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Kindle the Romance: So Many Books, So Little Time

By Marilyn Baron 

Steve Jobs recently said that 40 percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. That’s hard for me to fathom, since I read one to three books a week.

Everybody reads at their own pace. My sister reads two pages of a book and falls asleep. I sometimes stay up all night reading. It takes my husband about six months to finish reading a book, about as long as it takes me to write one.

For my birthday this year, my husband bought me a Kindle 2. It will represent a new way to read for me. I love the feel of hardback books so I’m sure it will take some getting used to. But I’m looking forward to being able to travel on a plane without lugging five books with me.

The library is my Cheers. Everybody there knows my name. I get calls every day that “the book you have on hold is now available.” I also love shopping for books.

But I’m intrigued by the idea that when one of my favorite romance writers comes out with a new book, I can own it and read it instantly.

For me, the Kindle came just in time. Lately the books I’ve bought or checked have been overtaking my house. I have books stacked up on the table in my hallway, books on the coffee table in my living room, books on shelves, books on the kitchen table and books on the nightstand in my bedroom. So many books, so little time. Hopefully, the Kindle will help manage the clutter.

A sign of the times

I am one of those people who don’t like to read a newspaper on line. I hope it won’t be the same for books. My husband does read newspapers on line as well as have them delivered. He says our daughters will never read a physical newspaper. The new generation does thing differently. For example, my younger daughter doesn’t even have a land line. She’s tied to her cell phone. She uses it to tell time instead of a watch like I do. If she wants to see a movie, she looks it up on line, whereas I look in the Living section of the newspaper. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks, one of the major theater chains stopped advertising in the local paper and if you want to find out what’s playing you either have to go on line or drive by and look at the marquis outside the theater.

And speaking of theaters, I am approaching the age where I can qualify for the senior movie discount. The husband of a friend of mine always tells his wife to stand off to the side when approaching the ticket seller because he thinks he won’t get the senior discount when they see how young she looks. Isn’t that romantic? He, on the other hand has gone completely gray so no one questions his age, even though he doesn’t yet legitimately qualify for the senior discount. I don’t think the young whippersnappers behind the cash register could even distinguish us as anything but senior citizens and they tend to dismiss us as such with one pitying glance. Much the same as I look at the kids on my old college campus and marvel at the fact that they seem to be getting younger and younger every year.

Times, they are a changing. And I suppose we have to change with the times.

I just downloaded my first book on the Kindle, “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.”

I’m looking forward to this new experience. How many of you have some form of e-reader and do you like it? What are some of the differences you notice between your generation and the younger generation?

Anna Doll - June 24, 2010 - 12:38 am

Marilyn,

You are too funny! I am seriously considering buying the Nook…they just went on sale for $199 including wi-fi and 3G. Plus you can go into Barnes and Noble bookstores and read anything they have online. If you like the book, you can buy it before you even leave the store! Now that’s my kind of deal!

I agree with your husband. I read everything online including the news. We haven’t subscribed to the AJC or FC News in at least 3 years. The only thing that upsets me is that I don’t have enough newspapers to put under my mulch in my flower beds!

I think Facebook is becoming my “Cheers”! I am quickly getting addicted to it. Two of my sisters, all of my nieces and nephews, as well as my own children and their friends, are my friends. My husband is my friend. Twice. Once for his work persona and once for him. In fact, I’m friends with my pseudonym. It’s kind of scary when she doesn’t reply to my comments.

Oh, well.

Sandra Elzie - June 24, 2010 - 6:58 am

Hi Marilyn,

Great encouragement for going electronic (all the clutter from book). I can certainly relate.

I haven’t bought a reading device…yet…I’m still lurking and listening to what others say about them. I’m old fashioned, I guess. I ease into the cold water of a pool one toe at a time, yet I get all my news on-line. Go figure. What I’m getting at is that I just love having a book in my hands…one I can take to the ocean, the pool and the bathtub without concerns of the moisture killing it. (I tried to teach a cell phone to swim a couple years ago and it wasn’t pretty).

So, I’ll lurk a little longer before I decide to go the way of my granddaughters or keep moving the stacks of books on my shelves.

Thanks for an enjoyable read.

Sandy

Maxine Davis - June 24, 2010 - 7:23 am

Hi Marilyn,
I really enjoyed your post. New reading device…does a new pair of glasses count?

