Books, Kindle

On Reading

Early last year I took up the challenge, from Alex at Beso Mami, of keeping track of the books I read in 2008. I agreed with her premise that people seem to be reading less. I know that between knitting and spending time on the Internet, my reading had declined. I started recording the books on my previous blog and moved the reviews over here in April.

I had hoped to get to 60 books this year, and only made it to 59, but compared to the statistics that most women in this country read 9, that feels pretty good. 21 I read on my Kindle, a birthday gift from Pure Luck last May when it became apparent that pain in my wrists and hands made it difficult to hold a book of any size for enough time to get anywhere. Thanks, honey!

Many people have asked along the way about my level of satisfaction with the Kindle. I continue to feel it is great as a piece of adaptive equipment, but if I could hold a book, I would rather do that. There are many books I cannot get on Kindle, and I will continue to read those of reasonable size the old-fashioned way. Really big books? I probably will not be able to read them unless I come up with a different scheme. But my usual style of reading is carrying a book everywhere I go around the house and the Kindle is good for that, as long as I don't take it to a bubble bath, which would pose an unnecessary risk to the Kindle (says Pure Luck, who replaced the one I broke when I fell a few months ago).

I've decided to do the same thing in 2009. How about you?

The last three books I read in 2008 were:

#57-"The First Christmas" by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan–I like their mindset, and they supplied historic details I did not know, but they didn't have to convince me of anything.

#58-"Dreams from My Father" by Barack Obama–This is a good book and what a fascinating thing to have a President write a memoir BEFORE becoming well-known!

#59-"No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith–I'm the last one to read this, right? Loved it. I started reading it immediately after finising the Obama book, so I went from his visit to Kenya directly to Botswana. I'm sure I'll be reading more of this series in 2009!

And, my first book of 2009~~~

#1-"The Magnificent Ambersons" by Booth Tarkington–This has been sitting on my Kindle for months after I saw a mention of it on KathyR's blog. I really enjoyed reading it. Tarkington's reflections on the way automobiles and coal changed the life of a city feel timely 100 years after the era he describes.

(P.S. I'm retiring the 2008 book list to my "About" page.)

14 thoughts on “On Reading”

  1. I like and respect Marcus Borg, so I am going to have to check out that book.
    One of my Christmas presents was (drum roll, please….) a Kindle! But they were back-ordered so I won’t get it for another month or so.

  2. I think 59 is a great number for all you do otherwise! Do you ever listen to books on your commute? Booth Tarkington lived in Ogunquit, I think, or somewhere in Maine, although there’s a roadside stop named for him in his native Indiana.

  3. I don’t, Auntie Knickers, because my mind wanders. I really need to be looking at the words.

  4. Welcome home!
    I love listening to the Ladies Detective Agency books on audio because I didn’t know how to pronounce those names until I did!
    Yay for 59 books!

  5. Seeing you list your books this past year has made me notice how much less I read than I used to. I skim alot, but it is hard for me to read cover to cover. Not sure why, and not the way I used to be.
    I do spend too much time on the computer, but somehow that’s easier than reading. And I have trouble picking fiction I really like these days (except for the obvious HP and Julia Spencer Fleming types).
    I hesitate to make resolutions, but reading more (whole books) is definitely on my mind as I move into the new year.
    And you did great, btw!!

  6. One of my goals is to read more this year, and it’s largely due to you and Diane Roth. I’m going to list my “books read” on my blog too. But I am not setting a number goal because I have to do so much research for my job that sometimes I just can’t read more. I think I’d be happy with two books a month, but we’ll see.

  7. I got a Kindle for Christmas and I’m reading my first book on it–the new biography of Andrew Jackson. It takes some getting used to, but I think I am going to like it despite its limitations. I’m hoping to avoid stockpiling books I will never read again, for starters!
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  8. I didn’t get anywhere near 60, maybe 35 or so, but I’m glad I did it, and I’ll do it again next year. I like the idea of keeping track as much as the idea of reading.
    I do find that I have a shorter attention span. And I am reading on the internet a lot, something that just started about a year and a half ago.
    You are not the last person to read about the #1 Ladies Detective Agency. I haven’t read it either.
    I confess to only having read parts of Dreams from my Father. I read the parts about his work in Chicago. My bad. But my attention span does seem shorter.
    You do all this reading — and then knit too! I’m impressed.

  9. I made it to 27 — I didn’t get to my goal of 50. I’ll try again this next year. Perhaps I will get there! I admire your 59. My first book is Raising Bookworms – Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment.

  10. 59 is great! I only managed 32 this year. I really have to make a promise to myself to read more. But I think that will have to be a corollary to this year’s resolution not to bring any more books into the house.
    I only count the ones I finish, so there were some chunks of books that didn’t get counted.
    I’m glad you liked The Magnificent Ambersons.

  11. OK…I’ll try again if you will. Thanks to the narrowboat (15 books in just under a fortnight) and a certain long-haul flight my 2008 total was over 100, but then I reaad at an indecent speed and am fortunate to live in a town with a good public library.
    I’ll begin to record this year’s reading here and now – and one of my resolutions was to read something REAL that I wouldn’t mind blogging every day of the year. I do hope to keep up with that one.

  12. I didn’t quite finish The First Christmas, in 2008. That will be my “transition book”. I love the #1 Ladies Detective series — they are so gentle and wise! I exceeded my reading goal, but a lot of what I read is “candy”. My goal is to read a few more “whole grain” books in between the “empty calories.”

  13. Happy 2009!
    I listened to M. Ambersons on cd in the car and enjoyed it, but the ending boggled me: does he live? Die? HUH? One drawback to the cd aspect is it’s much harder to pore over the work, looking for clues.
    AND I am delighted that you are starting the No 1 Ladies’ books. Oddly enough, I really enjoy two of McCall Smith’s series (No 1 Ladies; and the Sunday Philosophers Club), detest one (Portuguese Irregular Verbs) and can tolerate another (Scotland Street). It surprises me that I can have such a range of responses to one writer’s work!
    Does your family enjoy Terry Pratchett? During our much-driving up and down the coast this holiday season, we listened to Wintersmith and loved it as a family and individually, which is pretty unusual.

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