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Today in My History

2000:  I'm All Right, Jack
2001:  Secra
2002:  Hate Is Not a Family Value
2003:  Humbled
2004:  For Want of a Subject
2005:  Where's the Cream Cheese?
2006:  
Off to Vloggercon
2007:  All Things Pari sian
2008:  Joe


BITTER HACK
The Lion King


Books Read in 2009
 
Updated: 6/5
"The Quickie"


Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks


VIDEO OF THE DAY / WEEK / WHATEVER

Very short video from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on YouTube


Look at these videos!
Stephen Colbert Gets a Haircut
Bud Lite Commercial
Wallace & Gromit--Matter of Loaf and Death
ACLU responds to Prop 8
Former Interrogator refutes Cheney on torture
Alexandra Billings' Bea Arthur Story


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The Paul Picnic


Mirror Site, for RSS feed:
Airy Persiflage

Bev's 65 x 365
 
 
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WHODA THUNK?

10 June 2009

P.S. to yesterday's entry.  Remember I said that the book ended with stuff about our trip to New York and Washington D.C.?  I hadn't read what I wrote about the trip.  We left from the San Francisco airport and it took us fourteen hours, and four stops (Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, and Washington) before we arrived at Idlewilde in New York.  Wow--you can get to London in less time than that -- and nonstop too!!!)

And my friend Diane sent me this blast from the past, which is a good complement to yesterday's entry...and I remember every single one of  those things!

But I digress.  On to today's subject...

I started subscribing to Bob Rankin's Tourbus so long ago that I can't imagine the internet without it.  His issues are always filled with important information to help either the novice internet user or the expert.  Not that I read it all the time, because despite being on the net for so many years, I'm still barely out of the "novice" category, but every so often something pops out at me.   Yesterday's newsletter (Vol. 14, No. 18) was headed with "Free Online Storage /  Online Books / Bing /  Wireless TV /  Scareware"

I wasn't sure what Bing or Scarewere were, but the word "Free" always intrigues me so I went to the home page, specifically to check out the free online storage (cause can one ever have too much storage?) and ended up buried in all the options for free online books.

Recently I'd been checking out a book on Amazon and noticed that the printed price was $0.00.  Figuring that must be a typo and that I wasn't going to order anything that probably had a much higher price, when I didn't know what that price was, I skipped over it.  Now I find out that there are literally hundreds of books you can order for the Kindle application (or any electronic book reader) that are free.

The $9.99 that I pay for most of the books I order for the Kindle app (I always have to clarify that this is an app, not the full size Amazon Kindle, which is way more expensive than I'm willing to pay!) is cheaper than buying the paperback version of the same book, so I've been thinking it was a real bargain.  (The only downside is that you can't pass along a really good book to someone else to read, I discovered when Marta asked to borrow a book I'd raved about recently). 

But heck...free is even better!

It just so happened that my friend Ed, with whom we had dinner the other night, stopped by yesterday to drop off a book we'd talk about over dinner.  It's "Miracle and other Christmas Stories," by science fiction writer Connie Willis.  I have only just started reading it and, in fact, am just going through the introduction before getting into the actual stories themselves.

She's an author who loves Christmas and everything about it, especially the stories, the movies and the made-for-TV shows and in the introduction she talks about her favorites and the ones she hates (among which is It's A Wonderful Life, which makes me feel not so alone in my sentiment that I could live the entire rest of my life without seeing that film and feel perfectly happy!)

Anyway, the book is filled with things you "must read" and when she began to wax eloquent about P.G. Wodehouse and insist that the reader pick up one of his books -- any of his books -- I had to check out the list on the Kindle store, delighted to find so many in the $0.00 section.  I also found several others that she recommended, all free.

I had to drive to a wifi hotspot to download all the books I ordered, but I should now have enough reading material to get me to Paris and back again, and then some!  (Especially considering the exciting array of movies on Air France, which I found on the Air France web site...I may not open my iTouch on the plane at all)

I have also discovered why I'm so crazy about the Kindle app.  It's because of the type size.  The type on the Kindle isn't all that much larger than, for example, this book by Connie Willis, but it is just large enough (plus back-lit), SO much easier to read.  The combination of the darker colored paper on which the stories are printed in the book and the slightly smaller typeface make reading a struggle, whereas there is none of that struggle with the Kindle. 

I keep a database of books I've read (reviews of which are printed on this web site) and realized that of all the books I've read this year, with only two exceptions, all have been either Kindle books or audio books.  I am also discovering that with the easier reading on the Kindle and the ability to listen to books when I'm driving alone in the car for long distances, I am rapidly becoming the voracious reader I once was.  I guess it never really occurred to me how much I'd cut back on reading until I picked up this Connie Willis book and realized that I was struggling to read it.  I can still read the more expensive hardback books, whose typeface is larger, but I just hardly ever pick up paperbacks any more because I know it's going to be a struggle on my eyes.

I talked with the optometrist about it and apparently my eyes are corrected as much as they can be, given the configuration of my eyes, and while I can read, I just don't read as comfortably as I did before.  Or didn't, until the Kindle app for the iTouch came along.  It really has revitalized my reading, something that had diminished so slowly that I didn't even realized it had diminished until I began to get it back again.

There are only just so many reruns of Little House on the Prairie that you can watch in a lifetime.  Occasionally you just want to sit down with a book to read.  And now reading has become a pleasure again.   I wonder if this helps to explain the popularity of Kindles.  Have all of us old farts been sitting around squinting at books for years, wondering why reading wasn't quite the relaxing pleasure that it once was and are now discovering that it can be again?

And I was the person who thought reading a book electronically was the dumbest thing I'd ever heard of.

I guess I've become a convert...especially now that I find I can get so many books I should have read decades ago for free!

PHOTO OF THE DAY

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