August 2011

Kindle Highlights: Reading Along With Everyone Else

One thing I didn't know about until I got a Kindle is that by default, "Show everyone's highlights" is turned on. I keep meaning to turn this feature off, because it's a little distracting when you read. But I just can't quite bring myself to do it.
(Incidentally, if you want to turn off this feature, it's easy. You can turn off Popular Highlights by going to the Home menu, pressing the Menu button, select Settings, and choose "off" for Popular Highlights.)

The Peril Of Reading A Long Series

The Onion's A.V. Club has an awesome article this week on "The perils and pleasures of long-running fantasy series." The article is specific to the fantasy genre, but I think it's obvious that it applies to all other literature genres as well. (Although fantasy is a genre which tends to lend itself to long, multi-novel series.)
I have a friend who only starts watching a television series after it's been canceled. That way he's sure that it's a good series, because he'll have seen the fans' reactions year after year. And he never has to wait for the next season. It's an odd way to operate, but I can understand it.

Peeking at Celebrity Libraries

This blog post on "20 Celebrities With Stunning Home Libraries" was frankly a lot better than I expected it to be from the title. Each library is not only shown, but also analyzed with tidbits of information and commentary. But why is it we feel so compelled to examine the libraries of famous people? It's "library envy," plain and simple.
Many of the libraries shown seem to only barely qualify as libraries. Ralph Lauren's library, for example, apparently contains only one bookshelf. And I get the feeling that the books were chosen for how well they fit in with the décor, not as something to be read. The same goes for the Spelling Mansion's library, in which books definitely take a back seat to all the other library-ish activities. (But I think we can all agree that every library really could do with a decent bar.)

How Can Authors Sign EBooks?

For a hard-core reader and fan, the experience of having a book signed is a real highlight. I treasure the books that I have had signed by authors, even when (in a few cases) I eventually lost my interest in that author. But for each one, I still fondly remember the experience of being at the reading and getting that brief contact with a favored author.
What about e-books?

Tips For New Kindle Owners

Eight months ago I wrote up a thoughtful, well-researched article about the three reasons why I hadn't bought myself a Kindle for Christmas. Well, seven months later, and I bought myself a Kindle for my birthday. And you know what? IT'S AWESOME.
After a bad experience culling my bookshelves and selling my books for what turned out to be a pittance, and the collapse of Borders (and subsequent loss of the sweet, ever-present 40% off coupons), I gave in. It's a compromise, in the sense that it's still DRM'd all to hell and back, and there's no way to rip your existing library to Kindle. But life is a series of compromises, and sometimes you just have to make the best of what you've got. Oh who am I kidding? I love this thing!