Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Books, Books, Books.

Where did we ever get so many books?

I've always been a reader. In my youth, my family used to make a cross country trip every summer to visit my Grandmother in West Virginia. We'd head east from California on the southern route and return on the northern route. Must be where I acquired this wanderlust.

On those trips, I would always read at least a book a day. It was like I could never get enough. It was a habit my parents were pleased with and cultivated, happy to have a child who loved to read. Now, I look in my book cases, and still see a lot of same books I've had for fifty plus years.

To add to this, for some years before we went on the road, we collected items for sale on eBay. This led us to opening an online book store (via half.com), which resulted in even more books. Now, we've gotten rid of many of these in the last couple of weeks, but still we haven't really made a dent yet. And that's just in the house, because then there are the books we've collected on the road.

I have to admit, it's really hard for me to pass up a deal on a great book. This has meant that we've carried a lot more books than we should in the motorhome. We read them and get rid of them, but still they seem to flood my personal space, no matter where I am.

I'm not saying this isn't a good thing, but something really does have to be done.

For the last six months or so, I've tried reading books on my iPhone. It works better than I expected, but not perfect. So following this thread, I've bought a Kindle. It will arrive tomorrow and I have high hopes of it helping with my book problem.

I've held off on this purchase for a while for several reasons. The main one being the cost of most of the electronic books (e-books). Since we almost always buy our books at thrift stores, the prices of books online seem high, usually $5 to $10 as compared to $.25 to $1. Lately though, I've found several online sites that tell of daily deals (here is my favorite).

The e-books they find are usually under $1.00 and often free. Using these sites, I've amassed quite a library on the iPhone, and I'm sure it will transfer

Another reason I've hesitated is because, in my heart of hearts, I really want an iPad. The thing is, I like to wait for at least the second generation of Apple products before making my purchase.

Also, in doing research online, it seems that most people agree that having a dedicated book reader is preferable to using theiPad for that purpose.

Weight seems to be the big issue here with the Kindle just a smidge under seven ounces and the iPad a bit over a pound and a half (7 ounces versus 24, quite the difference). It seems the older I get, the more my hands bother me, so a lighter reader is a definite plus.

With this in mind, today I went through the books in the rig and now have three more boxes to take to the local used book store.

I'm trying to learn some lessons about my hoarding ways while we're here at the house.

I hope it sticks.


Traveler said...

You will love the Kindle. I have had mine for about a month now...so much easier on the hands and, surprisingly, on the eyes. I love the feel, the smell, the texture, of holding an actual book in my hands but the eyes and the hands grow weary as I age. I hope your iphone books transfer. One downside of Kindle is the way Amazon locks down the file types that are usable. I was very disappointed to learn I could not download library books on the Kindle as my husband can on his Nook. Good luck.

Donna aka Froggi said...

I've downloaded so many free books that I'll never get them all read, but that's okay. The nice thing is if one doesn't interest me, I just delete it!

Big Matt said...

Welcome to the family of Bibliophiles. The misses and I have accumulated somewhere around 1100 books so far, which have been meticulously stuffed in boxes till we can buy a house and then turn one of the rooms into a library.

I have no intentions to ever buy a kindle or other digital book reader since you don't technically ever own the books, since they're not physical, its like saying you own property inside of a video game.

Kate said...


I have to say, it's a little late for a welcome to the family of bibliophiles. Like I said in the blog, it's been a lifelong thing for me.

I understand the desire to have physical books, it's just that I'm in a different place in my life now, rather than collecting, I'm trying to free myself of physical possessions wherever possible.

As to owning or not owning the books, I can live with digital, but as they say, different strokes for different folks.


Nancy said...

Let us know how the Kindle works out for you.

Back in the mid-late 90's, I worked on converting paper books to digital format, but the public wasn't buying it. Most people just wanted the physical book in hand.

Times change.

I'm considering a Kindle now myself. Hope you'll post pros and cons after you've used it a while.

Nancy G said...

lol...I can relate! I sold on Amazon for several years and had 5,000 books in my mobile home to get rid of! Now in the RV I just sold some of the higher priced out of print ones back on Amazon, donated a bunch and it looks like I didn't do anything! I can't seem to get rid of cookbooks!