July 27, 2011

Literally Literary: The Prologue

I have decided to write separate posts regarding books and I am calling this feature "Literally Literary".  Why am I going to such bother?  My hope is the post title will provide a subtle hint that I am posting about BOOKS.  For those of you where the topic of books results in narcoleptic fits thereby causing you to faceplant onto your keyboard, this will allow you to just click away from the horror that is the written word.  Also, I simply adore the word "literally", it is literally my favorite adverb. Bonus points if pronounced with a Rob Lowe/Parks n' Recreation affectation.

Special Note: All posts contain non-affiliate links - I do not have an Amazonian Fancy Pants Affiliate Thingie.

A room without books is as a body without a soul. ~Cicero

Recent library book sale finds. All $12 of it. I snagged some Judy Blume (including a boxed set!  SCORE.), some Encyclopedia Brown, Sylvia Plath, Wally Lamb and some adult-era Laura Ingalls Wilder.  No Paul Zindel, but I was still quite happy.

Since getting the e-reader, my strategy for book-buying has changed.  Previously, I would search The Dusty Bookshelf first (a used bookstore in Lawrence)..... then I'd scoot through Borders (always with a coupon in hand.  Always).  In the meantime, I would search the random garage sale or thrift store in order to keep my "To Read" bookshelf stocked.  The library would also come into play here and there.

When I first got the e-reader, I was a little out of control with it.  The impulse purchasing coupled with the resistance to reading by any other means led to some significant money spent in the first few months. Gradually, the newness of the e-reader wore off as I realized how much money I was spending.  Sure, I am willing to spend a certain amount of money on my book hobby.  But I want to be smart about it.

I needed a new strategy.

Now, I gauge whether or not I can get the book from the library, keeping in mind  how fast I can get it versus how badly I want it.  Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad"?  Eh.  I'll wait for that.  Conversely, as Hold #320 with only 36 copies to go around, I wasn't willing to wait for Anne Patchett's "State of Wonder" which so far, has been well worth the 12 bucks. Other times, I have no choice on waiting, dependent upon bookclub deadlines.  Also, if I decide to purchase the book for the Kindle, I download a sample first. Then, I actually READ THE SAMPLE before deciding whether to purchase it. I am totally digging this "sample feature" - wouldn't it be lovely if we could do that with jeans? Cosmetics? Handbags?

Recently, it was announced that Borders will be closing all of its stores. What happened to Border is obvious, so I don't have any new insight into that. In short, they completely screwed up by missing the e-reader boat. Still, I was a little surprised at how sad their closing has made me.    Yes, I am hooked on my e-reader and am trying to make better use of our library, but Borders was still a destination for us.  It was a place to check out books in person, a spot to pick up my knitting reads and other glossy non-fiction things.  It's also a great place to buy cute, little gifts and let my kids explore books on their own (again, limitations on the library - have you tried to get a hold of Fancy Nancy in your library? She's a hot piece of property in ours.)  Furthermore, Borders is near to where I live and I drive by it throughout the week. Although, admittedly, since getting my e-reader, my trips into the store have been more sporadic, instead of nearly every week.

While I am sad that Borders is closing, I know that I did my own little part in nudging along their demise.


Olivia said...

Ah, the new e-reader high. Oy, it nearly got me too. Though since I rarely have something specific in mind to read I've been able to stick to mostly $.99 stuff. My library is finally lending ebooks so once I'm through with my cheap reads I'll have to see what their selection is like.

It is sad to see Borders go, but I admit I probably only went to a Borders a handful of times in my life. I've been forever a library and used book hound.

Melanie said...

I quit buying books (except garage sale el' cheeps) when I quit working to be home with the kids, it was one of the luxuries (along with nicer clothes) that I was willing to give up. I would love to have an e-reader but always said that I would not purchase one until my library started loaning e-copies... and within the last few months they have. My girlfriend tells me right how its very limited, so I am still holding out.... but I have used and abused the hold feature at the library for years.... I am currently number 800 or so for one book I want, but in the meantime I will just find other authors to read until I get that magic email telling me its mine all mine :)

Anonymous said...

Have you read Jonathan Frazen's works? I came to know about him after he was on the cover of Time (first time time in a decade a novelist was on the cover) last year. 'Literally' devoured through "Freedom", his latest book and then "Corrections", his previous one, which came out in 2001.

I mention this as Jennifer Egan and Frazen were almost exalted at the same level by Time, but I could not get past a few pages of "A Visit from the Goon Squad" (one of the very few books I've started but not completed).

I'm a library book reader. You can get almost any and all books at our county library, though at times the wait list looks like "1105 of 1105".

~ Krishanu

jodifur said...

Did you hear Tiger Eyes is being made into a movie? I can't decide if this is good or not.