Monday, July 29, 2013

The Library and Me (and What I'm Reading these days)

Well, we are finally past the inspection stage and moving forward to closing.  All we have now is the appraisal!  In other news, my four year old glasses (for which I have no backups) broke, and tonight my brother is going to try and solder the frames.  The prescription is to old to refill and the frames are out of date, so I shall be "partially put together" until my new eye exam and glasses. I'm looking at ordering glasses online-something I shall share as the time progresses.

I am a book addict.  I read a frightening amount of books, at a fast clip. I have been known to begin a book in the afternoon, and with the exception of dinner and a few other things, read through until three in the morning.  While I read a variety of genres, most of my fiction reading is current fiction and police procedurals.  I also watch a fair amount of television series and movies, usually trying to grab them soon after they become available.





For years, I managed to get those books and films almost as soon as they came out-because I ordered them online through Amazon.  Rather than being a spendthrift, it was a requirement.  For seven years I lived in a non-English speaking country-with a minute English speaking library and am equally tiny bookstore. While there were in fact English speaking theaters, English books were a different story-and for four of those seven years, we had no English television (then we had British Satellite).   Amazon became part of our budget, with a large box arriving at least twice a month. Some of those books we kept, some we sold back to Amazon, and some we donated to said library-so that others would not suffer so much.  Our Amazon budget was a need in the truest sense in that time and place.

Of course, once I returned to the States, and the land of libraries and bookstores (both big box and used) it became another story.  Once I had access to really good libraries, I just could not justify my Amazon fix any more, much as I would have liked to. I had a good library system, where they got all the new books and movies.  There was only one thing-when I went to reserve a movie or book, there would often be a couple or a few hundred reserves already. Patience when it comes to purchasing books is not my strong suit, and on occasion I would walk by a bookstore, and my plans to wait went by the wayside. I would get frustrated, shop anyway, and finish the darned book three days later!





One day I was on Amazon for another reason (these days you can get anything in the world on Amazon and often at a lower price) when I had what my mother would have called "a moment".  Every time I went onto Amazon, they wanted to give me recommendations based on previous purchases.  Then, I really hit the nail on the head when I realized that they have a section called "popular pre-orders" organized by book type.  With a few clicks, I could see which mysteries were going to be released in November, and reserve them in July.  I could also look far ahead and see when the next Game of Thrones season would be available. Almost every library system allows one to reserve a book as soon as it has been ordered.  Once I started this system I was generally in the top twenty when it came to reserving.  The end result is that I have gotten most books and current shows within a month or so of their release date and often sooner.  

This has of course made me much happier (and much less spendier). I still occasionally actually pay for books on my kindle, and I occasionally buy books related to spirituality, current events , business, food and my hobbies. Usually but not always they are checked out of the library first, and they are often purchased through used sources-I've been known to adjust a pattern or recipe and note that in the book itself, so I appreciate that others may have done the same.

Fortunately, along with my waiting list, I've found a couple new authors.  Since I am starting at the beginning of this series the books are all available-for now.  In addition to those books, I'm waiting patiently for Bad Monkey, Stranded, Night Moves and a few others. I'm also waiting for the book Southern Living: Little Jars, Big Flavors (which I'll probably buy afterwards), and a new drawing book.



By the way, has anyone else noticed that there seem to be three or four times a year when most new fiction is released?  It seems that ninety percent of the "new" mysteries will appear in the month of September alone. Or is it just me?


12 comments:

  1. Yes, they do seem to be released in bunches. After waiting for what seems to be a very long time, I will have releases from seven of my favorite authors in a two month period from late August thru mid October. Since I don't have access to a good library I preordered all of these on my kindle and will be taking a bit of a financial hit soon.

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    1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do-I am sure at least a couple will appear on my kindle/tablet as well.

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  2. Our all time favorite author succumbed to cancer last month. Vince Flynn opened up an entirely believable set of characters and plots. We often read Brad Thor as well. I reserved the new Dan Brown book before our librarian knew it was coming out. It wasn't as good as his first. My husband collects the Lee Child books....we are going to have an amazing book sale if we move!
    I am always up for a quick Amish romance. Gets my brain out and moves it into a gentler space. We have seven travel books on the table right now. Haven't bought a finance book in ages....
    Our Encore life gives us loads of reading time. The drought is finally over!

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    1. I am hoping to introduce son to Vince Flynn-he ust finished one Stephen Coonts series (not Jake Grafton) and is now actually reading Ace Adkins. Yep, Lee child, John Sanford and Robert Crais I tend to grab the exact minute they come out. No finance books but with two small businesses always looking at free marketing ideas and the like.

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  3. I'm a big Lee Child fan. Just read the recent Robert Crais book, "Suspect" and my response is: nice try, but not as good as the Elvis Cole stories. I just ordered "Stranded" from my library, as well as a Vince Flynn. Thanks for the recommendations!

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  4. If you like Stranded you may want to go back and start at the beginning, there is inuenndo and references that go back, but it certanly will stand on it'sown

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  5. Concerning ordering glasses online, I've had remarkably good luck with Zenni Optical. You will need a current prescription, a measurement of your pupillary distance--the distance between the pupils of your eyes when you're looking straight ahead--which your optometrist/ophthalmologist can give you, the distance across the front of your glasses, and the length of the earpiece. They have hundreds and hundreds of styles, also do sunglasses, and have a variety of lens choices. Bifocal/multifocal lenses and different lens materials are more expensive than single-vision lenses, but they're still remarkably inexpensive. I've bought four pair now, two of them sunglasses, and have had no problems. No, I have no connection to the firm, I was just happily surprised by their glasses.

    I've been filling my Kindle with Amazon's freebies, since I have some mobility problems, and the library shelves and I don't get along--everything I want is either on the top or bottom shelf, where I can't get at them. That, and there are generally dozens, if not scores, of holds on most new books, and pretty much all their e-books. Amazon may have a lot of junk for free; but there are some excellent authors also, if you're willing to dig for them.

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  6. How are you Jean. I actually made an appointment for Friday (my insurance gives me a five dollar exam) and the guy said there would be no problem with the PD. If they won't measure my glasses I should be able to do it myself. I have no line bifocals and will need both sun and regular.

    If it helps, my trick with the library shelves is to reserve everything so it is at the front of the library by the checkout. I refuse to wander the stacks. Amazon does have lots for free, but I also reserve the new books.

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  7. I'm an avid reader as well, but have to give credit to the various book clubs I belong to for pushing me out of my comfort zone, and exposing me to some terrific literature I'd have likely not read on my own. Currently my favorite book club is taking three months to read Lonesome Dove by Larry McCurtry, which as a recent Texan you might enjoy if you haven't read it already.

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  8. great book, great series-especially Comanche Moon

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  9. I too love Lee Child and many of the others you mentioned. That being the case, I would like to suggest to you the Norwegian author Jo Nesbo and in particular his Harry Hole series. I would read them in order for best experience. I have found several Scandanavian crime authors that are great. They tend to have more intricate and surprising stories. Just search the library or Goodreads or whatever under Scandanavian crime...you won't be sorry!

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  10. I really miss getting to read a new Tony Hillerman mystery every year....since he died a few years ago. I have a poor memory though so I can enjoy his books all over again after several years break. :0)

    Costco is a good source for the latest popular books at a much lower price. They are way cheaper for getting prescription glasses too.

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