Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Reads


As I recently learned from a communications training at work, I am an analytical/amiable person. Ok, I didn't need someone else to tell me this, I already know this. As an analytical person though, I love making lists. It helps me not forget things and I like to be orginized.

Goodreads is a fantastic website where you can orginize the books in your life. I love to read, and with goodreads I can easily keep track of all the books that I want to read as well as easily find more books that I would enjoy reading. You can see what your friends are reading and what books they enjoy.

Goodreads also has free giveaways where you can enter to win free books. I currently have won a free signed copy of "Dark Life" by Kat Falls (I should receive it in a couple of weeks). Goodreads is the best source to find something to read. You can look up authors, genres, and it will also recommend books you might like. Everyone who likes to read should log onto goodreads.com and get started.

"Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage"

What a fascinating read. Real life stories of submarine missions during the cold war. History teachers teaching about this time should somehow incorporate a story or two from this book. One of the most interesting stories was about finding an underwater Russian communications cable and putting a tap on it. It is amazing how quickly our Naval technology advanced during this time. Bottom line - Submarines are awesome, and a book about their secret missions is also awesome.

"The Shadow Thieves"

Written by Anne Ursu, the first book in her Cronus Chronicles. This is a young adult book and as such makes for a quick read. The main character is 8th grader Charlotte Mielswetzski (Meals-wet-ski). She and her cousin Zee get caught up in Philonecron's plan to overthrow Hades, the God of the underworld. Yeah, when Philonecron starts steeling the shadows from children, Zee and Charlotte set out to make things right.

Anne does a really good job with her writting. There isn't much depth to the books, but her writting is good and she is very clever and comical. The book is also a bit creepy. Yes, a funny and creepy book about a couple of kids who find out that the world of Greek mythology is real and they are right in the middle of it all. A good read.

"The Siren Song"

I just finished a little bit ago Ursu's second book in the Cronus Chronicles, and in my opinion, its even better than the first. I know, why am I reading young adult fiction you ask? Well, they make for fast reads that are very entertaining (ie. Harry Potter). Char and Zee leave the underworld and Hades to the high seas where they face Poseidon. Ursu continues with her clever and entertaining writing style. The Immortal Fire is the 3rd book, and you can bet that I will be reading this one soon.

Paper VS eBook

What is your preference: a book made of paper or an electronic book? Technology is slowly getting rid of our paper needs (sorry Dunder Mifflin, its true), and with that paper books. Borders is the first to start closing down stores, and wont be the last. Is the eBook to Borders as redbox is to Hollywood Video?

Discussions in the newspaper's (also available through Kindle and other eReader devices) opinion section discuss the use or roles of a public library in a more computer based world. Do we need them? Will they just end up being giant computer labs in a few years? Who is to blame? Amazon and its Kindle perhaps? The internet in general? Apple? Bill Gates? Is it really a bad thing?

Well, as an amiable and analytical person, I apparently don't except change very well. There is some truth in that. My personal opinion has changed slightly since my wife and I received a Kindle for our birthday's this year. The Kindle really is amazing. The one thing that I struggle with eReaders and with iPods for that matter, is that when you buy something online with a click of the button, and its just all electronic...its like I haven't really bought anything. I don't get a CD with a cool album cover, or I don't get a nice hardback book to hold in my hands. You still get in essence the same thing, but digitally and confined to a nice small package. That being one of the eReaders strongest selling points. You can have thousands of different books, all in one little device (that would sure help out with moving and not having to pack around all of your favorite books - although I really don't want to re-purchase all the books we have now to get rid of those...plus, I have some really nice hardback edition books that are really nice).

You can get a book without leaving your home or waiting for shipping. You can start reading it within minutes. Books are generally cheaper when purchasing an eBook. Our Kindle case has a built in light so you can read in the dark (very useful), and its nice to not hold big awkward books but just a little screen that you flip a page with a press of a button. You can also make notes or highlight things without actually writing in a book (you can edit or delete these). eBooks are the wave of the future my friends, and it is pretty delightful. I love to read, and this is such a great addition to our library (not to mention all of the free eBooks we downloaded like Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes and others).

Something to think about though...what if in the near future all of our books are electronic (oh, by the way...they have some text books available as well - can you imagine college without lugging around giant text books, but just a little eReader...yeah, that is awesome)? What would happen to the little book store around the corner? or the bookmark shoppe? What about all of the revenue brought in by the selling of paper book marks? We would be saving a lot of trees though right? That's a good green thing. Tell that to Lumber Jack (and his family) who just got laid off, and who is now making a living as a Paul Bunyon impersonator. Will books made of paper become like the VHS? I think that is probably the most agreeable comparison actually. Some people may purchase a DVD movie and throw out the old VHS copy...or there are some that will have their VHS movies and the new movies on DVD.

Where will books be in 10 years? One thing is for certain, books will still be written, and I will be one to enjoy them in any or both forms. I see myself buying more and more eBooks, but I still like walking and browsing in a library (not to mention it is really nice to borrow books and read them for free). I love my books that sit on my shelves, but it is extremely nice to have the technology that we have now and the Kindle is really amazing.

And that is How Lou Reads It!

1 comment:

  1. I wish they would fix the stinking dictionary terms to more concise, usage-based definitions. The first few words of most definitions are completely useless. I also wish it would automatically delete samples once you decide to purchase the full version.

    Gripes aside, yes I agree, the kindle is amazing. E-ink is beautiful, book sampling is fantastic, annotations/highlighting freaking awesome. It's perfect for books that only contain text. But anything with figures, diagrams and color, say in a programming textbook which requires you to frequently jump from page to page or take detailed notes in the margins would be better suited on something like the iPad.