Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books, Books, Books

This shelf of reference books is located within an arm's reach behind me as I sit at my computer desk.  I, being of a curious and inquiring mind, have turned to them many, many times.  Some, like the tattered dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus are well worn, others not so much.

Lest you think, by looking at the book titles, that I'm overly interested in "English Literature," let me haste to tell you that my day-to-day reading is eclectic, to say the least.  I have become enthralled by a highly suspenseful thriller, intrigued by a well-crafted mystery, amused by an English 'cozy', and have spent hours reading non-fiction (usually scientific) books, works of a religious nature, or other more serious tomes.  While I readily admit to being a murder mystery fan, I soon learned that there are books in that genre that I do not care to read.  Many an otherwise potentially interesting and well-written story has been ruined (in my opinion) by gratuitous violence, unnecessarily coarse language or entirely too descriptive sexual activity.  If I encounter any of the above "ruiners," that's the page on which I stop reading, and the book goes back from whence it came. These days,that would be the library.

I have no idea how much money I have spent on books in my life time.  More than enough, I'm sure, had I diverted the same amount to a savings account, to keep me in much more comfortable circumstances than I currently enjoy.

When I moved to my present (small) home, I placed thousands of boxed books in a rented storage facility, where they sat for several years. Many were sold (for a pittance) at our church's annual rummage sales, and I donated well over 1,000 to the local Friends of the Library.  My personal collection has been pared down to a few choice 'keepers,' probably fewer than 100.

In a long-ago post, I admitted to being a pack rat.  I keep all sorts of things, most of which are non-essential but which I cannot bring myself to throw out.  While rummaging in my favorite rat's nest, looking for something else, I ran across a combined monthly calendar/address book from 1999.  I re-discovered that, in the notes section for every month, I had recorded the books I read and, like a school teacher, gave them a grade. The grades are only a reflection of my personal enjoyment of the book, not intended to indicate in any way the skill of the author -- I am not a literary critic.  So, I won't share my "grades" but I will share with you what I read in January, 1999.

The Great Deliverance - Elizabeth George
Pandora's Clock - John J. Nance
The Last Family - John Ramsey Miller
Rose Cottage - Mary Stewart
The Last Day - Glenn Kleier
The Cold Heart of Capricorn - Martha C. Lawrence
The Gourmet Detective - Peter King
Spiced to Death - Peter King (I must have liked his first one)
The Ming and I - Tamar Meyers
Bad Medicine - Aimee Thurlo
Bonjour Miss Seeton - Hamilton Crane
Snow in August - Pete Hamill

January, 1999, was filled, for the most part, with literary fluff.  But I least I was reading.  In January, 2011, I have completed not one single book.  Shame on me!

KINDLE -  I wrote here that my sister had gifted me with a Wi-Fi Kindle.  Not having a wireless setup in my home, I needed to exchange it for the 3G model, which I did today. The new one is due to arrive on January 19.  Amazon was so nice about the exchange that I gave them a bit more business by purchasing a lighted book cover for it.  I've already been perusing the list of FREE books available for the Kindle.  With limited discretionary funds, I don't think I want to pay for a book that I can obtain from my library.  But --- we'll see! 

Tomorrow is also a day. 


Betsy from Tennessee said...

I don't have a Kindle --but have heard over and over how wonderful they are. I just know that you, since you love to read, will really enjoy it...

Enjoy your reading.... It's important to keep your brain active!!!!


Marvin said...

I used to read quite a lot, but between this computer and books on tape and CDs, my reading of fiction has pretty much come to a halt.

Both my wife and I are pack rats. We may not have a lot, but what we have we never seem to be able to part with. Recently I came across a 1966 Esso road map for Wisconsin -- and I've never even been to Wisconsin.

Hope you enjoy your Kindle.

rhymeswithplague said...

Betsy, telling Pat how to keep her brain active is like telling Niagara Falls how to flow. She don't need no help!

I like books about language. My bookshelf includes Theodore Bernstein's The Careful Writer, Hayakawa's Language in Thought and Action, and of course the old Strunk & White.

Pat, I wonder if you have read any of Jan Karon's books -- her Mitford series, or Home to Holly Springs, or her newest, In the Company of Others? A bit fluffy, maybe, but humorous and heartwarming, too, I'd warrant, especially to an Episcopalian like yourself.

