Friday, January 1, 2010

A Book A Week + Paper vs. Techy

For a recently-former high school English teacher, I have been a total slacker in my reading as of late.  This is made especially apparent when I read about guys like Inaki Escudero who had the diligence to read a book a week for a year, (only 52 books).  Michael Surtees interviewed Escudero, and asked him how he was motivated to set the goal of reading a book a week.  Escudero referenced a New York Times article where a reporter had been in a race with the president to read the most books, and the president read 28.  (George Bush - really??  Ok sorry...).  Escudero rationalized that if a man as busy as the president can accomplish 28, then surely he could up the ante on his own literary intake.

One of my goals for 2010 is to read more print material.  My default waiting-around reading material is twitter on my iphone, which is beyond sad, and embarrassing to admit.  This is partially why I've started debating the merits of an electronic reader.  As much as I love (love) printed books, I have a difficult time justifying the amount of paper they use, and the space they take up in my small apartment - not to mention how many heavy boxes they fill every time I move, (which let's remind myself, was four times last year).

The two I've heard the most about are the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook.  Are there others on the market?  Does anyone own one?  The idea of being able to carry a chunk of my library is incredibly tempting, especially since I'm the type to read three books at once, and just keep each one in a different room of the house.  I also leave books out of my purse if they are heavy or thick, but I like being able to write in the margins.  Dilema.

I've got a huge wish list on Amazon, and my eye on a few books I'd like to get to this year:

Fever Chart by Austin author (and friend of Eirik) Bill Cotter

Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing, recommended by my favorite Kinkos Club president and friend Laney

Life Is A Verb by Patti Digh

The China Study, because I'm one of those weird healthy food obsessed people... except for Cheetos.  God, I love cheetos.

Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell.  I also love Rob Bell.

For wanting to be a fiction writer, I certainly snub fiction.  I'm always open to good book recommendations, though, so if anyone's got any they are itching to share, please send them my way.  I love any excuse to buy a new (or used) book.


Lisa said...

I use my iphone as a digital reader. There is a kindle app(probably the best since has largest selection of books-amazon) and lots of others. I use ereader(got it before kindle was available and still haven't read all the books i got) and especially love it since you can highlight a word and it automatically looks it up in the dictionary. I'm kind of obsessed with this app so I may sound like an advertisement. I love that I can have lots of books with me so I can choose which one to read while on public transit and they don't weigh down my purse. Although I still love a real book when at home, I often use the nightlight feature for reading on iphone in bed so as not to disturb my honey. Hope this helps and makes your day now that you don't have to buy a reader :)

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness yes!! I love my iphone and take flak all the time for constantly looking at it - this would be way more productive than twitter! As a former high school English teacher, I'm also a big vocabulary nerd - so that sounds perfect. I have the older 8 gig phone, do you have an idea how many books I could fit on it with 4 gigs left of memory?

Lisa said...

That's the same phone I have. I checked today and I have 17 books + a dictionary and it only takes up 250mbs(don't really know what that means), which is a sliver on the graph of what's on your phone. You could fit a library on 4 gigs. Another great thing is that you can delete a book from your phone once you've read it, but it stays on your account so you or your friends can download it in the future. So much fun!! There's my book nerdiness coming out.

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