Back on the wagon…well, maybe.

3.15.10 at 2:48 PM (Uncategorized)

So apparently blogging has turned out to be the equivalent of journaling for me.  I’ve never been able to keep a journal, though I have re-invented the concept to fit into the mold of a creative writing journal, which includes song lyrics, quotes, poems, pictures, etc.  This works for me much better.  Based on how my journal is turning out, I think I may apply the same technique to my blog.  I’m looking forward to seeing if I can maintain weekly blog entries while I am in grad school.  It may help to wind down after 7hrs interning and 4 hours of class, plus homework and working 7hrs on the side.

So, since it has obviously been a long, long time, it would be only natural to wonder what I have been up to these last few months.  Apart from working, there’s been only one other thing I’ve really focused on: Reading!  I think I may have set a personal best for summer reading–and book buying, too!  My focus lately has been on Urban Fantasy, with the majority of the works that I’ve read by Kim Harrison.  She currently has 8 novels out in the UF genre, all of them are of the Rachel Morgan Series, plus another 6 short stories that are companions to the books, give or take one or two.  In a very brief synopsis, the books center around a witch–Rachel Morgan–a vampire–Ivy Tamwood–and a pixy–Jenks.  Together they have formed an independent runner business, kind of like a PI brigade.  Phenomenal series that anyone who is a fan of UF should check out.  Kim Harrison also has a YA series, the Madison Avery series, that looks really good.  I have both of the books released thus far and will be reading them soon, if I can manage to find some free time, otherwise I will have to postpone them till next summer.  I am looking forward to the next novel in the RM series, as well as the graphic novel.

Apart from Kim Harrison’s novels, I’ve been reading a few novels off of my e-reader that I got for free.  That’s right, I said FREE!  Barnes and Nobles is currently offering some of their classics at no cost to readers as well as some select titles.  If you are looking for something new to read, check out the BN website at http://www.bn.com , then click on the ebooks tab, scroll down to free ebooks and download away!

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B&N: E-readers and E-books

3.15.10 at 4:25 PM (Books) (, , , )

In early January, I was finally able to order my iPod touch (64G) that had been coveted for months and months.  One of the most attractive features of the wonderful device was the fact that it is virtually a pocket computer, and as such, it is a host to all sorts of wonderful widgets, apps and things.  The fact that it is a fully functioning computer makes travelling so much easier; no more lugging around the 10 pound laptop and taking up valuable space in my carry-on.  That alone was reason to buy it.  But what I really love about it, is the fact that there are all sorts of free downloadable e-reader apps–one for almost all of the eReader devices, in fact.  Now, in addition to me not having to lug the laptop around, I also don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of books when I travel.  Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love my hard copies, but they can take up some much-needed space and what’s worse than that is they could be damaged in transit.  Thankfully, I have my handy-dandy iPod touch there to protect the treasured hard copies.

Yet, as wonderful as the e-reader app is, I use the BN app, there are a few down points as well.  My primary complaint is that you absolutely have to purchase the ebooks, even if you already own hard copies of them.  Though, BN selects three classics from their BN Classic collection–Dracula, Pride and Prejudice, and Little Women–as well as a dictionary, you still have to pay anywhere from  roughly $5, which isn’t too bad, to somewhere near $10…In some exceptional cases more.  The price really isn’t to bad on the surface, but consider the list price and then you realize your paying almost what you would for a hard copy.  I mean, I don’t mind paying the price of an ebook, especially since I buy books I haven’t read and don’t mind not having a hard copy of them.  What I would like to see added is a way to offer a free download to customers who purchase a hard copy in store, even if the offer is only valid for a month after the book was purchased.  This way, I could have the ones I want to take with me where ever I go without having to worry about protect the hard copy.

The only other complaint I have about the BN e-reader is that every so many pages, a word or line is completely cut off.  I can fix it so I can read what is missing by easily turning the iPod so it is either horizontal or vertical without a problem.  That’s all well and dandy, but it can get a teeny-tiny bit tedious after a while, especially if you are trying to eat and read at the same time.  I would like to see the formatting updated to see that little bug fixed.

Aside from the minor issues with the BN app for my iPod, I really do enjoy using it.  It is easy to use and convenient.  If anyone is looking to buy an eReader, I would strongly recommend you forego one and just go with the iPod.  The iPod has so much more capabilities and you can set the eReader’s page brightness so it won’t kill your eyes.  Or, if you already have an iPod touch/iPhone and have been considering the ereader, I hope this has helped to give you an idea of what it is like.  I am interested to hear other people’s response to e-readers and ebooks as well, especially on the pricing of ebooks.  Feel free to comment away!