I have not bought anything yet – still stepping over my stacks of books, but maybe one day soon!

You look so comfortable and peaceful by your pool!

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 8:05 am

Sandy and Brenda,

Now may be the time to stop lurking and start buying. Today Amazon reduced the price of the Kindle 2 to $189. That didn’t make me happy since we just bought one for a higher price, but that’s technology. And the new I-Phone is coming out today. It looks neat too, but there are too many apps. I think they say something like 200,000 apps, or is that theI-Pad? Sometimes technology is too confusing. I just like simple and so far I’m happy with the Kindle 2.

That picture at the pool was taken before it became so brutally hot that I couldn’t sit outside.

Marilyn

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 8:15 am

Anna,

Your reference to the Nook brings up an interesting point. I am a big fan of Barnes and Noble. I even have a membership card to get discounts. I never thought of that when I bought the Kindle. But now I will probably not shop there as much, only because I can download books on my Kindle. And that’s a shame. I’m sure the booksellers realize this, but depending on which e-reader you buy you are throwing your lot in with that enterprise. That will mean lost sales down the road for them. So this e-reader battle is pretty important. The neat thing about the Barnes and Noble reader is you can actually see it in person before you buy it. But I took it on faith when I bought the Kindle (and Tammy Schubert’s recommendation) and it was really nice. It has a nice, comfortable feel, but I will never completely give up books.

Your comments about Facebook are funny. You mean your pseudonym doesn’t write back?

I don’t think I’ve been on facebook for ages. The other day I went on and realized dozens of people are having conversations with me all around me. I’m not participating but people are writing, posting pictures, etc. and all these months I never knew it.

My kids are addicted to Facebook. My older daughter is about to leave on a trip to London and she signed up for a special data plan so she could communicate on Facebook while she was gone. I asked her why she just didn’t leave Facebook behind for a week. She has her Blackberry so she can communicate. And she said, well if she is on Facebook her friends who just happen to be in London can communicate and they can meet up.

Now how many people can that be? It seems to me you would know in advance if your friends are in London. She answered, old friends that she’s lost touch with who might be there.

Also, I just told her one of my youngest daughter’s friends just got engaged. I thought I was breaking big news and she said she already knew.

How? It was on Facebook.

Marilyn

Dianna Love - June 24, 2010 - 8:16 am

Marilyn –

I love that the library is your Cheers. I bet that will get everyone thinking “What’s my Cheers?” I did, but can’t determine if I even have a Cheers. ;) Maybe restaurants since I eat out when Karl isn’t here to cook and they all know me in my favorite places.

I never imagined myself reading anything but paper even when the first Kindle came out because I don’t consider my computer pleasure time. It’s always work for me. But I ended up with one of the first Kindles unexpectedly and had ten books on it in a month. I still love to hold a book, but the e-reader has become very convenient on the road. I’m probably going to move to an I-pad next because of being back lit and how much more I’ll be able to do with that while traveling. I’m sort of waiting to see how the first generation of I-pads does and if there are bugs to work out like in most first generation units. I’m also hoping they come up with one where you don’t have to pay for a monthly wifi connection. I really liked that about the Kindle.

Debbie Kaufman - June 24, 2010 - 8:22 am

Love my NOOK! I was worried about the Kindle because of Amazon’s propensity to snatch things back off of it when they have one of their tantrums with a publishing house.
I don’t miss the physical book at all, and I thought I would. My only problem is my wi-fi is spotty in the house and the 3G network is poor where I live. But, I love walking into B & N, looking for the special offers (free reading, free dessert, coupons, etc.) I have become an addict.

Chicki Brown - June 24, 2010 - 8:35 am

Marilyn,

I am uploading my first release, HAVE YOU SEEN HER? to Kindle this weekend. Once the upload is complete, I’ll send you the link and also a link to the trailer.

I LOVE my Kindle!

Susan - June 24, 2010 - 8:52 am

I don’t have an e-reader yet but I’m looking. I have one on my gift list if someone asks me what I want, but no one has yet. I may have to get one myself. Thanks for all the great thoughts on the different ones.

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 8:53 am

Dianna,

Thanks for dropping by. I’m sure you do like your Kindle since you are always on the road.

My second “Cheers” would be my favorite restaurants since we eat out a lot. I’m not that great a cook.

Marilyn

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 8:55 am

Debbie,

That’s cool that you love your Nook. I’m sure both e-readers are great. And, like I said, I really likes Barnes and Noble.

