My nook… and ebooks in general

February 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

I am, without a doubt, a book lover. While I was in school I found myself buying books upon books where they sat, collecting dust on my bookshelves as the pile grew more and more. My large bookshelves (note: more than one) are already brimming with books that I have read and those I have not had the pleasure of reading including paperbacks being two deep that the new books are literally piled on top of each other, for lack of space. Books that I bought and loads of books that other people bought for me. My lack of free time kept me from being able to make a dent in the fantastic world of psychology as well as fiction stories.

I am also one that has many hobbies. I have tried to find a balance between my love of knitting and crocheting, video games and reading. After 2 years of intense schooling (my last semester yielding me 18 units and no free time) I needed a break from reading. I won’t lie, I had spent so much time reading that the last thing I wanted to do was read for pleasure. Period.

Since getting my nook, I find myself reading much more often. Initially there was the “Oh! Shiny!” factor, but it has now become something more significant than just a new gadget for me. The almost instant on to the last thing I was reading makes it so much easier to read a few pages, or a chapter, and set it down again. No need to prop the book open. No need to find a comfortable position to rest my elbow. I hold my nook in my hand or rest it in my lap. While laying in bed it weighs exactly the same if it’s 200 pages or 800 pages. I prop up my book light as I would with a paperback, but no need to shift from side to side, or change the way I lay down to read. The inconvenience of reading an actual book in bed is no longer there.

I must say though, I will not stop buying physical books. There is nothing I love more than walking into the infinite possibility that is a bookstore. Small or large, new or used. I have been known to judge a book by its cover or by its title. I found gems and duds, but rarely do I regret a purchase because I learn something from the experience of reading a new author, an unknown author, or a well-known author I’ve never had the pleasure of reading previously. My purchase of physical books will just slow down, tremendously. Especially with the only new bookstore within 50+ miles of me closing down.

Continue reading »

A little bit of an introvert

February 17th, 2010 | Tags: , ,

I have these moments, when I really really can use some company. It’s few and far between. I used to believe that there was something terribly wrong with me because I didn’t want to leave my house. There’s a part of me that is truly strange and obsessive. I can watch the same TV show over and over again (see Doctor Who and Torchwood). I can listen to the same album over and over again. I can also do the same things over and over again. It’s a vicious cycle.

When I was younger, living in Los Angeles, I found it so much easier to fill my life with all of these random outings. I planned events and invited people. I made day trips and weekend trips. I flew up north and drove to Mexico on a whim. I went to strip clubs and dive bars on the weekends. I went to Reggae dance clubs on Thursday nights and hung out on rooftops on the weekends. It is only because of these experiences that I have so many stories to tell. I have so many experiences that seem out of this world, and I would never trade a single moment of it for anything.

During this period of my life I found myself up in arms with drama. It never left me. I felt great anxiety and tension. I started smoking at 22 because of the stresses of my life. It never once occurred to me that I might be programmed differently, that maybe my social calendar was to blame. At least, not until fairly recently. I was reading Laurie’s blog on Valentine’s day, and her entry really touched home with me in many ways.

I don’t venture out for long stretches at a time. I don’t socialize in the same ways that I used to. Even as recently as a year ago I was found outside of my home more than I was home. Something changed though. School truly became one of the most important things for me. I set a goal. I wanted all A’s. The only way to achieve this goal was to make sacrifices and dedicate the time and energy needed to get this. I didn’t get all A+’s, but I did get all A’s. This feat is one that I have not been able to cherish in a very long time (3rd grade).

When I cut out cable, I also found that I had a lot more time available to get my homework done, preemptively get my reading done before the quiz/exam/final/paper was due. And now that I’m no longer in school, having recently graduated, I have all of this free time to do as I please.

The choices I made growing up has given me the perfect, and often selfish, opportunity to do whatever I want with my time. I can spend 6 hours playing Bioshock if I so desire. I can go to the gym. I can knit. I can play WoW. I find that as long as I’m willing to give myself the chance to do the things I like (and trust me, I have a billion and one hobbies to divide my time with) and love, and not feel guilty.

