August 2012



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Teen Books, The Nook and Very Little Else to Talk About

I've been reading a lot on my nook, which it seems was a really good purchase on my part. I've been able to access tons of free stuff that while not always good has been engaging. It's been eons since I've read for pleasure and I didn't even know what kind of books I liked anymore. I mean when I used to read a lot it was almost all from the young adult section, super emotionally overcharged books that were gooey with bad writing, cliches, horribly oppressive themes, and generally brain rotting.

It seems that I'm I still drawn to some of that stuff now. A big part of me is still attracted to the shiny covers in the young adult section and it seems the authors are almost all familiar. True I can't get into Tamora Pierce's new works at all. While I loved L.J. Smith's Secret Circle and Night World series her other one Vampire Diaries that I believe was out when I was younger though now has huge popularity doesn't speak to me at all. Meanwhile I'm reading Need by Carie Jones one hour at a time for free in stores. And the book is really bad. I mean the writing is poorly put together (no poetry, abrupt changes in mood and tone poor descriptions of the world and what's happening perhaps the one nicely integrated thing is the transition into differing phobias as the main character seems obsessed with them and often it's a small bright interest in what is otherwise drab), the characters are flat and often stupid. The way they introduced the supernatural fantasy aspect was jarring and course. Every time I hear the main research character has figured something new out on the internet is shares it with the group it makes me want to stop reading because I'm embarrassed for the author and what she's writing the same way that sometimes I want to stop watching The Office because Steve Carrell's character is just so damn awkward and he doesn't know it and it seems rude to sit there and keep watching this painful ugly thing. And just like I keep watching The Office, I've kept reading this book. There are funny bits in The Office that make it worth sitting through. I'm trying to figure out what in this book keeps me reading.

I know what's going to happen. I knew from reading the summary provided. I've read far enough in now to have confirmed that everything I called is happening exactly like I thought it would. The journey has been difficult and not exactly satisfying in any way. The book is the beginning of a series so there will be no good conclusion and I'm unable to emotionally connect or invest in the characters so I wouldn't care if they all lived or died.

Maybe it's the villains in these works that are interesting. We are talking about a group of other beings that are massively violent and have an unfathomable need for a "queen" which they have no control over. Violence and mayhem in stories is interesting. Dark hunger that is acted upon without restraint fascinates me as does the need itself, where it comes from and what it draws even loosely based human-ish characters to doing. Descent into madness or the realization that the main character is mad are probably some of my favorite reads. That and post-Apocalypse works with totalitarian or terrorist themes. I mean I love Forbidden Games. Granted these villains aren't anywhere near as hardcore as Julian, very little makes an impression on me like he did, such a lovely anti-hero and a great complicated romance. Still I do think it's a work where the villains speak to me and my hope/though/belief that the hero is secretly part of them.

Other thoughts: why are so many ebooks more expensive or as expensive as their paperback counter parts? Yeah there are some neat free ones and some really nice steals, but they should all be cheap. There isn't the overhead of having physical printing or of stocking the books or keeping a sales floor full of help. Tons of overhead out the window, so you know I expect to see a price slash instead of an increase.

Beyond that, I like getting back into reading and I enjoy that most of the free books are "adult" instead of young adult to sort of help me rehabilitate from my relentless desire for shiny covers and work that as I read I realize I've grown away from even if it seems to have a natural call to me. The work isn't complex or nuanced enough for the most part and it's almost all more expensive than "adult" works.

I really like the ebook format, my one gripe might be that while there's not exhausting back lighting there is some glare in direct sunlight that wouldn't exist in normal books. Though carrying a nook around is super lightweight and while I do have to make sure books I'm interested in are downloaded to the nook before I leave a wifi area, it's not really that tricky once I know what I need to do.

It's interesting that some ebooks I've read have "gone out of print" so to speak. I still have the book, but you can't find it on the b&n website anymore. It's not just because the book was a special free release either (except in the case of one work where I found there was a slightly different release that cost 7.99) it seems like the books just ceased to exist. In the case of Metagame that's kind of a shame because it really was a wonderful book. It's also a small lost with the Summer Nuclear. In the case of others I suspect that it's probably just as well the works can't be found any longer. Just one more reason to scoop stuff up even if there's only a slight interest so that it doesn't get lost or recalled on you or whatever is happening to these books where it's like they don't exist anymore except that I have them, have read them, and can still download them.

It also seems that I prefer the medium of reading over tv or movies. I didn't know that until now. Honestly, since I'm so drawn to visuals, I'm a little surprised to learn that I like books better, even when the books aren't smarter. I like being able to control pacing and it's easier to focus on written word because there's so much less going on. No significant color schemes, character ticks, background changes, or film angles to consider, or if there is it's all written down and not something you have to view a few times to gather it all. Way less work for me personally because there's less moving parts to put into consideration.

Of news there is a new color nook coming out that's basically sounds like an ipad.  IT holds very little interest for me because there's no e-ink tech but I do hope it's a step toward color e-ink.  Also I'm hopeful that some of the magazine accessable to the new color nook will be available to the older nook as I have some interest in reading magazines and don't care if there's no color in the pics.