Friday, February 4, 2011

Boy, do I love to read! (this is longer than originally planned)

First of all, I love to read.  I used to read 3 or 4 books a week, but that was BK (before kids).  Taking care of small kids, my reading time was limited.  I'd often fall asleep after reading only a few pages of a book.  Then came household computers and the internet.  I found myself reading message boards and chat rooms, rather than books.  For a lot of years, I was lucky to read 3 or 4 books a year, rather than 3 or 4 books a week!  I kept buying books, especially when Borders or Barnes and Noble had buy 3, get 1 free, or buy 1, get a 2nd one for half price.  I'm a sucker for books and sales.

I was reading books on Oprah's Book Club, but so many of her books were SO DEEP, or books about women triumphing over adversity.  They are all well and good, but every now and then, you just need a good trashy novel!  I did find a few real gems in her books club though.  House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, Midwives by Chris Bohjalian, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts,  The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve (this book had me hooked from page 1) were the few books that I simply loved.  

I discovered that the Good Morning America Book Club was even better!  I found so many other books that I was more interested in reading!  Books like The Secret Life of Bees  by Sue Monk Kidd,  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold,  Three Junes by Julia Glass,  The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer (this book was sooo good!)  

A couple of years ago, I made a deal with myself to try to read a book a month. I had a huge pile of books (50 or more), many from some of my favorite authors (Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Dan Brown,  James Patterson, Jennifer Weiner to name a few)  I was really surprised to realize that I read 23 books in 2009!  

John gave me a Kindle for Christmas in 2009 (just months before the price dropped drastically!)  I started buying books for my Kindle, even though I still had a good 30 or more print books at home, waiting to be read.  I learned how to search for free books and the newest books were considerably less than the hard-cover versions in the store! (My Kindle has more than paid for itself this past year)

I also bought a Blackberry from a co-worker who just HAD to get the Droid as soon as it came out, even though he bought the Blackberry only 3 months before.  I found out that I could download audio books from my local library to my computer and transfer them to my BB!  So instead of having music on the MP3 player part of my phone, I have BOOKS!!    And I listen to them in my car when I'm driving for 30 minutes or more.  The best $10 I ever spent was for a Jupiter Jack.  It works like a charm! (Thanks Billy Mays, wherever you are!)  Plug that baby into my Blackberry, tune my car radio to channel 99.3 FM, and I hear my books clear as a bell (most of the time... it doesn' t like the mountains on the PA Turnpike and parts of Wilmington, DE)

So I now have 3 different ways to get my book loving in.  The print books I keep in my work bag.  I'm afraid to bring my Kindle into work.  All I need is someone to spill a drink on it and it's ruined.  I keep my Kindle in my regular bag or in my netbook bag.  I often read that when I'm at John's.  I bet I have 35 books on my Kindle right now.  Some were freebies that are only so-so.  Others are books by my favorite authors and I have some new favorite authors now.   

I have happily discovered Elin Hilderbrand, whose books all take place on Nantucket.  Janet Evanovich, who has me laughing out loud with the antics of her Trenton, NJ heroine, Stephanie Plum.  Lisa Scottoline, who writes a series of book about an all-women law firm, as well as other books.  Maryann McFadden who has 2 excellent books under her belt. Sarah Pekkanen whose 2 books I simply could not put down until they were finished. Tamera Lawrence,a local writer (I wait on her at Fridays all the time) who has one book published (The Pond.. it's spooky and really good!) and has another that will be out by the end of the year. And Paul Levine, who has a series of books I'm reading about an attorney in Miami.   And I keep discovering new authors all the time!

In 2010, I'm happy and surprised to report that I've read 65 books!!  

For 2011, I signed up for a few reading challenges and my goal is to read 100 books (or as close to that as I can get!)

I'm reading all of Nicolas Sparks' books.  I have 2 (of the 15) finished so far.  

I'm doing a James Patterson challenge that ends at the end of August (it started in September.)  I'm hoping to read more than 10 of his books. I have 3 finished and 1 nearly finished.   I mostly listen to his books on audio.  

Then there is a general reading challenge.  I keep track of all the books I'm reading on that blog. I have 6 books finished so far this year.  I do keep track of all my reading on my sidebar.  You can see what I'm currently reading and what I've finished so far this year.  Check them out!  Maybe you'll find a book or two that you might be interested in checking out!


Mellodee said...

Aaahhh, a girl after my own heart! I too, love to read, I always have! Unlike you I have always had at least one book in progress...always. Working, child rearing, socializing, hobbies, no matter what I was doing I always had a book with me. You never know when you'll get a few minutes to read! I pretty much always spent my lunch break reading. I would get 10-12 books at a time from the library (my only caveat was that I had to be able to carry that many!) I can't honestly say that I know the number of books I have read, but it feels like thousands!!

As you know I've been using a Kindle for about 3 weeks now. I never thought I would like e-books, but I find that I have no reluctance to use it for reading. Amazed the heck out of me! Right now I find I read both on the Kindle and "real" books.

After a lifetime of never having enough time to read as much as I want, the ease of locating a new book and reading it on the Kindle has made me feel that finally after all these years, I may indeed, be able to read everything I want!! Isn't it heavenly??

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said... Mellodee I always have a book going. Well..actually three. No..that's true. I have one in the family room on my little reading table. One on my night stand and one in the bathroom... :)
I also reread books. Not sure why..I just do. Especially if I really like them. I always see things I missed the first time around...
I read "WE TWO" three times! My favorites are usually historical novels. What a wonderful way to lose ones self and relax.
I should keep a list of all my reads but I don't. I never get rid of any of them.
I imagine Kindles are wonderful..they certainly sound like it..but I love my books. Old fashioned I think. Behind the times? :)
I will probably cave in and get one some day!
Thank you for all the information on good books and there are a couple that I am going to buy.
I think I will buy "The Pond." I haven't read a really spooky book for a long time.
Have you read "The Painted House?" I am sure you have..and it was a favorite that I read a couple of times.
I shall return! :)

Joanie said...

Mona, I have 3 going at once all the time too! A print book, a Kindle book and an audio book!

Doreen McGettigan said...

I thought I read a lot. Actually while my book has been in revisions it leaves me no time to read. I do as you can see from my blog at least read the newspaper everyday. My to read pile is so high and my to write pile is getting up there too..
I'm with you my husband and I were just trying to figure out what islands belong to America...I do not want to go out of our borders (isn't that almost a joke).
Keep reading...hope I become a favorite one day:)

slommler said...

I love audio passion for sure. I always have a book ready to play in my car and several dozen or so on my Android. I don't have a Kindle!
I also have about 55 books in print waiting to be read. Sigh!!!
Need more time!

linda said...

Thanks for the list of books to try!
I love Sarah Addison Alan, have read all of hers. Billie Letts is super.
I'm also a King and Koontz fan...i love a little spooky and monster stuff.

linlah said...

I love the excitement in your voice in this post.

I read Nicholas Sparks "Three weeks with my brother" and enjoyed it but couldn't get into any of his others.

Kathy said...

Book lovers seem to find each other. For the first time, in 2010, I kept a list of all the books I read... 109. I had alsways, even when my daughters were little, and I worked, would read 2 works a week. A couple of suppestions you may like.. "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton Her new one, "The Distant Hours" was good but I like the other better. "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana DeRosnay... Enjoy..

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I'm just here to emotionally (not financially) support your book reading.