Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fun Time-Wasting Links about Reading

It’s official – the grades are turned in and summer has started! Woo-hoo! So I spent time this morning and afternoon surfing the internet and reading blogs. Here are some links and snarky comments to help you achieve optimal time wastefulness.
Apparently there was a World E-Reading Conference in London this week. I’m pretty bummed that I missed it, to be honest! This article sums up a few highlights, most notably that the HarperCollins International CEO claims that their ebooks sales are steadily increasing. I have to wonder if this will have an effect on their decision to allow only 26 checkouts for ebooks owned by libraries. A friend recently told me that she believes that HarperCollins made the decision believing that other publishers would soon follow. That hasn’t happened, thank goodness, and I have to wonder if Amazon’s decision to allow lending Kindle books sometime later this year will have any effect on that decision as well.
Here’s a link to the article “Novel rejected? There’s an e-book gold rush!on the Washington Post webpage that I’ve now seen cited on at least two different blogs. It talks about author Nyree Belleville and how she started publishing her books electronically after being dropped by her publisher. What I really like about the article is that you get to see how much time Ms. Belleville has to spend to publish her books. Also, it’s worth noting that she was published first by a publishing house, then published her work electronically.
Authors Barbara O’Neal and Jennifer Crusie had a long chat that’s posted on Ms. Crusie’s webpage about ebooks and publishing in general. It’s so long that it actually spans three days, but it’s fascinating to see their different approaches to e-publishing. Here again, you see exactly how much work it is to publish your writing independently. Ms. O’Neal describes how much her family has done for her to enable her to continue writing while publishing on her own. Both authors remain with big name publishing companies, and it looks like they’d like to continue to do so.
I’ve recently read a couple of reviews of the Barnes and Noble Nook Color software update that allows you to use the Nook as a tablet rather than just an e-reader. Most of these reviews aren’t that complimentary (here’s the review from, and I’ve always wondered why you would purchase an e-reader that is backlit, since that’s one of the reasons I love my Kindle so much. But I just saw this article on about Kindle and tablet talks. Yikes! This article from the Huffington Post makes it sound like some people think that e-readers will go the way of the Flip camera. I have to admit, if my cell phone weren’t the cheap, free phone that takes really awful pictures, I probably would consider moving from my digital camera to using my cell phone, especially since I love to pack light on trips. Just compare these two photos of my beagle, one from my cheap-o phone and the other from my digital camera that's several years old:
Photo from cell phone

Photo from digital camera

Clearly, I will not be switching to my cell phone for photos anytime soon. But will the same hold true for my Kindle? Will I continue to use two different devices when one could do both? At this point, I think I will remain with my Kindle. I HATE reading on the computer, and that is what a tablet is! It’s hard on the eyes to read on backlit screens. And if a tablet were considerably cheaper than an iPad, would I purchase it? I don’t know. I use my laptop pretty much only at home or at work, and I’m not sure how much more I would use a tablet versus, say, a smart phone. I like having an actual keyboard for writing and work, and a tablet would be too unwieldy to carry in my purse. So we’ll have to see how this ends up playing out.
 Finally, as I postpone my afternoon workout by writing this blog, I leave you with this link from Dirty Sexy Books about exercising and how sitting for long periods is bad for you. I’ve seen articles recently about how sedentary lifestyles can limit the benefit you receive from working out, even if you exercise regularly. Something to think about!

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