Friday, 20 March 2015

E-Readers + Friday Memes

My new bookshelf fits in the palm of my hands.
I'd like to take this opportunity to make a confession: I finally caved in and bought myself an E-Reader: a Kindle to be precise. This might not seem particularly shocking but I do feel like a hypocrite of sorts considering my staunch opposition over the last few years. Not that I ever had a vendetta against Kindles or Kobos or whatever type of e-readers are available on the market but rather, my aversion was mostly personal: making the transition felt immoral in some way. Not to mention, replacing physical books with digital copies seemed like a profane slap in the face to our long held literary traditions. I'm sure that our ancestors who used to tell stories through oration or on the drawings of rocks felt a similar way when parchment was introduced. I am sure others would agree that there is something special about holding an actual book in your hands, the intoxicating smell of an old book, being able to flip back and forth through the pages. Ever since Gutenberg's printing press, books have always been printed but now with technology, this literary tradition seems like it will soon become archaic like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. A scary thought, indeed. I won't bother going into a lengthy debate about the pros and cons of E-Readers since enough energy has already been expended on the subject; however, I will say this: despite my adoration for the Kindle, I will not stop buying or reading printed books. It's going to take a whole lot more than being able to store 1000's of books in a small device and reading a screen to get rid of my highly decorated bookshelves. 

Anyways, one of several problems that I have encountered with the e-reader so far is that without a protective cover, it can get damaged quite easily. If you accidentally drop it, then it's likely toast. The obvious solution would be to buy a cover but they can be fairly expensive and the various color designs are plain. I decided to look around and see if there were more elaborate covers available but this proved to be in vain. So, I decided to ask around, putting  out severals requests for a custom-made e-reader cover, which of course, I would gladly pay for. When it seemed that no one would answer the challenge, I got an email from a wonderful woman who decided to take me up on my offer. I couldn't be more ecstatic. She even has a quaint little blog called Princess on a Pence so check it out. The cover should be arriving by mail soon, can't wait! Just out of curiosity, how many of you out there prefer the e-reader to actual books or vice versa? I'd like to know where you stand so please feel free to leave a comment below.

I have been really caught up with reading lately, hence the lack of reviews this week. I'm making my way through a plethora of short-stories, poetry and juggling several novels at once including 'Half of a Yellow Sun' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 'Under the Sun' by Guy Gavriel Kay and 'The Man Who Was Thursday' by G.K. Chesterton. I plan to focus more on reviews next week. In the mean time, here are a few Friday memes:


This is my first time participating in the Feature and Follow Friday held by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This is another great way to discover new book blogs and connect with others. There is also a question presented each week for everyone to answer:

Question of the Week: Have you ever been inspired by a book character to do something? Who was the character and what was it?

This is a tough one. There have been many authors and specific books as a whole that have inspired me in some way but fictional characters? Not so much. However, Santiago from Ernest Hemingway's The Old man and the Sea would be my answer. To me, Santiago is one of those unforgettable and inspiring characters for his sheer determination to achieve his goals, pushing himself to the limit and the unwillingness to admit defeat against so many obstacles. Perhaps it is a cliche to reinforce familiar adages such as "never give up" but sometimes cliches are useful in offering the most influential life lessons.



Thanks to Freda's Voice for hosting The Friday 56. The rules are simple: Grab a book, any book. Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence (or few, just don't spoil it). Post it.


I'll be using the Kindle for the first time:

"She knows how to ride, was taught as a child because her father thought it important, even for a girl, but this much time on a horse, day after day, is hard for her, and ------- is not inclined to rest very often."

For those who follow my blog, my love for the writings of Guy Gavriel Kay has been well documented. He's one of my favorite authors and Under Heaven is one of his newer offerings, an epic historical fiction influenced by the Ancient Chinese dynasties. One of his many talents is the portrayal of well-drawn, complex, strong, independent women who don't necessarily fall into specific gender stereotypes that tends to be norm in a lot of genre fiction. As always, his impeccable writing and solid-storytelling is on display here. There is such a visceral and cinematic quality to this novel that would be perfect for a movie adaptation. I can so envision Zhang Yimou (the director of House of Flying Daggers, Hero and Raise the Red Lantern) at the helm of this project, starring Ziyi Zhang in one of the key female roles. 


