Books, Books, and Nooks

My appetite for reading books seems to be ever increasing. I don’t recall being this excited about books when I was in school when they were required reading. My argument is that if I had a choice in books being read, I would have read every book on the list. The fact of the matter is that not every book is going to be a great book. Some are harder to read than others. Just because a book is consider an American Classic doesn’t mean it is a good read.

I find comfort in being able to escape into a good book. The fact of having a Nook makes my reading experience worthwhile. Sure, It is not the same as buying the actual book and having it on display for no one to see in a library no one looks at, but I like the concept of reading an entire book in a small space. It has also shown me the importance of the e-book format. I think it is very important that moving forward, all books should be available in this format.

I think about how expensive text books are for college students. Imagine having them on an e-reader where students can read at their discretion. That would also avoid the whole book bag problem. I hated to carry books from class to class, it was a problem. The best part of having something like the nook is that it reads PDFs. So if I had to read something for work I can load it as a PDF and I would be straight. However, I tend to just use my e-reader for personal reading only.

I also tend to read books that now only come in the e-reader format. It saves paper for those who are environmentally friendly. One thing that I really try not to do when I did buy real books was bend the cover or break the spine. I paid for it and I did not want it to look horrible. Now, I do not have to worry about that.

Some people have asked me what books am I reading and what would I recommend. First and foremost, I recommend that people join the site Goodreads. This is where I have cataloged most of my read books. I can track what I read and what I want to read. I think that if you are into books then that is the place to start. I have read six books this year and I am currently on my seventh. My goal is to read 15 and I am behind on that mark. Goodreads allows me to track and know that type of information.

Out of the 6 books I have read I would recommend The Hunger Games, The Shack, Fish Out of Agua, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Fountainhead. I picked these books to share with you because they have all had an effect on me in some way. For example, I read the Hunger Games in less than 24 hours and The Fountainhead was an epic journey. The one book that really spoke to me was Fish Out of Aqua by Michele Carlo. I enjoyed that book so much that I am working on bringing her to speak at Syracuse University for Latino Heritage Month.

What has me bugging out is putting something that I wrote into the e-reader. It becomes a great place to store all my written information in case I need to show someone a poem or a short story that I have written. It makes what I am trying to do a little more tangible. This is a piece of technology is something that I am glad I got my hands on.

Reading is the Truth

When things started to go south for me and I started seeking out roommates, I began to cut expenses. I had to stop buying things that were not essential to life. So what that really meant was I needed to stop buying comic books. The funny thing was that I had every intention on continuing with this expensive hobby because it was the only hobby I had. I could enjoy reading whatever story was going on and still feel in many ways, like a little kid. At this point I had already stopped buying video games.

The choice to stop buying comic books was not entirely my own. I had been going faithfully to this shop over in the Carousel Mall. I personally called it CBS (comic book store) because the real name was just way too long. I was a regular customer to the point in which they would pull out weekly comic titles for me every week. I would come in when I can and buy what was saved for me. It was a pretty sweet deal actually. I rarely missed any titles and it worked out well.

As it came closer for me to go to the Dominican Republic, I went less and less to CBS because I had to save money. I rarely bought everything they saved for me all at once. I would buy what I could then put the rest back on reservation. Apparently they started a policy that if customers did not pick up books within a certain time period, the comics would go back on the shelf for anyone to buy. The exception to this rule was that if you informed them that you planned to pick the books by a certain time then they would save them.

I informed the people at the store that I was going away and once I return I will clear the box. So when I returned from the Dominican Republic, I went over to CBS (on my birthday) and asked for my reservations. I was told that they were gone. I was shocked. I told the guy, that I normally speak to, that I did in fact inform the store that I was out of the country. Then he informed me that the store owner made a new policy, that was not known to me, that 30 days was the limit and there were no exceptions. I stood there shocked. He told me that I can start another subscription service, perhaps have them mailed to me (which is unacceptable because sometimes the mail looks like shit on a rainy day).

So, my reaction? I walked out. I simply left. I felt like a huge weight was lifted. Something in the back of my head told me that this was a blessing. I haven’t stepped into that store since then…

…but recently, I have missed that feeling of escape that comic books provided me. I have not had the urge nor the desire to buy comics at all. I mean, I have been buying a lot of DVD movies based on comic books, but that is different and cost me much less. I started thinking about reading books more, but I did not know where to start. I did join Goodreads, but that was to catalog what I have already read and see what other people were saying about books they have read.

Then, as if the thought were in the back of my mind but yet verbalized by another person, I was asked if I wanted a part in creating a book club with some friends. The thought of that was so very exciting me. I will admit that I would be the first to make fun of anyone to join a book club by saying that either they are old or have no life, but the thought was appealing because I missed reading so much. I have to admit that being in a book club has been one of the better decisions I have made in a long time. To think that I can shut the TV off and just lose myself in a good book in this day and age is awesome. I will tell you that my twitter account has suffered because of it and I am ok with that.

At this point we are on our second book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it has been a thrill ride for me. This book is almost 600 pages and I have read so much that I cannot imagine me stopping anytime soon. This book is so much better than the first book we started with, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. However, I think that I will be able to step out of my comfort zone and read things that I never thought I would have before.

I will also say, the best way to really learn is to look up words that appear in novels that you have never heard before. Best way to beat anyone in Scrabble…lol