I've had an iPhone for a while and I assumed for far too long that it was too small to read on. WRONG! As I discovered a couple or three years ago. It was a slippery slope, my friends. Stanza reader, Kindle App, iBookstore.... suddenly I could never be out of reading material because if, for some reason, I'd read all the books in the apps, give me 2-3 clicks and I had a brand new book.
Then I bought an iPad. I'd told my son we'd get one, but an unexpected expense came up that required a different use for the money. A few months later some writing money came in and off we went to the Apple Store. I LOVE reading on the iPad. LOVE it. Since I'm in the process of self-pubbing my reverted backlist and need to view my files in the various readers, I also have a Nook and a Kindle-Fire. I really like the K-Fire's smaller footprint. The Nook is pretty nice, too. I primarily read on the iPad (because the iPad also has Quordy, a word search game I'm addicted to -- because of the sound effects. Lame, but that's how I roll apparently.)
I have a few more confessions before I get around to talking about books I've enjoyed recently. Here's one: I LOVE LOVE LOVE high fantasy. George R.R. Martin? Hook me up to the IV, baby. Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks? Same thing. There is, however, a downside and I can express that in a number: 900. Nine hundred effing pages. Now, I want my high fantasy to be long and involved and you can't do that in a paltry 300 pages. 600 pages? Pshaw! To steal from Romance author Candice Hern, my dears, 600 pages is barely a note in the world of High Fantasy. (Do NOT click on her website if you are a history buff because otherwise you will spend HOURS drooling over pictures of her collection of Regency-era artifacts. Let me just say that she is a serious collector. OMG. Don't click!!!! At least finish my post first okay?)
So, there I was reading a 900 page hardback fantasy ... and I got annoyed. Reading while on the treadmill? Impossible unless I wanted to be under 3mph. Reading in bed? A limited number of positions available. At one point in my reading, my hands started getting numb, I kid you not. Carrying the book around with me to read during breaks, waiting time etc? No. I vowed I would never again buy a 900 page behemoth. And guess what? I don't have to. All those annoyances go away with an eReader. I can fit 100 900 page monsters in my purse.
Promise Not To Laugh?
I read in bed just about every night and 99% of the time it's with the iPad or K-Fire. Recently, a series of unfortunate events forced me to buy a book in paper (more on that in a bit.)
That night, I got into bed with my book, and . . . .
. . . . I turned out the light.
And I lay there for at least 5 seconds, I kid you not, wondering why I couldn't see my book.
Oh. My. Lord.
The iPad and K-Fire are backlit you see. You can read in the dark.
In Which Carolyn Is REALLY Annoyed
Judith Ivory is a Romance author whose prose is stunning. Story, plot and characters, complex and full of details that make the characters real. It's hard to believe they weren't going to call on me for tea later in the day. (Ivory, alas, is not currently writing.) Since I'm on deadline, I was desperate to procrastinate and someone blogged about her book Black Silk which is 1) one I hadn't read and 2) one I'd been hearing people lavishly praise for years. Perfect timing, right? I know! The eBook was $9.99. What the Fudge?
The trade paper was marked down to $5.49 from $20 so I bought that. And when that trade paper came, the cover was crooked, front and back. I measured the type to make sure I wasn't wrong. I wasn't. Not only that, the paper was newsprint. I kid you not. A consumer who feels she's been ripped off .... not pretty. I returned the book for a refund and bought a used Mass Market Paperback (MMP) for 5 bucks. I was peeved at not being able to read it as a digital book, which was shocking to me because the MMP is physically convenient. It won't kill your hands and I can be on the treadmill at 3.5 mph or more and still read. But the type was so small and well, basically, it made me realize that E is now my preferred format.
As you might imagine, Ivory's Black Silk is one of my recent recommended reads. For a Romance, it's not particularly romantic, but my Lord, what she does with her words.
There's another book that's a recent read, EL James's Fifty Shades of Gray but it's BDSM (ADULTS ONLY) except I will hasten to say it's absolutely not what you're thinking. Whatever you're thinking? No. You're wrong. The book isn't about that and that doesn't happen. This book surprised me at nearly every turn. I am not a fan of present tense, but in this book it works. There is a paper edition available but it's so outrageously priced ($30.00) they can't possibly be selling many copies in print. It is, however, very reasonably priced as a digital book.
I also read Barry Eisler's The Detachment because I love spy books with killers and lots of fighting and hot Black Ops dudes. Check.
Rachel Herron's My Life In Stitches was a wonderful, wonderful memoir, framed through stories about her knitting. Rush out and buy it.
So, what have you read lately that you liked, loved, hated, or were meh about?
Do you read eBooks? Do you prefer paper? Spill in the comments.
Carolyn Jewel is an award winning writer of historical romance and paranormal romance. Catch Not Wicked Enough, a Regency-set historical romance from Berkley Books, coming February 7, 2012.