Thanks for your comment.

Marilyn

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 8:57 am

Chicki,

That’s great. I haven’t actually sat down yet to read the book I downloaded (except to pose for the picture) because it’s Book III in the series and I have to read Books One and Two first. I just think I will like it.

Thanks for commenting.

Marilyn

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 8:58 am

Susan,

It seems the longer you wait, the cheaper the price becomes. So maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Marilyn

Sally Kilpatrick - June 24, 2010 - 9:13 am

Marilyn, I love that the library is your Cheers–it’s getting to be that way at my library, too. Now if only someone would combine a library with a bar…

I haven’t tried either electronic reader yet, and I don’t see if coming for a while because I just got my iphone. I do have the Kindl app for my iphone, but it’s a little small for a book, I have “turn the page” every few seconds.

You are right on about cell phones, though. My students weren’t supposed to have their cellphones out during class, but they were constantly checking them, supposedly, for the time. I had to repeatedly point out that round, antiquated device known as the clock to them.

kathy bremner - June 24, 2010 - 9:32 am

Marilyn, you make me want to ditch my scottish knickers! :wink: But I’m sure it will be another year or two before I buy an e-reader, by then maybe they’ll be in the under a hundred range!
My Cheers was the library in the small town I lived in for a couple of years. I was shocked when I walked in one day and the lady at the desk said hi kathy, you’ve got two holds to pick up. holy cow! I really miss that library now.
And about that age thing?
Crikey! I just did a group interview for a program at the college that I’m trying to get into this fall and the three other applicants were under 20 !!
I felt like a fish out of water until the questions about life experience and integrity came up… then I felt pretty smug! Bad Bad reaction but heck, I’m old enough to be their, well lets just say I had a lot more life experience to draw from. sigh. I can see myself becoming den mother for this course.
cheers!

M.V. Freeman - June 24, 2010 - 10:12 am

I would LOVE to get a Kindle or Nook…I keep vascilating between the two. The Nook as that nice back light at night…but like everyone I am going to wait another year or two..there will be more options I think.

I know may people are nervous about these e-readers. I think they are just another option. I still prefer a good book to hold. But I like being able to carry hundreds in one. But then, what if you drop it? It crashes? You better have backed it up….

Decisions, decisions…..

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 11:10 am

Sally,

You are so right about the cell phone. If I ask my daughters what time it is they pull out their cell phones. They have watches but don’t use or wear them. I am very dependent on my watch.

The library bar combo sounds interesting. Hmmm.

Well if you have your I phone you should be all set when and if you want to go the e-reader route.

Marilyn

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 11:16 am

Kathy,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I love my library. I always manage to be one of the first to place a new book on hold. And I love that the people there know me.

It reminds me of an experience I had at the bank recently. It was my anniversary and the drive-through teller asked me what I was doing and I told her going out to dinner. Then a couple of days later, I drove through and she said Hello Mrs. Baron, and asked, “How was your anniversary dinner?” I was shocked that she remembered and that she knew my name. I like the personal service but how can they tell it’s me in the car? Do they have some kind of sensor? Is Big Brother really watching?

And age, I love your phrase, “Life experience.” I certainly have a lot of that.

That’s why most of the heroines in my manuscript are of a certain age because I write what I know.

Marilyn

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 11:18 am

M.V.,

I know, there were so many decisions about which e-reader to get, what happens if? And worrying about whether or not I’d made the right decision. But the technology is just getting better and price lower. If you buy one now, something better will be coming right around the corner, but I just jumped in and did it. The jury is still out as to whether I’ll like it, probably I will. But I still have a lot of books around the house I haven’t read yet.

Marilyn

Tami Brothers - June 24, 2010 - 11:56 am

Great post, Marilyn! Although, like Dianna said, I’ve been racking my brain to figure out where my “Cheers” is and I honestly can’t think of any specific place. Sad, isn’t it? I do miss that about leaving our smaller town in Wyoming, but life goes on and I’m sure I’ll have many “Cheers” places throughout my life, so no fussing about it now…grin…

I have to admit, I’m one of those who uses my cell phone as a clock. I hate the feel of even bracelets on my wrists so when I had to wear a watch, I honestly felt like I was in shackles.

Like many others who have commented, I haven’t jumped into the e-reader fray yet. But I AM watching and waiting for my chance.

Thanks for a fun post!

