Letting Go

I’ll just say it–I’m a book collector. I’ve felt comforted by books, both buying and owning them. I guess I was working with the philosophy that I needed plenty of books to choose from. When I was in college, I would go to a used bookstore a few times a year and come home with a plastic bag full of books. More than a decade later, I had shelves and shelves and shelves of books that I hadn’t read. Still more shelves and shelves with books I called “keepers” because my experience reading them moved me in some way.

Then I started reading ebooks. I started by printing them out and reading them as if they were paperbacks. Then I read PDFs on computer. Eventually, I switched to an ereader. By the time I bought a tablet, I realized something: the books I chose from my TBR pile were most often ebooks. I wasn’t reading much in print any more.

One of the reasons was that I was overwhelmed by print books. When you have more than a thousand to choose from–and I don’t think this is an exaggeration–how do you decide on one? My answer was that I didn’t. I’d choose an ebook instead.

This past month I had a major asthma attack, and that led to more reevaluating. I needed to do something about the books that were doing nothing more than taking up space and collecting dust. That meant tackling the TBR pile and deciding which books I still wanted to keep. It also meant looking at my keeper shelves and asking myself which ones I had really read again in the past five or so years.

All of this has led to the great book sorting.

Book Sorting

It’s still a work in progress, but I’m letting a lot of books go. Hundreds of them. It’s scary, but it feels good too. I don’t want to deal with so much dust. I want to be able to find a book I want to read. I want to share books I don’t need with someone who will use them. So I’m sorting.

And I’m learning to be OK with letting go.

Reflecting

I decided to check my Bloglovin’ feed for the first time in a week. After I read Wendy’s post about the romance community, I started thinking about my own reasons for disconnecting. It was partly a burnout issue: I simply wasn’t getting the same pleasure I used to from posting reviews. But there was another key component: the community doesn’t feel safe to me anymore and hasn’t for a long time. I’m sorry to hear that other readers are feeling the same way.

I took comfort in the fact that I’m still reading . . . until I tried to remember the last book I read.

. . .

It hasn’t been that long, has it? A few days maybe? No, weeks. Truth is, I’m several books behind in more than one series. I’ve been stuck partway through two books from authors I normally enjoy very much. It’s a little comforting to know that I’m not the only one who hasn’t felt like reading, but I’m still sad about it. I don’t have any answers at the moment. I’m just reflecting on how things have been and how they are now.

The community is different than it was when I started blogging, but I still believe my community is out there. I’ve made some great friends along the way–people I still consider friends even though we don’t have daily contact like we used to. To those people, I say this: you may feel like you are a lone voice, like what you say doesn’t matter. But you matter to me.

I’m gonna go on writing here every now and then. I hope you’ll continue to share your voice too in whatever way you can.

Changing for the Better?

I noticed that J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover has a new cover. The old one is on the left, the new one on the right.

Dark Lover Olddarklovernew

I am willing to concede that the old cover looks a little dated and the image is a little blurry. But it has a really distinct look. I think they could have played with that image a bit to maintain the look while still updating it.

The new one is just so much like so many other covers out there. Plus I don’t really picture Wrath like that.

What are your thoughts about the covers (whether you’ve read the book or not)?

Reading Marathon

After a rather-long reading drought, I am back to lots of reading. Yay! It feels great. Here’s what I’ve been doing to keep things fun.

  • I have accepted that I am so SICK of paranormals. I read (and loved) them for so long. The problem is I overdosed. So I’m on a paranormal hiatus.
  • I have stopped pressuring myself to finish a book that doesn’t keep my attention. Some books I stop reading because I’m not in the mood for them. Others clearly don’t work for me. Whatever the issue is, I simply stop reading once it stops being fun.
  • I’m reading lots of new adult books. These are the books I wish had been around when I was in that demographic. Since they weren’t, I’m catching up on them now. For now, I can’t get enough.
  • I break things up by reading in a few genres. I’m reading more true crime these days. By the time I finish with them, I’m ready to get back to romance (and vice versa).

I’ve had the urge to write about what I’m reading again, so I’m going to do it.

