The Perils of E-Books: 2


In my previous post,The Perils of Digital Books?,  I explored the question of why I buy so many e-books that I end up barely reading. At the end (past the “read more” fold) intimating that perhaps they fail to hold my interest because books have become as unoriginal as a Harlequin romance.

Or movie sequels (as a general rule).

That’s probably some of it, at least for many of those ebook purchases.  But after  reading the review on Salon then excitedly going to Amazon to read the sample chapter of A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes, I remember why this became such a huge question in my mind to begin with.

Look, I wanna read this book. I read the first couple of pages on Amazon and got excited. The scenario he hooks us with in the very first paragraphs is compelling. This is no hack writer. Ir promises me a meaty, substantive read rather than one akin to marshmallow fluff.

I hate fluff. The marshmallow crap in a jar as well as books that are little more than strung together bullet lists. With occasional 2-3 sentence paragraphs in-between. Books which are an easy read. With a few exceptions like stories , “novels” you can read in a couple of hours on the beach. YUCK! Baby food for the mind.

I didn’t even like baby food when I was a baby.

So when I come across a book like this that’s no buck 99 special promoted through Book Burb, it opens up the question of whether I should buy the hard or paperback so that I actually read the darn thing.

Not just read it til the end. But actually savoring the read. Like I used to. Reading eever so slowly (or re-reading) lines that are especially elegant or and compelling. Reading to think, to ponder. To make sense of the world. Taking the time to follow the argument (or story line). Taking delight in how my brain-mind loves synthesizing thoughts, recalling ideas from other authors and works that I have read. Comparing and contrasting them. Not skimming over pages. Or skipping til the end.

It’s the immediacy of getting the title and affordability of the ebook VS the possibility of a better read. Spend $9.32 for the Kindle version or $16.17 for the hardback of A Colony in a Nation?

Decisions, decisions.

As Penelope Trunk points out, INTPs can’t make decisions,  though I’d argue that we INTPs often won’t make a decision. It’s not that we CAN’T. It’s that damn “P.”

It’s the salacious appeal of possibilities. The wild, wild west vs staid eastern seaboard.

Which also accounts for why I lean liberal, though I have no doubt that there are plentiful closure-minded INTJs liberals out there.

Who unlike moi are probably well into reading their copy of A Colony in A Nation, whether they bought it in digital or hardback. Likewise, I’m betting there is no Dictator’s Handbook nor Swing Time (Zadie Smith’s latest novel and a writer you’d be farfetched to call unoriginal) which are stuck in purgatory.

You know. Those places on Amazon otherwise known  as “My Wish List” and “My Shopping List…” where my copies of the latter two titles currently reside. While so far, Chris Haye’s book sets in an open tab on my browser.

Oops, I Did It Again.


The Perils of Digital Books?

About 5 or 6 years, I bought my first reader: the Nook from Barnes and Noble. Mostly I used it to read fiction, a genre I devoured growing up, but excepting the occasional peccadillo* didn’t usually read nor buy.

I really embraced digital books after Amazon started selling $24.95+ priced books for $9.99 and I finally refused to pack and cart my heavy, every expanding, library to “the new place.”

Then about two years ago, I joined Book Burb.

Now I could buy books on special for $1.99-$2.99 on average. Yeah, the title was usually a few years old but the pricing?  Crack candy.

So whenever a title appealed, I bought it. Funny thing though.

When I bought physical books (mostly non-fiction, business, health/fitness, spiritual traditions, self-improvement) for the usual $24.95 but often much higher, I read them all. ALL.

Of course, I spent hours in bookstores perusing the shelves, cracking the spine of those with promise, but only taking home the titles deemed to be “valuable” and “must-haves.”Back in those days, I would read on average 150-200 books a year (counting selections from 3-4 area libraries). Plus magazines.

Thing is while I buy digital books at a $1.99 with abandon as well as click on the “Read on Kindle for Free” button like its the button on an old-style pin ball machine, I have completely read very, very few of them.

Truth be told, I have read little more than a few pages of a lot of them.

Is it that digital books don’t provide the same sensuous reading experience as physical books did?

Reading on my Nook in the early years was a “curl up with a good book” experience. And I tended to finish those “books.” So is it that my iPhone nor laptops aren’t as comforting?

Or has the $1.99 price DE-valued both the product and the experience of those titles?

Continue reading The Perils of Digital Books?

If You Are an INTP, Then You Might Be Crazy.

Well that’s what I learned when I took one of Penelope Trunk online classes. That other folks think we INTPs are crazy.

Not in a Heart Crazy on You Way.

But in a “I better stay as far away from you as possible because you’re cray, cray.” Touched in the head. Just off.


On the one hand, it’s not because when they see us they see a stereotypical “crazy person” who dresses like you expect crazy people to dress, mutters incoherent stuff under their breath while dumpster diving, is always saying out loud that polite society says you keep to yourself.

Penelope Trunk says,

Hold it. Did you know people think you’re crazy? Yes. They do.They think you don’t understand how the world works even as you ask more questions than anyone to understand how the world works.

It’s all those darn questions, right?” What is that” questions.  Questions that start with “Why” or “Why come.”

Most people think they know how the world works, how people behave, how people think. Of course, that’s because most people think everyone else thinks and behaves as they do.

Or should, anyway.

While I fall in that trap too, I try not to get stuck there.

Helped by my INTP’s “stunning ability to spot patterns and discrepancies before anyone else.”

Not a bad trade-off in a world thinks we’re (a little bit) crazy.





Maple Madness

Okay so it’s March Madness and the NCAA that’s top of most folks’ minds. I follow sports peripherally…mostly just as “water cooler fodder,” something to talk to colleagues and customers about.

I much rather talk about culinary stuff.

Like how “maple madness,” the trend in foodie world to create all manners of maple flavored foods. With maple paired with bacon (or pork) being a very hot trend. Just this morning, I had maple flavored sausage links along side a grapefruit. I have a Maple Bacon Aioli from Stonewall Kitchen in the fridge (I love just about everything from Stonewall Kitchen, but truth be told, I like this aioli “just okay”…the problem I think is the maple seems to be both a top and end note with the later leaving a bit of a cloying taste in my mouth).

I opened this email from Cracker Barrel, which quite frankly I haven’t visited in like ages, simply because it had “maple jam n bacon burger” in the subject line. Hamburgers are my most favorite food in the whole wide world.Bacon a close second. And maple jam, which sounds like a Southern thang, intriguing. So I clicked open rather than select delete.

The photo didn’t disappoint.

Maple Jam 'Bacon Burger