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What are you reading?
Posted: 03 February 2010 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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josh_karpf - 02 February 2010 08:17 AM

David Roberts’s “Devil’s Gate,” a history of the Mormon handcart tragedy, in which 1850s Mormon pioneers trekked across the West not via ox-drawn wagon, but by pulling what were basically large wheelbarrows designed by Brigham Young. The Mormon church planned the handcart approach to cut the costs of bringing in poorer emigrants.

Brilliant book. Finished it last month as part of research I’m doing for a book I’m writing.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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I’ve always had a fiction book going at the same time as nonfiction. In this case I just finished Heresy, by S.J. Parris, a novel about the adventures of Giordano Bruno in 1583 England. Good read. Highly recommend it. As you may know, Bruno was a bit more extreme than Copernicus in his views and the Church (no surprise!) did not like that.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Oh the both of you, too, Chudwick and Steve? That drives me crazy.  wink

At any given time my husband has several partially read books lying about the house. I keep putting away all but one, saying “Please finish one before you leave the rest lying about!” He takes them all back out.

One book, I marked in pencil the date he first left it out. It’s almost a year later and he’s only a few chapters in. It keeps getting pushed aside in favor of more exciting fare. So I place it on the bookshelf and he cries “No! I’m in the middle of reading that! Put it back on the night stand”

Also what drives me mad, my son and I make book marks for him (fun kid/family art project) yet he loses them all the time and instead marks his page with whatever is available. Frequently, that is a piece of clean toilet tissue folded into a square or rectangle. It looks horrible, all these books lying about with pieces of toilet tissue sticking out of them. We make him new book marks from construction paper lovingly coloring designs, and replace them all. They are simply lost again in a matter of weeks.

I really want to get my husband an e-book reader in the hopes that his physical collection doesn’t grow and turn us into hoarders, and he scoffs at the idea. He loves his books and the feel of paper. Unfortunately we have a modestly sized condominium, and his books already take up three full-size bookshelves and several large storage bins taking up precious storage space.

My own books take up only two small shelves, as I tend to donate them to the library when finished or pass them on to friends. I only keep my absolute favorites or reference books, as well as a small shelf of pieces from my late father’s library, which I treasure.

Perhaps for Valentine’s Day I will present him with an e-book reader. Surely he will at least give it a try if it is received as a gift. Maybe he’ll even like it.  LOL

What are the best/better e-book readers? Or should I wait a couple years for the new super-thin flexible cool looking ones to come out?

[ Edited: 04 February 2010 08:46 AM by Jules ]
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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 04 February 2010 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Don’t do it!!!  How could you?  I’m in 100% agreement with your husband.  I’ll be the last to replace the feel of a book with something that has the feel and appearance of a video game.  And to be surrounded by them, I love their presence.  They bring so many colors in, maybe you could just re-arrange them and make them a central part of your decorating?  I can’t imagine not being able to scrawl in a margin or underline something, or just flip to a marked page for reference.  I’ll go kicking and screaming…

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Posted: 04 February 2010 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Well, I’d like to implement a “one book in, one book out” policy at the very least. Buy a new book, give an old one to the library.

The ebook would not be intended to replace any of the current books. It would be in the hopes of slowing the expansion of the physical collection that is overwhelming in our modestly sized home. Certain books he reads which are unusual may not even be available on e-book. I understand this, as well as collectable works, etc., must still be purchased in the traditional manner.

The three large bookshelves we have are already double and triple stacked books on each shelf, with rows of books two and three deep or on top of each other. It’s rather chaotic.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 04 February 2010 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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I have to say I’ve become something of a pariah among my fellow bibliophiles for my adoption of the Kindle. For curling up and reading a novel, I find it just as easy and comfy as a paper book. It doesn’t feel anything like a video game to me, especially with the nice leather cover I have for it. And I do often make annotations, which is easy to do, plus I can copy/save/e-mail to people snippets I find interesting, search for specific bits, and a few other convenient tricks a book can’t do. It is, unfortunately, awkward for leafing through (though I imagine a touch screen and faster system will eventually change that; perhaps the new iPAD?), and I can’t browse for a new book easily or lend books, but I think it has it’s place. I love having the bulk of my library available with me everywhere I go.

Anyway, every new technology brings benefits and costs, as well as often exaggerated claims of how it will revolutionize human society for good or ill, but after a couple generations no one can imagine going backwards, so I expect to eventually be technologically left behind like all those who came before me. I think I can live with it. grin

As for current reading, I’m about halfway through Reading in the Brain and it’s a great read. Fascinating account of how the invention, form, and content of one of our most important and cherished activities has developed the way it has due to the constraints on the undrlying equipment. Reading is the way it is becasue that’s the best we could do with the tools we had lying around in our brains, all of which were there to do something else. I highly recommend it.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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One of the reasons why the idea of an e-book sounds appealing to me (I don’t have one), is the process of getting rid of the books I dislike. A simple “delete” would certainly feel more comfortable to me than tossing a chunk of dead tree into the garbage. All the reasons why I don’t have an e-book at the present are probably very irrational, but for the moment I am not yet ready to let go of paper books. I am horrible that way.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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mckenzievmd does make it sound more appealing than I had it pictured.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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rcrase - 04 February 2010 12:37 PM

mckenzievmd does make it sound more appealing than I had it pictured.