Locked Out . . . but I’m Back

I’ve been locked out of this blog for months after my PHP was upgraded last autumn. Turns out I had a number of features that didn’t work so well with the new PHP, and that led to a bunch of error messages where a dashboard should be. Lots of searching turned up a solution, finally. And I celebrated by updating the look of the blog. I kind of miss my reading girl heading, but I needed a refresh. Designer Blogs is my go-to place for a new look these days because they offer a nice range of premade designs for WordPress.

I want to start using this blog again, even if it’s just to log what I read without providing much commentary. And I plan to write about a variety of things. For instance, Free Comic Book Day is coming this Saturday, so check to see if your local comic store is participating.

I am about halfway through Dancing with Death, a true-crime book about the murder of Jay Orbin.

Dancing with Death

It’s a fascinating read so far. It helps that the author was able to interview the suspect as well as many of the peripheral characters. It creates a fuller picture of the people involved. More on that when I finish the book.

Thanks to Dear Author, I just picked up Sandy James’ All the Right Reasons. Yet another e-book on the TBR . . . my Kobo is packed with books, but this one sounded good (and is free!) so it’s on my reader now.

Not sure if anyone out there is reading this, but if so, tell me what you are reading these days.

Moody Reader

Moody

I like to read in a lot of genres and subgenres. There’s always been some element of “Am I in the mood for this?” when I pick up a book. Nowadays I’ve gone past reading when I am in the mood and am downright moody. I am making Wendy proud by frequenting my local library. Last week I picked up several graphic novels and a few romances, including one I picked up from the new books section. It looked promising, so when I got home, I picked it up.

Then I noticed the copyright page.

The book is by an author I’ve read several times before. None of her books have been keepers. I’m gonna pass on this one too; it’s going back to the library. Life is too short and I’ve got too many books around the house to read something I’ve lost interest in.

See what I mean? Moody.

Now I just need to figure out what I’m in the mood for . . .

Disturbed

Disturbed

I ordered a new Kobo. It was probably inevitable. I just couldn’t bring myself to switch to another device, and I can’t afford a tablet at the moment. So it’s on the way, along with a two-year warranty. I’ll reevaluate then.

I downloaded a book by an author I typically enjoy. I read it this week and did not enjoy it. It’s set in an unconventional time period. It’s also a setting I know a bit about, so I kept ticking off inaccuracies and things that seemed unlikely. That wasn’t the worst of it, though.

The heroine is raped about 2/3 of the way through the book. Frankly, if I’d known this, I wouldn’t have bought the book. I was of course disturbed by the scene but I was also disturbed by the ease with which the heroine overcomes this. Sure, she pulls away from her lover at first, but after one tentative, yet passionate interlude, she’s back to normal, more or less.

It didn’t work for me.

I have read a number of books where a heroine (and sometimes a hero) struggles with rape or sexual abuse from the past. I very much appreciate it when this process is shown as a process, and not a simple one. It seems inappropriate to introduce it more than halfway through a novella and then expect readers to feel it is wrapped up nicely by the end.

So, yeah, the book disturbed me.

Oh well. I’m moving on to the next one. Just haven’t decided what that will be yet. Any non-disturbing suggestions?

A Purchase

Made my first e-book purchase from Borders today. I decided to download Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Ice Princess. I looked around at other books as well. I wish e-books were cheaper in general. I’d love to get some more, but I’m going to look for sales. :)

Kobo

After five years of reading e-books and four years of having an e-book published, I finally got an e-reader.

Kobo

I’ve had it for a few days, and I really like it. It’s light, easy to use, and I’ve been getting a lot of use out of it. I’m finally reading many of the e-books I’ve had but just never got around to reading because I didn’t want to read them on the computer.

It’s not going to replace print books for me, but it’s a nice supplement. I’m using it a lot right now because it’s new, so I’ll be curious to know how much I use it six months from now.

A Puzzler

I’ve been listening to Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaway series on audiobook. My current “listen” is Mine Till Midnight, which really doesn’t match the book. My hunch is that an ARC was used as a script for the audio; then the book—and one character in particular—was revised/added to before publication. I’m now on CD five of eight, so I’m interested to see how the differences will continue.

I’m a bit familiar with this phenomenon as I’ve heard it before on one of the In Death audios—I believe it was Survivor in Death. The changes didn’t seem as extreme, however.

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