That's it for now, have a great weekend everyone!


30 comments:

  1. Cliches and cliches for a reason, because they work. Especially when it comes to sayings like "Never give up." If you can learn from it, then who cares if it's overused.

    New follower.

    My FF: http://onceuntold.blogspot.com/2015/03/feature-follow-friday-inspiration-from.html

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    1. That is exactly what I meant to get across. Thanks for stopping by StinaMads.

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  2. I bought a Kindle last year after years of being against the idea and I love it. It hasn't replaced paper books but it's so convenient. I hope you love it and your new case! Kay is a new author to me but I love the sound of his strong characters and the 56 is very good. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is still going to take me a while to get used to reading off a small screen but I am enjoying it so far. If only I can figure out how to properly highlight text and organize all the book titles properly. I am so not tech-savvy. :\

      If you are still curious about Mr. Kay, you can find my reviews of two of his works under the review index tab. Hopefully they can convince you to read his work!

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  3. I love Guy Gavriel Kay. I have one of his older books I haven't read yet sitting on a shelf. It's pretty high on my to be read pile so I'm pretty sure I'll read it this year. If I don't, feel free to mock me mercilessly.

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    1. Which one?

      Don't worry, I'll be sure to badger you incessantly until you finally read his work!

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  4. I don't think this is my kind of book, but I hope you enjoy it. Happy Reading! Girl Who Reads

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    1. Hello Donna.

      If you are looking for some fantasy or historical fiction of the highest caliber that distinguishes itself from the pack, his novels are worth checking out but yeah, he's not for everyone.

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  5. Hi, another dude reviewer!! Followed via email. Here is my FF

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    1. A rarity indeed, ha! We seem to be vastly outnumbered on that front, not that I'm complaining. :P

      I really like your site and having never listened to an audio book before, your reviews will prove to be most beneficial in that regard. Take it easy bro.

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  6. Look at you!! Mr. Popular!!!

    Confession is good for the soul. It also happens to be most of the title of the book I'm reading at this moment ...... ha, ha! Uh, perhaps I should stay away from jokes. ;-)

    I guess I should confess to owning a Kindle too. I love it for downloading free classics and older obscure good books. I have about 700 loaded on it. I've read about 20 of those. For shame. If I can get my hands on a book, I must admit, it's a real book every time. Perhaps a custom cover might up my use of it ...... Hmmmm ......

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    1. Pffft...hardly. I am just glad so many people took the time to leave comments, it's very gratifying. Now if only more people would be interested in reading my reviews, especially those that delve into close-analysis of poetry. I can dream, can't I? :P

      Oh, and please don't shy away from making obscure literary jokes, I get a kick out of them. Luckily for you, the references aren't lost on me hehe.

      Kindle ftw. 700 Books???!?! If I may be so bold to ask, where do you *ahem* acquire these "books" exactly? I got a bunch from Project gutenberg" but haven't even reached 30 books yet.

      If you interested in a specialized custom cover, the woman who made mine would probably be up for making one. Give her a shout via email or leave a comment on her blog, doesn't hurt to ask. Mine arrived yesterday and its pretty awesome.






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    2. I think only the coolest, most sophisticated people would read your poetry analysis .... hee, hee .... ;-) **BIG WINK**

      I download from Amazon .... it's just easier. Many of the free older classics I can get through them. I have a couple of lists that I've found which include some wonderful more obscure classics (Lavengro, Roots of the Mountains, etc) and I also jot down titles that are mentioned in classics that I read. If you're interested in fantasty, William Morris is supposed to be good. I have his The Well at the World's End, but I haven't read it yet.

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    3. Lolz, I'll take your subtle cue as a hint...

      Amazon, gotcha. I've purchased a few titles from there already but my local library is an excellent source of free e-books. The only drawback is that they disappear after about two weeks. Better than nothing.

