Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gadget Geek and the Reading Revelation

So, I’ve discovered I’m more of a Gadget Geek than I expected or wanted to acknowledge. I’ve never been one who needed the latest toy. My computer is almost ten years old. My phone is the first of the 3G generation (that’s old in phone life). But I needed the latest toy…the iPad.

Now, I know it does pretty much the same things that my phone does, except work as a phone, but I wanted one. It was so cute and sleek. And I have to confess, I love it. Don’t worry, this isn’t a promo for the iPad but more the revelation that it represents.

I justified the purchase by saying I wanted/needed an e-reader and couldn't find what I was looking for. My first task was to download 3 e-reader apps (Kindle, Barnes & Noble and iBooks) plus a PDF reader so I can transfer all the books that I’ve already purchased.

The first night I got my iPad, I downloaded Amanda Quick’s The Burning Lamp and J.R. Ward’s Lover Avenged. In the week following, I bought and read another five books.

Now, I’m a big reader but in the past year, I’ve steered away from buying books. Lately I’ve been unwilling to try a new author. It’s like I’ve lost my sense of adventure. I don’t want to be disappointed so I’ve just stuck with familiar names, never branching out and walking out of the bookstore more often than not empty-handed. The e-reader seems to have inspired me, I feel more willing to take a risk. I’ve bought books and tried authors I never would have considered before.

Part of what I love about e-books is the instant gratification. When I want a new book, it’s just clicks away and poof, it’s loaded on my device. And I can act on recommendations. Recently, I was on vacation with my sister and she told me about a book she’d read and enjoyed. While we were talking, I went to Amazon and bought it, downloading it in less than a minute. Normally, I would have listened to her recommendation and mostly likely forgotten the name of the author or the book. Now, I have a new author to try.

I’m also thinking this will reduce the clutter a bit around my house. The paper books (read and to-be-read) pile up quickly, don’t they? When a book is a computer file, if I don’t enjoy it, I don’t feel compelled to give it away or sell it to a used book store. I just delete it. Instant clean up…I love it.

Being an e-book author, I read a lot of e-books and that means I’ve spent a lot…a lot…of hours sitting in front of my computer hitting the arrow and next page buttons. It was fine but not terribly conducive to reading before bed. Now, I crawl into bed with my e-reader and stack of new e-books and read until my eyes start to close.

And no matter what e-reader you have you can find some free (and legal!) books out there. I’ve recently been enjoying Ellora’s Caves Naughty Nooners. It’s a great way to discover new authors (Scribe sister Lynn LaFleur has one out…”Door Prize”. It was good fun!).

I haven’t completely abandoned paperback and hardcover. I have a few authors I just like to see sitting on my shelf but I’m a big fan of the e-reader. I feel like I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday, June 20, 2010

Sunday approached quickly this past week for me. I met it with a bit of trepidation simply because one of the busiest times of our working year is just ahead. Because we own a pizza business, I’ve been on a continuous exhausting roll leading up to the Fourth of July. This coming holiday requires that we begin to prepare a month in advance. Decisions to make, extra hours for all the prepping…it just seems to build like a threatening thunderstorm on the horizon. My husband and I have to force the mindset because basically we’ll work everyday until the 4th is over and we’ll have to disregard our long hours and just plow forward. It’s a little tough for me to back off and find some time to relax.

But this June 20th ended up being a celebration (one that I cooked for, cleaned for…you get the picture!) First off, it was Father’s Day. My dad will be 77 next month. He’s really slowed down due to some surgeries. He’s really aged the past few years and suddenly I truly looked forward to having a party at my house to celebrate all the fathers in the family. It turned out to be a gorgeous day with the sun shining and just a light wind to cool us off. Everyone turned out and we sat on the patio with kids, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and numerous family dogs racing about. Throw in a few drinks and some bocceball, a trip across the road to the lake for all those aforementioned to cool off with a dip, and of course a meal that put everyone but the kids flat on their butts in a comfy lawnchair, and I have to say it was one of the best days we’ve had in a long time.

I watched my dad with his youngest great-grandchild in his lap (Alex just turned one). He’d sing a Finnish song to him and the little guy would start humming back with a big smile in his near toothless mouth. Cracked us all up – especially my dad! And also made me hope that next Father’s Day we could repeat the day with no one missing among our continually growing family. It’s my dad’s biggest dream to be here in the future and celebrate his great-grandchildren’s life experiences. It’s kinda funny to see where he’s evolved through the years. My dad was a tough ‘coot’ to grow up with. No-nonsense and adhering to a strict straight-line path of obedience. Thank god he worked two or three jobs to support all of us and give us the best education that he could or there was a good possibility there would have been an uprising with me and my sister’s at the helm! Now he just shakes his head and can’t imagine that he ‘spawned’ the outspoken women that he did. LOL. And now he’s an active member of his descendant’s lives, finally having the time in his later retired years to enjoy what he created.

I also hit another milestone yesterday. It was mine and Jeff’s 35th wedding anniversary. We woke up yesterday and just looked at each other and wondered how in hell we got to this point. How does that happen? How does life pass by so quickly that suddenly we’re able to look back and write mental pages of our own life and the many things that happened along the way? It seems like we just got married and we’re heralding the birth of our first son! Now suddenly we’re at the point where we’ve raised our three kids and now they’re repeating the same process. I don’t feel any older…well, that’s a bit of a falsehood. I’m more in the phase of my body aging but my mind resisting! But I’m not near ready to lie down and just coast through this last phase. I’ve still got a lot of unchecked items on my personal bucket list (one which was to get this blog written and posted – teehee).

So in lieu of our 35 years together, I’d like to spotlight my very first erotic romance, Payton’s Passion. It’s about a couple who are on the verge of becoming very bored with one another, whose passion has waned due to work commitments, kids, and responsibilities, and how the two find their way back to what drew them to each other in the first place. Hope you’ll get a chance to pick this book up!

So to all the fathers, a happy belated Father’s Day to you all! And to myself? Hell, I’m searching for that purple heart I had on yesterday, this a reference to my thirty-five years with the same guy! You all have a great week!

Hugs and aging kisses, Ruby

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A 12 step program for book addicts? I bet there's a book on that.

I admit it. I have a problem. When I find a new author I like, I HAVE to read everything they’ve written. In order. It makes me crazy to miss a book in a series. I scour bookstores and libraries until I’ve consumed each and every one of their books.

And then I am sad.

I just picked up the latest book in a murder mystery series I love and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Now I have to wait an ENTIRE YEAR for the next book. It’s enough to make me cry.

I have to believe I’m not the only person with this problem. There must be others out there who are dying for the next book from a favorite author. What’s a girl to do in the meantime?

I’ve been to Borders and have seen their “If you like so and so, try so and so” but they only have a handful of authors. I need a lot more options!

So I’m soliciting suggestions. Who are some of your favorite authors? And when you are dying for their next book, who do you turn to?

Help me please! I'm a desperate woman!