the librarian’s son

I’m embarrassed to say my reading habits haven’t been up to snuff over the last couple years. There was a time when I had a minimum of two books going at a time. But, whether I got busy with work or school or traveling, I kind of got out of the habit of reading. This really does rank up there as a tragedy in my opinion. So, it’s time to snap out of it.

I finally gave in several months ago and got a Kindle. I resisted for a long time using the common arguments. I like the feel and heft of a “real” book in my hands. I like turning pages. Nothing can replace the smell of real print on real pages. In the end, the fact I travel so much won me over. It’s a hassle to carry books around on planes. They’re often heavy. They don’t fit in my pack with my computer and my camera equipment. I stick them in a seat back pocket to take a nap and forget them on the plane. The Kindle just seemed so…practical. So, I relented and bought one.

After two months of owning my Kindle I had a WTF moment. I’d spent over $100 downloading books from Amazon. How was this possible? I don’t buy books! I go to the library. Who the Hell pays for reading?! Apparently, I did. And, I felt duped. My reaction was to stop reading again.

Then, in September, the manna fell from heaven. The Salt Lake City Library finally inked a deal with OverDrive and opened much of its catalog to Kindle owners. Once again, I could borrow a book from the library, only now I could do so on my Kindle. It really is the best of both worlds. I’ve been borrowing books like crazy over the last several weeks and loving every minute of it. Now, I’m building out my reading list for 2012…trying to get a good variety of books included. Some have been on my “list” for years. Others will be re-reads of novels I’ve already tackled, but maybe didn’t fully appreciate at the time.

I just finished one book that’s been on my list for years. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. It’s the first in a trilogy, and the other two are on my 2012 list. All I can say is it was a great way to end 2011. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for me to put into words the thoughts and feelings this book inspired in me, especially when it’s just words that did so. I think the best way to describe it is a sense of loss at finishing such a beautiful story. To leave the time and place and people and come back to the present feels somehow…wrong. And, I think there’s a part of me that wishes I could somehow craft words into something so meaningful. That I could create a world that leaves readers aching for more…closing the cover and sighing, wanting to be back at the beginning before the lessons and the heartache and the knowledge of the cruel nature of reality.

Although, I suppose it would be “sliding the off button” instead of “closing the cover.” But…you know what I mean.

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11 responses to “the librarian’s son

  1. I have been in the anit-kindle club for a while, but my sister got one for Christmas. Since she and I always swap books, I’m going to have to get one myself. I hope I love it as much as you.

  2. Wow. I have been anti-Kindle, too. I thought of getting the Nook reader from Barnes and Noble. I’ve had a reading slump the past few years too and am just getting back to it, very slowly. I got through phases of reading, though. I used to read and re-read certain books, like I have read the first few Chronicles of Narnia books a few times as well as probably the other. I’ve read The Hobbit more than once, I’m sure.

    I just got into non-fiction, which I wonder if it’s because I’m an adult or because my tastes have changed. OR if it’s what I think I’m *supposed to read, which isn’t at all true.

    I’ve tried my hand at a children’s book, haven’t sold any, but it’s just a free self-published deal. I read to my son a good deal ever since he was a newborn, so now he already loves books. Reading is vital in my humble opinion.

    Enjoy your page turners or… sliders?

    • I think we all go through phases…there was a time I’d read ONLY fiction or ONLY non-fiction. Now, I sort of balance the two and I find that really enjoyable. I don’t feel the need to always read something deep, meaningful or true. Every now and then a mindless thriller is the way to go.

      I went with Kindle because it was cheap. Simple. And, most importantly…not backlit, which leads to eye strain, etc. I just wanted something to mimic an actual book and I found that in the basic Kindle.

      Keep reading to your boy…it’s a quality that will be more and more valuable and treasured as time goes on. And…thanks for stopping by!

  3. So I pretty much could have written this entry (cept the part where you actually paid for the books). I was so against it too but it’s been incredible for traveling! And it’s been easier to read in bed. As of now, I read both; if the library doesn’t have the hardcover, I just google and find the free version (I’m a good googler). 😛 My library has it now too so I’m pretty excited!

    Adding that took to my list!

  4. I think you could write something like that. I think you’ve always been able to write something like that. Yam would be so proud.

    I haven’t read any Cormac McCarthy but I heard The Road was pretty amazing. And that he doesn’t use punctuation. What a rebel.

    • He really just doesn’t use quotes. All the other punctuation is mostly there. It’s surprisingly easy to read, too. Lots of Spanish in the first book…not sure if that carries through the others. But, it was a fun refresher for me.

  5. Okay, I’m finally going to stop lurking and comment!

    You have to add The Invisible Bridge to your list. It left me with the same feeling you described. And, I haven’t been able to rekindle (no pun intended) that feeling for another book since I finished it a couple months ago.

    The movie version of the Road was incredible. I bawled. I get teary in movies, but never sob. Bawling, I tell you.

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