Friday, December 19, 2014

How and What Do You "Read?"

One of my goals for 2014 was to read a little more and keep better track of what I read. I added a list on the left hand column of my blog, and it has helped me keep up with this intent. I just added the five most recent books. 
Of these, my absolute favorite was "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng. It's an emotional story of a mixed race (Chinese-American) family in Ohio in the late 1970's.  It was beautifully written, well-paced and made me think deeply about how I parent my kids. I would definitely recommend it.
I read "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd and "Americanah" by Chimamanda Adichie for my book group.  Both were very good and both taught me a lot about parts of life about which I had never read - the first, about abolitionists in 1840's Charleston, South Carolina and the second about Nigerian emigrants to the United States and England. 
The other two books, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" and "Gone Girl" were quick, entertaining reads without a lot of heft to them. I found the ending of Gone Girl annoying, but so did a lot of other people I think.  One of the most interesting things about "Bernadette" was that I read it as a paperback book borrowed from a friend. I used to do that all the time, but now I tend to read almost exclusively on my ipad. And it seems like my friends do, too! I liked having a real book, and I really like being able to borrow books (rather than buy them - at least ipad/kindle books do not require shelf space to store).  And I was wondering, how you do you read books? On a kindle or ipad? Do you read real books? From the library? Borrowed? Or bought? By and large, I don't mind reading on my ipad, but I do think a real book is just a bit easier on my eyes. Thoughts?
When talking about Americanah, I use the term "read" a little loosely because I listened to it on Audible on my ipad. It accompanied me when I drove Henry back to Eugene, Oregon (a nine hour trip) and then on a long plane flight and finally finished it at home. I started using Audible for Clara to listen and read along to the novels she is assigned for high school because she is not a strong reader. It's a subscription service, and I had an unused credit so bought Americnah.  I liked the experience enough to buy another book, "We are Completely Beside Ourselves" by Karen Fowler. But I haven't gotten around to listening to it yet.  And I was wondering, do any of you use audible, books on tape or any other audio book format? Do you like it? 
Our next book group book is "The Interestings" by Meg Wolitzer. We almost chose "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown. I am definitely planning to download and read Denali's Howl by Andy Hall over the holiday. What about you? Do you have any good book recommendations? What are you planning to read next?

15 comments:

Ladkyis said...

I have a pile of real books and at the moment I have ten books on the Kindle waiting for me. I like to read in bed and the Kindle doesn't hurt as much when it falls on my face as I fall asleep and I can't lose the page either. I curl up in my chair or sit at the table to eat my meals and read the real books. I usually read about 6 books a week, although I have slowed down a little now because I need new spectacles.

The Mann Fam said...

Funny that you should talk about reading more in 2014. I had an unconscious goal to read more in 2014. Trouble is that I'm a slow reader but with that unconscious goal I have read about 10-12 books this year alone. A record for me in such a long time. I fell in love with The Book Thief (had to read the book after seeing the movie. Another movie/book I read was The Hundred Yard Journey and loved it, them saw the movie which I didn't care for. A two book series I really liked was Harvest of Rubies and Harvest of Gold. Just finished Pearl in the Sand by the same author and liked that as well.

I love paper so, of course, I prefer hard copies of books way over the audible or kindle type. So I spend lots of time perusing the shelves in the four local libraries.

My reading time is bedtime. Nothing like a good book while curled up in a cozy bed.

Abi said...

What a fun topic Rinda. I always borrow books from the local library. I like the no pressure element of it ( I don't have to love the book or even finish it as I can just return it) and the big choice.
I also love listening to books. I listen a lot when I am crafting or when I first get up. I find it very comforting somehow!

Melissa said...

You probably already know that I'm an avid reader - just finished my 103rd book of the year last night! That includes several audio books - we listen to books when we travel and I occasionally have one in the car for when I'm out & about around town. For the most part I enjoy an actual book, some I buy, many I check out from the library, others I borrow from friends. I have a Kindle, but have mostly used it for books I needed for CPE courses/discussions - ones I probably wouldn't read again anytime soon. I do like having the Kindle when we travel by plane as I can take several books without taking up space.

