Thursday, May 21, 2009

Christie Asks: How Are You Reading?

I loooove to read. Really really really. Recently my mom shared with me that her reading time had dwindled and I was crushed. My best memories include 1) my mom taking me to the library and 2) hot summer afternoons, finding my mom in the shade of her bedroom reading on her bed. Don't know if Mom was going through a phase, or if she needed new eyeglasses or what, but I sent her signed books from some mystery authors I know (mystery is Mom's fave genre) for Mother's Day and also shared with her a new (to me) mystery author I love (Julia Spencer-Fleming) and she was eager to read the books I sent and find Spencer-Fleming's books at the library. So...I think Mom's back on the books.

That said, reading the printed page is not always convenient. I try to read while blowdrying my hair (I kid you not), but that might explain why I've been complaining about my bad hair days lately. Housework seems to me a complete waste of time because I can't vacuum and read simultaneously. Except--now I can! Once I discovered audio books, my reading life expanded and my home became cleaner. (I discovered another audio book aficionado in Debbie Macomber. Last spring we spoke at the same conference and an attendee was bemoaning her lack of time for reading now that she was writing and we spoke up together: "Audio books!") You can purchase audio books for download at sites like audible.com, lots of libraries lend them, and my town even has a rental library for audio books. I listen while I clean, make lunches, cook a big meal, and go running. Interesting to note (and I add this in case you're thinking of trying audio), I happen to most like listening to action-oriented stories. I think they're just easier for my brain to process--though right now I'm listening to a lovely Mary Balogh book full of introspection and yearning and I'm hooked as usual. The narrator can make a big dif in my enjoyment. I was so excited when I listened to my How To Knit A Wild Bikini on audio. The reader got every inflection just right. Note to self: send her fan mail.

That brings me to e-books. I would so enjoy a Kindle (or equivalent), I know, but because I have so much reading to do for my BookPage column of reviews (and the ARCs are paper) that I wouldn't get to use it that much. I have tried to read at my computer...but I just can't settle in like I do with a book. I figure some kind of e-reader is in my future, but I'll have to find the right time and it's not quite yet.

So how about you? How are you reading these days? What formats have you tried...or are you a dyed-in-the-wool, gotta-have-it-in-my-hands book reader?

15 comments:

Michele Hauf said...

I love my Kindle! And I'm slowing coming over to audiobooks. Like you, I've been fortunate to have a few of my own books put out in audio format. One of them killed me with the awful voices and dorky acting. But another was so awesome! I think I'm going to be buying more from that company for sure. They have an entire cast of speakers, so no two voices are done by the same person. And sound effects! Ever hear the sound of a man getting stabbed in the chest with a sword? Fun! (hee)
If you like action titles, check them out at graphicaudio.net

Christie I love the audio version of your cover!

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Wow. So it's really acted out then, like a play. My audio book was the one narrator and there wasn't any stabbing sounds (well, no stabbing in the book). I'm going to go check them out, because I do like action titles when listening.

catslady said...

I love my books. Not just the reading but the books themselves. I probably have a couple thousand (yeah I'm out of room lol) and the kindle just can't do that for me.
My mom is also a reader - she's 86! My sister and I provide her with books - we just can't give her the spicy ones roflmao.

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie (and Michele) yea for you on having books out in audio. I haven't had that pleasure yet and I am sooo envious - and happy for you :o)

I still love to hold a mass market paperback in my hand and read. Love the feel of the cover, love to be able to turn back and reread (yes, I know you can do that with e-formats but i still like the pages).
I don't like reading hardcovers - too heavy or trade - too bulky. Sorry, that's just me.

Christie Ridgway said...

Catslady: I'm going to have to cull by keeper shelves soon. I need to clear some space. I'm sure I'll find it very hard to do!

Cindy: That's one drawback of audio, not so easy to go back and "re-read." It's doable, but harder to find the spot you're looking for. Also, you don't get the "feel" of how much of the book is left. My iPod screen will tell me how many hours/minutes I have to do, but it's just not the same in that way.

lois greiman said...

I'm strictly bound copy. Loooove to read in the bathtub and I don't think I'd do that with a Kindle.

Heather B. said...

I love books and have always been an avid reader. My mom used to take me and my brother to the library every Saturday and we would spend a couple hours there.

I have a lot of ebooks and am constantly downloading more but it is hard for me to read on the computer too. As long as the books are adobe, I can email them to my Kindle and read them there.

Hubby got me the Kindle for Christmas and I love it. I have 15 or 16 pages of books on it already and have about 10 more new ebooks to add. It's nice for vacations and stuff because you don't have to pack a bunch of books with you, you just take the kindle.

Estella said...

I do read ebooks, but I prefer to hold the book in my hands.

Christie Ridgway said...

Lois: I know people who put their Kindle in zip loc bags for beach reading. But you're right, I don't think that would help if there was a complete dunking.

HeatherB: That's exactly why I want a Kindle. The vacation thing. I usually shoot for bringing one book per day and an extra. Well, if I'm going on a beach vacation or something where there's not a lot to do but relax.

Betina Krahn said...

Christie, I'm still into old-fashioned paper and print. but that Kindle is looking better and better, especially now that my books are on it.

I don't mind the audio books, but I haven't experienced too many of them. My enjoyment of the ones I have heard seem to depend a lot on who is reading them. the medium is the message, you know.
::wink, wink::

ForestJane said...

Do you think the audio readers blush when they have to read the more torrid sex scenes out loud with the guys in the production booth grinning and snickering at them? Just a thought... lol

I'd rather have the book in my hand than read a book on the computer. And I can't enjoy an audio book unless I've read it myself first.

Anyone ever listened to the Hank the Cowdog books on audio? I had one for a car journey, and it had my 59 year old brother doubled over in two laughing, almost strangling himself on the seatbelt shoulder harness.

The readers were spectacular, nad had the dog personas down perfectly. :D

Kathleen said...

Like you and everyone else here, I love to read the written work. I not too much into reading on my computer, but I want a kindle or some other e-reader. I might even venture into audio, but when I am doing house work or whatever, I would rather have the tunes going..Can't wait to read the How to Knit a Wild Bikini. It is my tbr pile...

MarthaE said...

I read 4 formats with at least 3 usually going at one time! Paperbacks - now about 1 a week; Kindle2 - doing reviews on pdf/e-books so about 2 of those a week; you can listen too but it is just a mechanicle read... not narration like audio books;
MP3 - I get at least 2 Audibles a month so I always have an Audible going while cleaning, walking etc.;
CDs or tapes for the car - usually at least one a month.
About 14-15 books a month!
The narrator can make a difference! I'm glad you liked yours!

Jill Sorenson said...

I've read a few ebooks on my computer and it's not bad. I think I'd like audio (staying active while reading REALLY appeals to me because I'm antsy), but I'm usually listening to my kids with one ear...

GunDiva said...

I love my books! I'm not sure I'll ever be able to give them up, but the Kindle is looking better and better, especially after running out of reading material just before boarding the plane home from Hawai'i. There was no way I was stepping one foot on an airplane for a six-plus hour flight without a book, so it was off to the over-priced airport bookstore at the last second.

Audio books are my choice for long car drives; they keep the kids from asking "are we there yet?" and keep me from getting bored while driving. I've introduced the kids to new authors via audio books - not that they've had a choice, they were a captive audience *grin*.