Tami

Ps – CONGRATS to Chicki on that new release. I found your website (for those looking, not Chici with an e – but the chicki Brown Sister Scribe one) and LOVE the book cover. I’ll have to find the book and download it (to my Kindle app on my computer…sigh….)! The story really sounds cool. Major, major congrats!

Carol Burnside - June 24, 2010 - 12:21 pm

Y’all keep talking about the pros and cons. I’m taking notes. My birthday is coming up and then there’s Cmas to look forward to. Surely someone in my family will spring for me an e-reader by then. Just need to make up my mind which one…

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 12:53 pm

Carol,

Maybe by Christmas, the Kindle will be FREE or they’ll pay you to buy one! Wouldn’t that be nice.

Tami,

I love watches!

I think you can find a small town experience (not that small) but I live in Roswell and it’s like a small town. They have a neat square and the library is personal and there are interesting shops, etc.

Also, Bloomingdale’s is my cheers. They know me by name. They call me up with specials and I even get a birthday card from them.

Marilyn

Sally Kilpatrick - June 24, 2010 - 1:24 pm

I’ve just decided I want to be Marilyn Baron when I grow up. Everyone in the library knows my name. I have a kindl and a pool. And Bloomingdales sends me a birthday card. *sigh* I suppose I shall clasp my paperback between two hands and dip my feet in the kiddie pool just as soon as I get back from Wal-Mart. :wink:

Linsey Lanier - June 24, 2010 - 3:12 pm

I love your dry sense of humor, Marilyn. I wonder what age bracket that Steve Jobs survey covered? Sadly, young people don’t read much anymore.

My hubby also reads the AJC online. I need to do more on Facebook, but I’m at a loss when it comes to social networking…

I read slowly, too, but the Kindle is getting more and more appealing.

I’m definitely an Internet addict, though. I go there first anytime we need information about anything. Insect bites, stomach pains, how to bake a cake, and especially for wip research. I usually have at least 30 links up at a time. Shhh. Don’t tell anybody.

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 5:09 pm

Linsey, I just heard the Steve Jobs quote on TV I think, so I’m not sure this is the exact survey, but I have included it below. You’re right it does refer to young people (18-24 year-olds). It’s pretty interesting.

I just got this (guess where?)off The Internet! You’re right. The Internet really is amazing!

Marilyn

NEA Survey Shows Steve Jobs Is Right: Nobody Does Read
Share 8:29 am, January 24th, 2008, Leander Kahney

During Macworld, Steve Jobs told the New York Times that Apple will not make an e-book reader like Amazon’s Kindle because Americans don’t read any longer.He cited a specific number: 40 percent of Americans read a book or less a year, he said.Jobs may have been referring to a November report from the National Endowment of the Arts, To Read or Not To Read, which found that nearly 50 percent of 18-24 year-olds do not read at all for pleasure. Described as the most complete survey of reading trends, the report says Americans aged 15-24 spend two hours a day watching TV, but only 7-10 minutes reading. This includes reading for school or college.”The story the data tell is simple, consistent, and alarming,” wrote Dana Gioia, Chairman of the NEA.The decline of reading has considerable social, economic and civil consequences, says the NEA, and coincides with the rise of TV and the internet.

Posted by Leander Kahney in Apple, Steve Jobs | Comment on this article

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 5:11 pm

Sally,

The library just called (seriously) and said a book I have on hold is now available.

Marilyn

Anna Doll - June 24, 2010 - 6:05 pm

Those kids who are watching TV instead of reading are in for a shock when they turn 50 and can’t remember their kids’ names. Reading helps build connectors between dendrites in the brain. I’m glad I am a reader.

Now where did I put my glasses….darn.

Anna

Sally Kilpatrick - June 24, 2010 - 6:20 pm

See, Marilyn? The last time the library called me it was to tell me Jillian Michael’s Master your Metabolism was in–do you think they were trying to tell me something?

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 6:23 pm

Sally,

There’s no way I am going to master my metabolism so I’m settling for Janet Evanovich’s Sizzling Sixteen.

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 6:24 pm

Anna,

Dendrites? Who knew? Another reason I’m also glad I’m a reader.

Marilyn

Sandra Elzie - June 24, 2010 - 6:47 pm

Marilyn,

“There’s no way I am going to master my metabolism so I’m settling for Janet Evanovich’s Sizzling Sixteen.”

