In my part of the world, it’s summer, which I remember from years past as being a particularly good time for reading—if for no other reason than to escape the bustle of having four sons and their friends out of school and underfoot all day.
But then, when is reading not a great way to spend the day? Nowadays, many of us read on electronic devices all or part of the time, so news of a great ebook sale is always good news. Kindle Press is having a one-week sale—July 5-11—on books in all genres. And the price is only 99-cents at Amazon.com!
And if you’re a romance fan particularly, check out this page that highlights some great ones in this sale. There you’ll find all the beautiful covers, descriptions, and buy links for romances in many sub-genres. And if you find yourself excited to read them all … at this price, how can you resist?
So if you’d like to have dozens of getaways for less than a buck each, go fill up your reading schedule for the season!
I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to start a new year. If you’re subscribed to this blog or follow me on Facebook or other social media, you may have noticed I disappeared about five weeks ago. Though I hadn’t planned such a break, it came as a relief. Let’s just say 2013 was not my most successful year and I’d had enough of it.
Please, accept my apology if I missed saying Congratulations or Happy Birthday on Facebook. And I’m sorry I wasn’t around to wish you a Merry Christmas. Today, I’m still under the influence of a beastly cold, but otherwise I’m mostly re-energized. And, since I also took a five-week break from writing, I’m anxious to get back to work, and I entered the WFWA Write-A-Thin Challenge to give me a boost.
What did I do while I wasn’t writing or blogging or socializing on Facebook? I read, of course. During the second week of December, I read two novels and a short story collection! Maybe that’s no big deal to you, but I think the last time I read books that quickly I was in third grade. I’d forgotten how fast the pages add up when you have few distractions. In all, I read five books, abandoned a couple of others after a chapter or two, and then started the one I’m still reading.
Then it was time to put normal life aside to prepare for family Christmas visits. Our out-of-state sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren came to town. We had our usual Christmas Eve Syrian feast and though one granddaughter came late due to work, as you can see from the image above, she made it into our annual family photo by magic. (Otherwise known as Photoshop.) We had a lovely holiday. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful family.
I have many hopes for this year, but my main goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy balance in my life. What’s your main goal for 2014?
I confess; I’ve been spending a lot of time with an old love. This month alone, we’ve traveled from Afghanistan to Paris, sailed along the Carolina coast, danced in Philadelphia, and searched my soul. Now, we’ve begun to study a kind of architecture as we head to the Cascade Mountains. My old love is exciting, don’t you think?
In other words, I’ve been reading more than usual. If you click here, you’ll see how much time I’ve spent with that old love already this month. And I’ll increase that before August is over. Some of you may read that much every month—or in a week—but it’s a rarity for me because I’m usually too busy with some fiction writing or related activity to read more than one book a month.
Obviously, I’m writing far less at the moment. I completed one full paragraph the other day. But that’s beside the point of this post. I’m talking about other writers’ books.
Not every book I open makes it to a section on my I Read page. Descriptions can be more exciting than the book, I’ve found, so if I start a book and it doesn’t interest me, I stop reading. Since I don’t waste precious reading time, if I read a book to the end that means I’d give it at least a 3-star rating. Most, or maybe all, of the books listed on my page I’d rate four or five stars.
Often, I read with my editor’s hat on—sometimes on purpose. This time I’m just enjoying the experience. I don’t know how long my Word files may gather dust. I have a wealth of books waiting in the wings. But you can’t write if you don’t read, so at least I have one half of that equation covered.
“Print books are dead, Mom,” said my son in a recent phone conversation. Lest you think this mother raised a fool, Daniel is Dr. Lewis, with a PhD in English, and teaches that at college level. He loves books. He begged me to teach him to read at the age of three.
But he’s also a member of the first generation to be raised with video games, which led to personal computers, CDs, DVDs, cell phones, DVRs, and eReaders . He’s fully ensconced in the digital age. As my son says, “Digital is faster, easier, and cheaper.” I can’t argue with that. I have a Kindle and I read a lot of books on it.
That’s not to say I don’t still love the feel of a “real” book in my hands. And I confess that print books still seem more substantial to me. More important. As I said in a previous post, once again I’m dependent on public library borrows for most of my books, and though they have access to some eBooks through Overdrive, most of the books I’m looking for are not among them.
So print books are still very much a part of my life. But are they a part of yours? Will print books be less important to the current generation of children and mere old-fashioned curiosities to the next? What form do you favor now?
I’ve taken a poll on this topic twice before, so let’s update again. If you’re reading this through email or a blog reader and don’t see the poll, PLEASE click through to vote.
The day I got my first library card was a 5-star day for me. Even when I moved to Germany, while my husband was in the Army, one of the first things I did was get a card for the base library. As a child, I couldn’t afford to buy books at all, nor did I buy more than a few books during the years I raised my sons. But as our family income increased, I bought just about any book I wanted. Now, as a retiree, that’s over.
I’ve always used the public library to check out the books I didn’t necessarily want to own and to try new authors. And now I’m back to using it almost exclusively. But in this digital age, I have another option—free eBooks. Like most of you, when I got my first eReader, I loaded it up with free books, most of which I’ve never looked at since.
I’m more selective now. I read the descriptions and download only books I think may appeal to me. Not all of them end up drawing me in, of course, and I delete them. But I’ve read many good books I wouldn’t have been able to read if they hadn’t been offered freely.
Part of the drawback of self-publishing is that most of those books will never make it to a library—not even on the digital “shelves.” That’s why I make limited free offers of my books. I know there are others out there like me who are pitifully sad without books to read.
So, to those authors who’ve made it possible for me to read their work freely either by contest, free download, library availability, or by allowing me to beta read, I say THANK YOU.