Friday, November 11, 2011

Part 6 - lets pretend nothing interrupted the businnes of books . . .

This is us - pretending there is nothing to see here - except that My BackPack is Pink has come to Poppetropolis.

I had mentioned that exciting things were happening - well they were - and they are happening so there's that. And now that means we need a recap:

In Part 2 I tour the Books that Became Decor and was startled to find that many of them were decor because I didn't really like them much

In Part 3 I tour the Stack of Books Under the Window - which are primarily hardcovers and discuss the system by which books were supposed to enter and leave the bedroom

In Part 4 I tour the Books in the Hidden Bookshelf and the history of bookshelves in my former bedrooms and the place of books in my house and my emotional landscape. I even surprised me.

Part 5 is this one - it's not terribly long. it's the books by the side of the bookshelf.

Now it's time for the e-books because I'm a little bit obsessive and refuse to write about anything else until I've finished what I've started.

Section 1. Most of the E-books I owm are consumed in various ways

I belong to a profession that requires technical and managerial. I have gotten those books through Books 24X7 for several years.
The cosmic poppet is showing off a book about instructional design.

I didn't really think much about Kindle because I didn't like e-ink screens as much as some other people ( I once again state for the record that this is a personal preference and I think Kindles are awesome technology and bought my own mother a Kindle which she loves and even sent her a birthday present of a Kindle book instead of an e-card which was great! Liking one thing better than another equally good thing does not make the thing I like slightly less "bad")

I wasn't really sure I would like e-books because as a multimedia designer and project manager I was well aware of things like "eye slide" on screens and retention rates vs paper for visual learners. The brain processes things read with light slightly differently than thing read when reflecting light ( solid objects like ink and paper). But then I went to the World Fantasy convention to meet Lisa and I had three plane transfers which meant that carrying a whole bunch of books plus our actual mixed media art was going to be cumbersome. I was starting to really enjoy as well and figured well if I was doing professional and pleasure research reading on my computer maybe I could try some light airplane reading on my phone.

I tried the iPhone Kindle App and everything I didn't like about the physical form factor of the Kindle itself was gone and the Kindle app was great - easy to read, loved the physical act of sliding my finger to turn the page, was able adjust color, size and pretty much everything I would want to adjust. Kindle and IPhone! Two great tastes that taste great together! Not everything is Highlander.

Section 2 - Here are the Books

I was hooked. Just like any good dealer the first one was free: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novick

Quickly followed by Throne of Jade and I now have the Black Powder War which I started but did not finish.

Other books I liked but didn't necessarily want to pay trade size price for that I considered my "light" or "solo" reading made it onto the iphone kindle.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Oldies I liked
The Trials and Tribulations of Myron Blumberg, Dragon by Mike Resnick which apparently isn't there any more

The new I wanted to check out but didn't think I would want to keep forever

The books I kept lending out and needing to buy new copies of
A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Books I really, really wanted but I knew no one else in The House would

Reference and religious reading that only matters to me:
The Case for God - actually recommended reading by my Early American History Prof as a way to discuss delicate subjects clearly and non-offensively - Karen Armstrong again

And I found that sometimes I was downloading books so I had a quick copy when I needed it for school or an audition:
The Attack by Yasmina Khandra
Buried Child by Sam Shepard

But the thing that convinced me I wanted an e-reader was this

It was 2am, I could not sleep. My Perfectly Normal Husband was sound asleep. In single days I would have popped on a light and read until I fell asleep again. In pre-Iphone days I had a choice of waking him up by getting up to go downstairs or trying to think about wrestling with a book light that might have woken him up. Iphone let me not just read under the covers providing a self lighting book, but it let me go and buy a new book at 2 am with one click. I had done this before mostly with my Women of the Underworld popcorn reading leading to the e-book collection of :

