Monday, January 21, 2013

Books Read 2012, Digital and Otherwise

My selection of books for 2012:

The Sinner, Body Double, and Vanish by Tess Gerritson. One for the Money, Janet Evanovish. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Bangkok 8, John Burdett; Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler; Micro, Michael Crichton & Richard Preston; The Red Wolf Conspiracy, Robert V.S. Redick; The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, Jon Ronson; Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card; Even Money, Dick Francis & Felix Francis; Hiss of Death, Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown; and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon.

Canyon Creek Book Club reads:

The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein; The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon; The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde (2nd reading); The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman; Lost Horizon, James Hilton (2nd reading); Caleb's Crossing, Geraldine Brooks; A Killing Tide, P. J. Alderman; In the Land of Invisible Women, Qanta A. Ahmed, MD; Curse of the Mistwraith, Janny Wurts; Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand.

I'm currently finishing a mystery of my own choice and I've already started our next book club selection, an historical novel.

My reading over the past year was divided between traditional print and my Kindle e-reader. I appreciate the Kindle for the ability to download entire collections of classics for free or a minimal fee, the opportunity to access the early books in popular series, and the ease of acquiring hard-to-locate books for fiction research. However, I found it extremely frustrating to read a complex fantasy novel on the Kindle without the ability to easily flip pages to the glossary or the map that was excluded from the e-book. Both of the books I'm reading at the moment are printed. They don't need to be recharged, nor do they suddenly leap ahead several hundred pages when I inadvertently press the wrong button. It's easy to flip ahead in a traditional book to locate the end of the chapter. Maps, charts, and/or character lists can be marked with a Post It note for easy reference.

Each version of literature has its advantages. My lightweight, compact Kindle contains a whole library of books. My current mystery novel is a bulky 600+ pages, but it provides a tactile reading experience lacking in the digital world. The books massed on my bookshelves are a visual representation of worlds visited and worlds yet to explore. A lone e-reader doesn't elicit the same sentiments of recollection or anticipation. At least for me.

But I'm of the Fun with Dick and Jane generation.

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