      'The Well at the World's End' seems a bit intimidating for me right now but I'll let you finish it first to get a better idea if it will appeal to me or not.



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  7. That sounds really inspiring, do check out my FF: http://bookstopcorner.blogspot.in/2015/03/feature-follow-5-favorite-inspiring.html
    New follower

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    1. Excellent, I shall do the same.

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  8. I never planned to buy an ereader, but I won a Kindle in a raffle a few years back. I must say, if it went ka-put on me, I'd replace it. It's just handy to have. In addition to free classics, I use my local library's online collection quite a bit. The Kindle won't ever replace physical books for me, but it *is* a nice augmentation to my library.

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    1. Howdy Katerine! Cool, can't go wrong with receiving a free Kindle. Indeed, it's handy to have around as an alternative reading source but having to recharge the battery on a regular basis is kind of a minor annoyance. I've been using my local library as well but you only have a certain amount of time to read the e-book before it disappears.

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  9. Enjoy your Kindle, I love mine!
    I'm intrigued by the book. Didn't really get much from the 56, but I still want to learn more. Lovely cover!
    Happy weekend!

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    1. Yay, another Kindle lover!

      It was hard to find something that wasn't a spoiler or one of those more profound moments at the 56% point.

      Take care Freda and hope to see you next Friday. :)

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  10. I do have a Kindle, although at this point I only use it for Netgalley reads. Interestingly, I read an article that said that people who own e-readers are still some of the most frequent paper book buyers. I guess most of us like the best of both worlds!

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    1. Can you download free e-books from that site?

      Hmmm...that is an interesting fact and I would certainly fall into that category.

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  11. I have a love-hate relationship with my Kindle Fire. Some fonts in some books are too challenging for my antique eyes (i.e., I keep postponing recommended eye surgery), so the Kindle allows me to read some things that I would otherwise put aside.

    As for character who "inspired" me, I think Hazel Motes in Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood is something like my mirror-image for too many reasons.

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    1. Being able to adjust the font size is very cool feature. There are still so many other features that I have yet to figure out still too.

      I am quite fond of O'Connor's short stories but I'll have to track down Wise Blood now to get a better understanding of what you mean.

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  12. I'll read a book in whatever format I can find it. I have a vast personal library which I admit I like to gaze at thinking, "yup, I've read all of those" but I am also comforted knowing that ihave access tomy kindle and B&N libraries on my mobile devices wherever I go. One of my book clubs meets in a local independent bookstore and I do always try to get my copy of the books from those meetings from them to "support the cause." One weird thing I've noticed is that, in the case where I have both formats - as is the case with many free classics, if I start reading on one format, I absolutely don't like to switch to the other. Quirky,maybe, but that's me. :-)

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    1. That seems to be route I will be going down as well. It's true, I also take pride in my bookshelf, reorganizing it obsessively (alphabetically, autobiographically, genre, favorites, etc) and you obviously cant do that with the Kindle.

      Right on, glad to hear you support those independent book stores who are taking a huge loss and often going under. Plenty of the big chains around here like Indigo and Chapters have closed down. There is a quaint used book store in my neighborhood that I frequent regularly but they will soon be going bankrupt as well. So sad.

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  13. Welcome to FF! Hope it works out for you with loads of new followers.
    You've made me want to re-read The Old Man And The Sea now. Will have to dig out my dusty old copy. :)

    New bloglovin follower xx

    My FF

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    1. Thank you Kate! I seem to have a love/hate relationship with Hemingway but 'The Old Man And The Sea' is my favorite. Hope you enjoy it even more this time 'round.

      Awesome, I am following your blog now as well.

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  14. Love your answer! That's one of my favorite books of all time because of Santiago's determination. Great answer. New follower.

    Shannon @ The Tale Temptress

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    1. Thank you Shannon! It's nice to meet others who like this novel, which tends to receive a lot of hate for some reason. I find myself having to defend Hemingway more often than I would like lol

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