Living with the Dead ( Women of the Otherworld Book 9)
Men of the OtherWorld all by Kelly Armstrong

and my copy of The Jeeves Collection by P.G. Wodehouse

but Bryson's book, which I no longer remember why I thought would be a good idea, was a different kind of 2am impulse purchase. I am fascinated by the history of things and how people used them and why people used them and how little people know about what brought about what they're using. This book was exactly like someone who thought about things the same way I did but they had waaay more source material and research time than I did. It was a pleasant but not "light" read. And I read it on my phone. And I wanted to read it on a slightly bigger screen but I loved having it right wherever I was at all times because all my Kindle apps shared the same library ( the cloud isn't really new). But I wasn't going to buy a unitasker. If I was buying tech it needed to do more than one thing. The iPad already existed but I was going to wait. And besides, if I'm working towards that master's degree in interactive instructional tech then I might want something besides an apple item. I did try to buy a Xoom, but for the things I wanted from a tablet it just wasn't there yet. I waited until about 4 months after it's release to get the iPad2 since I knew I was going to be asked to develop in iOS for school anyway.

So here's an interesting problem - it seems like I should be able to link you to the IBookstore since that's where I got the books from but it doesn't have an online presence that I could find. Thus cutting down on potential sales. This is the only time I have ever truly run into a "walled garden" issue with an Apple product because it looks like IBooks only exists as an app. Hmmn I'll link the one current book release to Amazon. Oh irony . . . .

My IBooks Store has:
A Doll's House by Ibsen
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll
The Balticon Pocket Program
Winne the Pooh
The Velveteen Rabbit ( so I can read to bored children that aren't mine)
H.G. Wells by John Davys Beresford
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding because it had Esther Friesner in it
Waking the Witch - a sample of a Kelly Armstrong YA

and the IBook store also keeps the pdfs I download form the Internet

However I find that I end up using Kindle on iPad even though I have no intention of ever buying a physical Kindle. Part of that is I'm an Amazon Prime member, but most of it is that right now I like the software better especially with notes I write and footnotes. The readability is even I would switch out one for the other if there were issues of exclusivity I also run a Stanza ereader on the Ipad and now I can access both Books 24X7 and from the Ipad so a single devices is now used for almost all my e-reading.

So since I got the Ipad

Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse
The Magician King: A Novel by Lev Grossman ( the sequel to The Magicians, although I have to admit I wasn't expecting one. )
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Book of Five Rings Musashi Miyamoto
Design guide "MON" Momoyo Miyamoto
The Fall of the Roman Republic by Plutarch ( which I got because of the Cleopatra book)
Cleopatra: A Biography by Duane W. Roller- I couldn't find a source that just used historically verifiable context when writing about her instead of finding a supporting quote for a throwaway paper I ended up reading this whole book because I was able to research it on the fly. It's a good book but it's straight up history no fluff or speculation. I loved it - it's why I asked for the Schiff book for the Holidays.
Aesop's Fables - because it had been a while since I read the originals.

Section 3 - What do eBooks and eReaders do to me as a reader?

Well the 2 am impulse buy insomnia read is a completely e-reader dependent phenomena. The ability to no longer "lose" books I loan out ( I can get an e-copy and lend the physical copy with no worries) I am waiting patiently for an ebook version of Silverlock by John Myers Myers.

But really the thing that seems to have come back to me is the ability to read a pleasure book all night in one sitting if I want to. The iPad is very, very comfortable for me, moreso than the physical forms of many of the books I tend to read these days. So I read for pleasure more. I'm also more willing to take chances on recommendations because the costs are slightly lower and I don't have to deal with the physical versions of the books taking up space before or after. But mostly I buy more books because I can find what I want and I don't have to worry about whether or not there are enough "physical" copies at the bricks and mortar store. I love a good old curated bookstore but when I go to a big box chain the reason I'm there is I need the physical book right that second. If they have to order it in I can do that too from their own website.

I try to balance this buy supporting Amazon sellers with Brick and Mortar stores attached to them when I need out of print stuff or Magic the Gathering cards.

I still love my physical books but nowadays if they're going to be here in the Meatworld there will have to be a reason. We'll see those books in the coming up next. And then we'll discuss what that means to authors, promotion, and publishing.

The final part is coming - the Books in the Bedroom Waiting for Me to Read Them.

If it's any consolation that list hasn't changed since I started the series this summer. It's like everything hit stasis.