I still go out, occasionally. I still find time to socialize and be a part of the rest of the world (outside of the work environment). My tendency now is to limit this to a small number of people rather than large gatherings. I’d much rather have a good 1 on 1, instead of yelling over bar noise. This doesn’t mean that the bar is a bad place to hang out, it just means it’s not my place to hang out.

And so, I quote Laurie, because really, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It truly is exactly how I feel.

“Listen: I’m thrilled for those who meet someone that sets their heart on fire and makes their life colorful and full. And I’m relieved to see not everyone has to follow my path to be happy. There are so many roads to personal fulfillment, even ones I never expected. I’m happy for all of us, those who fit the bill and those of us who wandered a bit. We create a new happy each day, each in our own way. The woman who chooses to be a single parent. The woman who chooses to divorce and live with her partner without a contract. The woman who marries another woman. The man who proposes to his boyfriend. The woman who falls in love at 63 and meets THE ONE and he’s only 57. Or the woman in Los Angeles who has three cats and a room of yarn and is astonished to discover she is happy all alone, for once in her life she has the say on everything and it makes her heart sing. She feels generous because she now has just enough.”

There was a long pause…

February 13th, 2010 | Tags: , , , ,

It was more like an abated breath. At least that’s what I’m going for.

Life has decided to dish out the dirties to me this year. New Year’s weekend I got stuck with that cold/flu thing that basically sucks. Anyone notice that all of the cold/flu things going around lately pretty much suck? That it seems there’s no end in sight and your friends and family members decide that sharing is caring? Yeah, well, I’ve about had it with getting that gunk.

In other news, I have found myself in the possession of a nook. I only received it today, but already I’ve plowed through half of a book. Alright, it doesn’t really count as a book since it’s a tiny little thing. I imagine the physical copy is a quick read and that I could have just sat down in a bookstore and read through it, but I’m sure I’ll find the information invaluable as time goes on. I have yet to put any of my own content on there (PDFs or otherwise) so we’ll see how that turns out after I get to that point. I need to find my other microSD card… one is in the camera and the other is… well, I’ll find it eventually.

The nook was quite sluggish at first, which I expected from all of the reviews. I also knew that there was an update that helped with this little problem. It has and it did. I’ve never played with a Kindle, so I have no point of comparison, but I love it already. I’m enjoying how easy it is to read on. I like that I was able to take it to the gym, prop it up on the little shelf in front of me, set the font to the biggest it goes and read while running/walking on the treadmill. This in and of itself satisfies my multi-tasking ADD self. Okay, I don’t really have ADD, but it really does help. Makes me feel like I’m getting to do something WHILE at the gym. And reading books are on the agenda of “Things to do More Often”.

I’m happy with the purchase, even if my car decided to take a digger and cost me $700 to repair. I don’t regret the nook. I do, however, need to set myself a budget so I don’t over spend on books. Like $20/pay period or something. Or only buy a book after I’ve read one. Who knows what I’m going to do. I do have a ton of them on my computer to upload, so we’ll see how that goes.

In other news, I’ve decided to take my ever growing ass to the gym. I keep gaining weight, which makes me more depressed about being overweight, which causes me to stop at Chipotle, In & Out, and McDonald’s far too often. I need to limit this to once a week or less. I need to make hitting the grocery store a bigger deal.

Spring is starting to make it’s way here, and losing my car yesterday and being stranded meant that I walked to the gym and walked back. I also walked the mile or two to pick up my car. It was good for me and I needed it. I didn’t, however, need the honks and catcalls. I mean really people, grow the hell up already.

In other crafty news, I’ve started working on a pair of socks from Wendy‘s older book, Socks from the Toe-up. I have been wanting to make socks from this book for a very long time, but I’m such a self-striping/hand-painted yarn whore that I never picked up any skeins of sock yarn that were less… variegated. I have picked up some wool yarn from KnitPicks as well, so that I may start on some new amigurumi projects.

I’ve had bad luck with patterns, and I think I’m going to start working on my own patterns before I invest the time in another ami doll. There’s just too many variables that don’t seem to fit. Numbers that are off, stitch counts that don’t match when having to put pieces together. Ah well. Photos of the new doll are after the cut. They’re kind of fuzzy. 🙁

Continue reading »