Have you seen one in action, in person (not just viewing it on a computer screen)? The screen is really amazing - no glare and it “looks just like paper.” Nothing like what I’d pictured. No computer screen effect on your eyes. I was rather fascinated with it when I examined it up close. I like Brennen’s leather cover idea, makes it a bit more homey.

I inspected the “Nook” on my lunch hour today. I may stop in and purchase one later in the week, in preparation for our Valentines/Anniversary gift. If he does not care for it, he can exchange it at Barnes & Noble for paper books.  wink

My husband may be (hopefully, pending negotiations) accepting a new position in his company which requires frequent travel. The e-book would allow him to bring many books with him on the plane and in boring hotels, rather than carrying several large books with him as he usually does on trips. It might be very handy and light for travel.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 04 February 2010 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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George - 04 February 2010 12:31 PM

One of the reasons why the idea of an e-book sounds appealing to me (I don’t have one), is the process of getting rid of the books I dislike. A simple “delete” would certainly feel more comfortable to me than tossing a chunk of dead tree into the garbage. All the reasons why I don’t have an e-book at the present are probably very irrational, but for the moment I am not yet ready to let go of paper books. I am horrible that way.

Rather than throw out old books, I take them to the library. They sort them, the “good ones” go on the library shelves, and the ones they don’t need go to their thrift store bookshop, where they sell them for a dollar as a fundraising effort to improve the library and fund children’s programs.

Senior citizens centers and nursing homes will often take donated books, as well. Old children’s books can go to day care centers and preschools.

My father used to donate his old books to the VA hospital. He’d ship them there (UPS ground or another inexpensive carrier) or donate through a program that collected the books and delivered them in bulk.

For unusual books or controversial topics, you may not be able to find a home for them. But it’s worth a shot.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 04 February 2010 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I can’t recycle (what I consider) bad books. Can’t do it. Passing on a sickly meme is to me as immoral as sneezing on a subway.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Well guys I have really enjoyed the books by Mitch Albom.  I loved Tuesdays With Morrie.  I loved For One More Day and The Five People You Meet In Heaven.  I read them as fictional/humanist books and rarely ever enjoyed any books more.

Then…

I travelled to Poland a couple of weeks ago and brought ‘Have a Little Faith’ his new book with me. I was so disappointed and to be completely honest .. I was disgusted and angry after about 40% of the book. I persisted to about 80% but I had to dump it to a friend after that.  This book was essentially nothing more than a saccharine attempt at proselytizing for religion, and done in such a transparent and patronising way.

I am thinking of writing to Albom to express my disappointment and anger though I may run out of passion by the time I get time ....

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Posted: 04 February 2010 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Currently I am reading two books, one non-fiction and one SciFi:

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives, by Michael Specter

—and—

Olympos, by Dan Simmons

And I do recycle any books I no longer want using BookMooch.com

If anyone else here is a member of GoodReads.com please feel free to check out my profile and friend me: http://www.goodreads.com/speljamr

[ Edited: 04 February 2010 03:05 PM by speljamr ]
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Posted: 04 February 2010 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Jules - 04 February 2010 08:43 AM

Also what drives me mad, my son and I make book marks for him (fun kid/family art project) yet he loses them all the time and instead marks his page with whatever is available. Frequently, that is a piece of clean toilet tissue folded into a square or rectangle. It looks horrible, all these books lying about with pieces of toilet tissue sticking out of them. We make him new book marks from construction paper lovingly coloring designs, and replace them all. They are simply lost again in a matter of weeks.

That’s so funny!  I also use whatever I can get my hands on: toilet paper roll rips, toilet paper, parts of packaging (flap from an Advil box), receipts, junkmail envelope shreds, concert ticket stubs, business cards, travel brochures, unused UPC sticker, metal anti-theft bars, post-it notes, Camel Cash, tardy slips (I’m a teacher) and so on, but I will never fold the corner of the page.

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Posted: 04 February 2010 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Chudwick - 04 February 2010 02:26 PM
Jules - 04 February 2010 08:43 AM

Also what drives me mad, my son and I make book marks for him (fun kid/family art project) yet he loses them all the time and instead marks his page with whatever is available. Frequently, that is a piece of clean toilet tissue folded into a square or rectangle. It looks horrible, all these books lying about with pieces of toilet tissue sticking out of them. We make him new book marks from construction paper lovingly coloring designs, and replace them all. They are simply lost again in a matter of weeks.

That’s so funny!  I also use whatever I can get my hands on: toilet paper roll rips, toilet paper, parts of packaging (flap from an Advil box), receipts, junkmail envelope shreds, concert ticket stubs, business cards, travel brochures, unused UPC sticker, metal anti-theft bars, post-it notes, Camel Cash, tardy slips (I’m a teacher) and so on, but I will never fold the corner of the page.

Couldn’t have said that better myself, I’ve used all the above at one point or another save the tardy slips.  My current bookmark is a one dollar bill because it’s what I could reach.

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