And Sally, girl, you crack me up. put your feet in the kiddie pool after you get back from Wal-Mart? You are my kind of gal. (g)

Sandy

Personally, girlfriend, I don’t think you’re going to master Sixteen again either. (g)

(Love ya just the way you are.)

Sandy

Sandra Elzie - June 24, 2010 - 6:49 pm

Whoops! Now how did that get turned around?!! The “Personally” statement is for Marilyn and should have shown up below Marilyn’s quote about Sizzling Sixteen.

Oh well, ………

Marilyn Baron - June 24, 2010 - 7:45 pm

Sandy,

No, I guess 16 has come and gone.

Marilyn

Sally Kilpatrick - June 24, 2010 - 8:14 pm

Hey, Mom read in a book that we all have to be sixteen sometime. Since I was a particularly straight-laced and well-behaved 16 year old (read nerdy bore here), any day now I’m going to do something wild and crazy.

Tamara DeStefano - June 25, 2010 - 8:15 am

Marilyn,
Sorry I’m late posting. Yesterday got away from me.
Your post is not only a symbol of changing times, but funny too.
Luv my funny blog sisters!
I’m about to get a IPad. I’m in awe of these things. We just got back from NJ and my brother-in-law, who I adore (he’s one of the funniest men I know) has an IPad. So I was playing with it for the two weeks we were gone. The thing that just blew my mind was the book shelf. It’s got an image of an actual bookshelf on the screen with the full color covers of all of your books displayed like in a library. Then, when you choose one of your books and it comes up on the screen, you can slide your finger and actually turn the page, like a real book. The paper actually folds over and then falls into place!
Sooooo friggin cool!
My sister has the Kindle too and she loves it. And there are so many people I know who have electronic reading devices.
Yep, the times they are a changing!
Missed you at last Saturday’s meeting.
Hope to see you next time and have a great day!
Tamara

Elaine Marlin - June 25, 2010 - 10:42 am

I won’t be getting an electronic reader any time soon. I have too much fun shuffling my as yet unread real books! The pile on my living room coffee table, the rows of unread books on my bookshelf in my office. That really is one of my new hobbies since I retired this January. Where would the fun be if I didn’t have the books to switch around (Oh! how did that Follett get away from all the others in that row! Why aren’t all the Urises together?
I have at least one whole row of recommended purchased books waiting to be read, but I am too busy on Amazon reading readers reviews of books they like, and writing the names on paper, for that year in the future that I might actually check out the books recommended! I’m having too much fun looking at book jackets to change!

Jillian - June 25, 2010 - 11:36 am

Have the Sony and had the same grand plan to use it on airplanes. It is an elctronic device that they make you turn off way before landing. That is a MAJOR bummer when you are at a good part. LOL!

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2010 - 12:00 pm

Tamara,

That bookshelf feature on the I-Pad sounds neat. I’m sure it’s going to be great, but I have to start out slowly. If I got an I-Pad, I’d have to rename my post Too Many Apps, Too Little Time.

Elaine,

I just saw a picture of your actual bookshelf and it has so many amazing books, all keepers. Sometimes I’ll do that. I’ll hold out books that I know I’m going to love to read later. By the time I read them, they’re already out in paperback. But I am going to like having them in my library (which exists now scattered throughout the house). It’s a mobile library.

I know I recommended some of them and you recommended some to me.
The problem is there are too many books and too little time to read them.

Jillian,

Is the Kindle the same way? Do you have to turn it off on the airplane? That would be a bummer.
Thanks for commenting.

Marilyn

Darcy Crowder - June 25, 2010 - 2:01 pm

Hi Marilyn! Love this post. I haven’t jumped on the e-reader band wagon yet either. I love the feel of a real book in my hands, but I’m also drawn to the idea of saving natural resources…. And then there’s the number of choices involved, where you can buy from, all that. I guess I’ll stay in a holding pattern for awhile longer – I’m interested in that I-Pad, but also want to wait like Dianna, until they’ve worked the kinks out.

Marilyn Baron - June 25, 2010 - 5:39 pm

Yes, it’s good to be cautious. But my birthday was coming up and my husband wanted to get me something. I think it’s something we can both use, although we’ll probably end up fighting over who gets the Kindle. I’ll let you know how it works out. We’re about to take a trip on a plane, so the Kindle will definitely be coming along (probably along with at least one hard back book) just to be on the safe side.

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