I read Bernadette (which I enjoyed), Gone Girl (I didn't like the ending either), and Me Before You (I didn't care for it). My book club is reading The Invention of Wings this spring. I'm also still working my way through the Fiction Pulitzer Prize winners.

Karen said...

Great topic! I read purchased books, books borrowed from the library, books on my Kindle and iPad, and from Audible. I particularly like the Louise Penny books on Audible, but in general, I prefer to read rather than listen. One thing I've discovered is that I prefer to read a book for our book group discussions; it's harder to find a particular spot (even with bookmarks and highlighting) on an eBook.

I've read 10 more books this year than last. I just checked my list and as I expected, half of them were non-fiction. I can recommend the last book I read, Being Mortal, which is our January book group choice. Definitely the most important book I read all year. It's extremely well-written, and easy to read, but packed with information about how we deal with elderly who can no longer live independently, and what kind of choices we will need to make if faced with a terminal illness. I spend a fair amount of time with several elderly friends in a variety of different situations so this was particularly interesting to me. Mostly it was food for thought as we age and will eventually need to make these decisions ourselves.

helena said...

I love to read and average 7 a month. I read on my kindle a lot but also actual books that are passed around the family and some I buy 2nd hand. I've tried the audio feature on the kindle a few times as it makes sense when I am crocheting but I didn't take to it.

I read some others by Adichie and really enjoyed them and intend to read more. On my pile to read next are divergent and its sequel and some crime writers

Cate Brickell said...

I, too, read more books this year (although I've slowed down in the second half of the year) I'm a kindle/iPad convert, because it's so easy in the small quiet hours of the night. I've never listened to a book, though, I think I wouldn't focus on it unless I was driving somewhere.

Susanne said...

Oh I still buy books. Reading on my Nook hasn't caughton with me, although I do listen to a lot more audiobooks on it (borrowed from the library mostly - audiobooks are really expensive!!) I still like to hold a book to read. Gone Girl is on my list - but not my shelf yet - I never seem to read the newest books while they are still trendy.

Cheri said...

I'm on the last book in the Outlander series (Book 8) - each book around 700-800 pages. I was totally sucked into this storyline and loved every one!

Janet Ghio said...

I always love to hear what other people are reading. I've found lots of good reads that way. I like real books--in fact the only time I read anything on my nook is when I'm on vacation and don't want to carry a book with me. I get all my books from the library--the only books I buy are art books--Recently I've read "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" by Jan Phillip Sendker: "Defending jacob by William landay; and "Big Little Lies" by Lianne Moriarty. Thanks for your recommendations

Miriam said...

What a great post! I haven't been reading for years, I lost my concentration and then we were going on holiday on a coach and Paul suggested an iPad mini & a kindle app. What a revelation! I realise that I was having trouble seeing the printed book page!! I now read every night on my tablet.

Carole R said...

I only ever read books - I live with a bookseller so I may be in just a little bit of trouble if I bought a Kindle (I am tempted tho!)
My favourite book this year was The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I think it was her first book which is more than impressive. It is set in Amsterdam. Give it a whirl!

Carola Bartz said...

I also keep track of the books I read in a year. I love to read - and for me it's certainly real books. I love the feel and the smell of books - I'm not a good candidate for kindles or something similar. My husband only reads on his kindle. My daughter used to, but now she prefers real books pretty much for the same reasons as I do. I buy my books in local bookstores or at thrift stores, I borrow them from friends and the library. If I like a book (that I have bought) very much I keep it, otherwise I donate it (back) to the thrift store.

Fiona Kennedy said...

I tend to read more on my Kindle now, rather than paperbacks. I find it easier on my eyes! I am just about to read The Circle, which was my book club secret santa present.

Gail said...

As you can see - I'm way behind in my reading. :) I mostly read on my kindle or kindle app on my iPad as we're basically sharing the kindle. I do however have real books but they're usually the reference kind or ones I just can't find on kindle. I haven't read any books so far this year but am trying to load the kindle up with a few for our upcoming cruises. It's so much easier to take it than a pile of books.