Posted in Bookish Confessions

Bookish Confessions: In Defense of E-Readers

 

Hey everyone. It’s me again, here to confess something else. I. Love. E-Readers.

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I know that in the Reading Community there’s a divide between whether e-readers are good or bad. I remember when they first started up and people were afraid that it was gonna be the end of print books. It’s been a while now and we see that it hasn’t been, but e-readers still cause divides in the book community. I, for one, am 100% in favor of them. Which I know I don’t use mine as much, but I still believe they are amazing. Why?

Well first, they a convenient size and can hold a ton of books. I’m packing for a trip right now, and while I’m bringing some physical books, I’m loving that the kindle can fit right into my carry-on bag without taking much room. Plus I can have a ton more books on my Kindle than I can in my suitcase. It fits snuggly in my work bag and I can bring it to conferences to have during the lunch breaks. And honestly, these days the battery life really is amazing.

Now I won’t try and use prices as point in e-readers favor, as it seems that lately you only save a few bucks. But if you sign up with things like BookGorilla or Overdrive through your library you can get free books that way. Plus, it’s online shopping, except your purchase shows up right away, rather than waiting for it to ship!

Now my biggest reason though, is because it has been the best thing for queer people in ages. I first bought a Kindle when the very first one came out. The second I saw it I knew I had to have it. I was working at a Hungry Howie’s and my next paycheck went straight towards that and one book. As soon as it was in my hands, I hid myself in my room and search the Amazon website for hours and hours until I found the perfect book. The thing was, I was in the closet at this time. While I’m sure many suspected, no one knew I was queer. So this was my chance to finally read a queer book. I finally settled on The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd (which I have not regretted as shown by this review) and stayed up all night to read it. Finally, I had found the books meant for me. I spent hours finding all sorts of queer books that were self-published and free that I could read without anyone being the wiser. I could sit in the living room with family and read the book without them knowing I was queer. Even after I first came out, I was still too nervous to go purchase a queer book in a bookstore. Kindle was the answer to that for me. While I now have no issue buying queer books now, I still use the Kindle to access a ton of diverse queer novels.

Overall, the choice is up to you. You can buy an e-reader or not. You can read physical books or not. Hell, you can read at all or not. The issue comes in when we try and shame or put others down because they don’t like to do things the same way we do.

But that’s just my feelings I guess.

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Posted in Bookish Confessions

Bookish Confession: Did Not Finish

My name is Robin and I have a confession.

  *This is where you’d all say “Hi Robin” before I begin*

I do not always finish a book. Back before I went to college, I always had to finish any book I started. No matter what. But since I tend to be a one-book-at-a-time kind of guy that means it could be a while before I can start the next book.

However, when I was in college I did two internships, 5 classes per semester, and a volunteer program so my reading took a backburner. The second I finished school I threw myself back into reading. And that’s when it hit me that, if I want to read all the books I want to read, why waste time on a book I don’t want to read. I typically give a book about 50 pages, and if I’m not interested I just move on. Honestly, it’s helped free up my time to read books I’m actually enjoying rather than just reading to read.

Now, I don’t just throw away books like the picture at the top suggests! I’m not a total monster. And I realize that just because I don’t like a book doesn’t mean someone else won’t. I typically just sell it back to the used bookstore or even donate it to the Friend’s of Library store. And I typically won’t give a full review to a book I didn’t finish. Unless there’s something EXTREMELY terrible about it, in which I’ll definitely discuss it.

So there it is. I’m a DNFer (that stands for Do-Not-Finish in case you’re not used to seeing that acronym) and I’m okay with it. But what about you?

Posted in Bookish Confessions

Bookish Confession: Read It Again

I have a confession. And it’s a two-parter.

*deep breath* I don’t reread books. Well, that’s not entirely true, but it’s mostly true. I reread only about three books normally. I reread Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary because I’ve loved that book since I first read it as a child and makes me want to be a writer. It’s honestly why I will email authors to this day just to let them know how much I loved their work. I reread The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin because I love Turtle Wexler and I discover something new each time I read it. And I reread The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd because it was the first Queer Fiction book I’d ever read. It still holds a special place in my heart and always will. But other than that, I don’t reread books. I may reread a book if a new one in the series came out. Sometimes I’ll reread a book if the author came out with a new one and I’m feeling nostalgic. But generally, I read a book, I sit with it for a minute, and then I move on. It’s not because they aren’t wonderful books. It’s just that my list of books to be read is so high, I’d rather read a new thing than something I’ve already experienced.

Not such a big deal, right? Well, here’s part two: I don’t keep most of my books. Judging from the Facebook pages I follow and the blogs I read, this is sacrilege. But I just don’t see the point of keeping the book if I’m not gonna read it again. Now, I do agree that a house filled with books looks like a home, but seeing as I have 577 books in my house (that’s a literal number as I keep track with Libib) and have only read about 20 of them, I think my house is looking quite nicely like a home. I do keep copies of the three books I read again and again. And I keep a lot of my queer books, but that’s because I have a secret dream of one day running a Queer Bookstore.

But even that is slowing changing. After seeing a request to loan queer books out to those without access on Libib, I jumped at the chance. Because, here’s my thing, books deserve to be loved. By anyone and everyone who can. So why should I limit by books to a life on the shelf where they will probably never be picked up again, when I can pass them on. Sometimes I take them to used bookstores. Occasionally I take them to the local Goodwill. When I’m passing by I’ll stop off at one of the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood (seriously, whoever invented that deserves every award imaginable). If I know someone who will enjoy it, I’ll just mail it straight to them. And everyone once and a while, I’ll just hand a book to a stranger. Just two weeks ago, someone commented on a book I had brought with me to the beach (I was on vacation from work, my first in the four years since I started my job) and I just told her to take it. There will always be books out there and there will always be readers. So why shouldn’t I share those books with any reader who wants them?

But that’s just me. What about you?