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.