re-reading gives me new perspectives on books, because the first read-through is almost entirely for my enjoyment of a story. I don’t tear them apart until I already know what happens. So maybe my desire to read old books stems more from a desire to learn about the craft, even when that isn’t my total conscious decision.

Whatever the case, it’s always nice to meet up with old friends in good stories, and enjoy their tale once more.

~A