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Book Journaling

3.15.10 at 5:02 PM (Books)

Several months ago during one my countless excursions to Barnes & Noble, I came across a book journal, Book Lust, and thought it would be a good purchase.  However, I was still in school at the time and being an English major, I was consumed with at least five books at any given point.  Thus, I really didn’t have any time for chronicling reads…especially since I wasn’t really reading any for leisure.  However, now that I am not in school (for a short time, at least), I plan to work on filling up the journal, and most likely here as well.

Since I have so many books that I haven’t opened yet (mainly because of school, not because of neglect, because honestly, who could stand to neglect books?), I’ve taken to reading multiple books at the same time.  Thus, it is taking an extremely long amount of time before I make it through any of them.  So here is a list of what I am reading now, as well as what I will be starting on my next day off (Thursday…my one and only day off this week):

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (Book 1 in the Hollows Series); Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Alice is an obsession of mine); and to be re-read as of Thursday, The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

As the small list suggests, I have a wide range of genres from which I like to read.  Catcher is probably going to get all marked up this time around…and I hope to make tons of notes about it in my journaling of it.  I’m a bit focused on organizing classics for when I finally start teaching….But I digress.  Here is what I’ve recently finished reading:

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick; Evermore & Blue Moon by Alyson Noel (Immortals Series 1 & 2).

Both of the two authors that I just finished reading were writing within the same genre…which I would probably classify as sci-fi/fantasy.  Hush, Hush however, was full of suspense.  Each time I thought I knew where Fitzpatrick was gonna go, she flipped the story so fast, I had no idea who to trust.  The ending totally blew me away.  The Immortals series was similar, maybe a little more predictable, but not necessarily.  Really, the difference was that I found myself trying not to figure out what would happen next in those books.  I’m not sure why, but I think because I was on the same wavelength as the main character.  Hmph…more on these books later.  They will likely have their own posts, but I am still organizing my thoughts on them.

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6 Words: Memoir

3.15.10 at 6:12 AM (6 Words)

The whole six word memoir idea has been frquenting me of late. It seems to always be popping up everywhere, thus I’ve decided I would like to try it. (I keep reminding myself not to create any of the cynical sort). Here’s my first one. Comments welcomed! Also, please feel free to share yours. 🙂

Italy: where I left my heart.

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My 1st Blog Post: My Name is Jen & I’m a Book Addict

3.15.10 at 4:10 AM (Books)

Alrighty…let me give this a whirl.  As I’ve noted in the “About Me” page, this is my first blog.  I recently decided I needed a new way to spend my free time–scratch that, a more productive way to spend my free time.   I mean I love reading, but some nights I find myself falling asleep holding my book up and then being jolted awake when it smacks into my face a few minutes later.  And that mostly happens when it’s fairly early in the evening.  Staring at a computer screen, on the other hand, is something I can do for considerably longer before sleep threatens to take me to the land of nod.

So…moving on.  I have a problem–don’t worry, I think it’s a good problem.  Not even a problem.  More of a dilemma.  See problem implies negative, and I would say that dilemma could looked at as being either positive or negative.  So, my dilemma?  Book shopping.  Yes, when it comes to books, I can never place a cap on the amount I buy.  My name is Jen and I am a Book Addict.

A trip to Barnes & Noble for one book always, and I mean always, leads to me leaving the store with at least three.  The dilemma here really can be broken down to a positive and a negative:  negative: money; I normally prefer to pay with cash, otherwise I use the bn master card.  The problem occurs if I am trying to watch my pennies.  The positive, which is really a reversal of the negative by means of justification, is that it’s more books.  I rationalize that no money spent is wasted if it is spent on books.  So, for the sake of examples, here is how I normally end up with the extra books.  Often times, when I go in to BN I am looking for something of a particular series or genre.  After I find the book I’m looking for, my mind normally wanders to similar topics, and from there to familiar authors.  Bam, there’s book two.  Off I go in search of a specific book by a specific author.  But in my search up and down the isles, I stumble across an old classic.  Bam, there’s number three.

It is in this nature that my bookshelf has become crowded with tons of books.  Since I’m always walk out with more than I need, I leave myself buried beneath a mountain of books which I find it impossible to ever conquer.  And you know what? I’m okay with that!

Until next time…a book a day keeps the doctor away 🙂

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