#bookmonth

This is only halfway working out. That is I have been buying books from independent bookstores that I support. But oddly  enough, I tend not to read them as quickly as books that I don’t personally purchase. (What’s up with that? Is this the beginning of a new range for Mount TBR*? And how do those who have decided to make their mountain ranges invisible by impulsively buying e-books keep track of the altitude of their unread reading material? Do unread e-books have the power to call out to you as do physical books? Or for that matter to shame you into reading them? But I digress.)

Anyway, here’s where I’m at: Previously I bought these three books from my favorite mystery bookstore, Once Upon a Crime:

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva – A wise-cracking mystery set on the mean streets of Rhode Island (aka “Rogue Island”) featuring a dogged journalist who wants to get to the bottom of a series of fatal arson attacks on houses in a working class part of town. I enjoyed the newsroom color and the author’s loving portrait of a flawed community. The wisecracks got to be a little much at times. Nominated for an Edgar award. I donated it to my local public library when I finished it.

Dog Eats Dog byIain Levison – a sardonic, satirical, Scottish farce of book. Like a French farce, but deep fried and totally bad for you. At Library Thing I described it as a cross between “The Ransom of Red Chief” and In Cold Blood. A criminal who needs to lie low until a gunshot wound heals takes over the home of a bumbling college professor, but before long the idiot professor – who is as criminally-minded as the crook – has the upper hand. I was thrown by the setup including a terrible teacher at a small liberal arts college teaching two courses a year and making $100,000 a year (my suspension of disbelief  taking an early tumble and remaining suspicious for the rest of the book) and some of the black humor didn’t totally work for me because it is so deeply cynical and I guess, when it comes right down to it, I am not, even though events are conspiring to make me so.

Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones – this is the one looking at me reproachfully. I bought it a while ago, but haven’t read it yet. That’s because I plan to read the previous volumes in the series after reading the first for a book discussion. I enjoyed it tremendously, particularly its strong sense of place in a fascinating setting. So it will have to wait for me to read two more volumes, which I will be spacing out to match up with 4MA discussion.

Also, I was in the cities visiting the state capital not too long ago with a few union members (a thousand or so on a bitterly cold day) and my daughter and on the way home we stopped at the new alternative bookstore, Boneshaker Books – the only bookstore I know of that provides delivery by bicycle. Anyway, I had to support them, right? So I bought a few books . . .

*Mount TBR = the accumulation of books to be read.

5 Responses to #bookmonth

  1. Maxine says:

    Picking up your point in parentheses about the e-book mountain – this point has occurred to me, too. The massive popularity in $0 or $1 “independent” (aka self-published) e-books, makes me ask how many of the downloaders have actually read them? I asked this question on one of the blogs which promotes independent, free kindle books but did not get an answer. I suspect that virtual TBR piles are greater than, or set to be greater than, print ones – especially for free or almost free downloads.

    When I was given a kindle I decided I would only download one book at a time, and only do so when I had read the last one. I have not kept 100 per cent to that resolution, partly because of limited-time Amazon promotions, but I have done pretty well, with my e-queue never being greater than 3 books. (in 6 months of kindle ownership, so I may yet slip).

  2. Dorte H says:

    No, e-books do not take up any space on the shelf so they don´t trouble me nearly as much as the paper ones.

    Maxine has a point about the many free or very cheap e-books though, but even a hoarder like me doesn´t download books just because they are free. But whenever the aforementioned Maxine tells us we can get Laura Lippman books for a dollar or two, I rush off to buy them – with a very good conscience ;)

  3. Barbara says:

    Maxine, you have an iron will!

    I just read a description of the various ways people who publish their own e-books manipulate pricing so that they can appear on “bestseller” lists, then raising the price because they have enough visibility to charge higher prices. Then, if they slip off the list, the price goes down and on we go …

    Which reminded me of a commentary on the proposed Google settlement that would establish a registry for orphaned works and allow Google to sell them. The writer speculated that they would be able to play with pricing in entirely new ways. Well, that settlement may be far off but seems her idea is taking off with e-books.

    And we’ll see what happens to agency pricing in the courts. What interesting times we live in.

  4. Emily says:

    As a new nook owner (gifted to me yesterday and I already miss the smell of real books), I am already feeling the pull of continual impulse e-book buys. Because there is no physical Mount TBR, I can get the retail therapy without having to store my purchases!

    I have resolved to deal with this impulse by downloading the sample chapters of books that interest me and only buying the ones I’m really interested in once I’ve read the sample.

    This is why I’m a library patron … If I get too much guilt, I can deal with my shame in private by making a midnight run to the book return!

  5. I admit that I have succumbed to impulse e-acquisitions to the tune of having 43 unread books on my eReader. Nearly half of those cost me nothing – gifts from authors, bought with vouchers that could be spent on nothing else etc and many of the rest cost less than $5. But still I find the accumulation a bit daunting. At least my physical shelves glower at me and demand I pluck something from their groaning bulk, the eBooks tend to be easily forgotten.

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