I have been to Wisconsin just once, when a plane bound for Chicago was diverted to Milwaukee. They put us on a bus and returned us to O'Hare. My luggage got to Omaha long before I did. I could have used Marvin's road map.

Didn't mean to hijack your comments section....

Snap said...

i'm thinking pack rat and books go together! I've been stuck in the brain candy mode for awhile now. That's okay ... it is reading!


NitWit1 said...

You will love the Kindle. I have a 3g which can also WiFi. It is is the 9" one --all they had at the time. I would have like the smaller one. I downloaded 30 books I think, some classics likethe complete works of the Bronte family and nearly finished with JANE EYRE.

I downloaded two of my favorite inspirational write Max Lucado for about $5 and read one, IMAGINE A LIFE WITHOUT FEAR 3x when in the Ar. Heart Hosp.

I expect I'll be back in some LR hospital in April. I am trying to hang on until Shelly's male church friend is back from his annual sabbatical in warm Arizaona who I know will sit with him. This is usually a 4-8 hour procedure.

I hope I get this all coordinated for both of us as we have no family near. I considered several good places in Texas but as of now don't see any advantage except some family (mine).

This is a procedure, no surgery, and of course as with anything, has its unfortunate possibilities, like stroke and heart attack. Gotta read that book again.

Arkansas Patti said...

Pat, you will love your Kindle. I have almost 100 TBR books in mine plus the 52 I have read that are stored for me at Amazon. I can carry them all with one hand.
With a little searching through Amazon's best seller list on the computer which also has as many free books,you should never run out. I have been amazed at the quality of the first time author books.
I have only paid for a handful of my 150 books. Happy reading.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Pat you are going to love your Kindle, but you do need to spend 99c a month and order the blog newsletter called - Free Books for Kindle and other Tips. If you go to the Kindle store and click on blogs it's the #1. We get free books every week thanks to this small investment.

I also highly recommend the Mitford books by Jan Koran, they are wonderful. Plus have you read the Ivy Malone Mysteries, I am really enjoying them and they are more like a Miss Marple.

George said...

I'm reluctantly starting the pare down my book collection -- as a matter of fact I dropped off some for our local friends of the library this morning. I don't want to think of how much money I've spent on books over the years, but I have hundreds. I read mostly histories. I have an iPad, but haven't downloaded any ebooks yet.

Glenn Kleier said...

Hi, Pat,

I saw on your blog where you gave my novel, The Last Day, a mention. Not sure if you enjoyed it, but I wanted to thank you regardless. If you're interested, a new book is coming, another spiritual suspense/thriller, years in the researching and writing. I'd be happy to share some details if you wish. Please feel free to drop me a line at: Meanwhile, here's a link to a publisher's release on the book:

Thanks again, and best wishes to you for the New Year,

Glenn Kleier

Moannie said...

I thought about a Kindle, Pat, but I cannot imagine not having my shelves overstuffed with books I have read, loved and kept to read again. Books I read, because they were there and which are waiting to be taken to my fav. Charity shop. Books waiting to be read, and books I'll never read because though they are old and look lovely, they are in French.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

I'm torn.
My new self wants one but the old fashioned girl that I really am says: traitor!

Anna said...

There is room in my life for my personal library and my Kindle, it's not an either/or for me. As a bibliophile I have continued to buy certain printed books in the few years I've had a Kindle (early adopter) but as someone who reads constantly also find the Kindle invaluable for travel, living in my purse, and reading in bed. OH, reading in bed without the hardcover falling off the bed!

Pat, as far as buying books, Amazon began enabling book loaning a few weeks ago. It's limited right now until publishers begin given permission, which they will, and it's easy. I tested it with a few friends. I send them an email, they click on the link to accept the loan, and they have the book for two weeks. I do NOT have access to the book for those two weeks, just as I would not if I loaned a hard copy. Many of your old TBR friends also have Kindles and I suspect we should start a loaning list soon!

freerangegirl said...

Hi Pat, thanks for reading my site, its lovely to meet new people. I am really enjoying your blogs and love the photographs. I too have spent my lifes earnings mostly on books. Bookshelves have become integral to the interior of the entire house!
I really relate to your love of rating books and logging them. Have you discovered shelfari yet? theres a link on my site, its a great online book community where you can recommend and record you reads etc - i think you'd like it.
Look forward to reading more!