Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Restless Reader

I am SO excited, yinz. I has a new toy! 

Well, not really a new toy exactly, but close enough. I finally figured out how I can download library audiobooks onto my phone and listen to them! 

(I hear you laughing. You've been doing this for years, right? If so, don't tell me and spoil my fun.) 

Up until now, my audiobooks have been listened to one way and one way only: in the car, on CDs. (It was cassette tapes up until 3 years ago, as I DIDN'T OWN A CAR WITH A CD PLAYER UNTIL 2009. I don't own an iPod. Before April, I didn't own a phone that was smart enough to read books to me. Livin' the dream here, folks. Yep, livin' the dream.) 

Anyway, so I discovered this new technical ability of mine on Tuesday, as I found myself in need of an audiobook to entertain me on the ride to and from my writers' group meeting (it's a 50 minute drive each way) and no time to hit the library. I looked through what I had on my Wish List and the next thing I knew, it was like Malcolm Gladwell was sitting in the passenger seat with me.

It is truly a kind of magic that I can log onto my library's website, enter my library card number, and a few clicks later, have a book on my PHONE. (After installing the software that enables it to be so.) 

I chose Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. I know he's often criticized, but I like Malcolm Gladwell's stuff. I find his anedotes and stories  interesting and entertaining, particularly so in an audiobook format. I read The Tipping Point (in print) about 5 or 6 years ago, before my book blogging days.

So now, I want to listen to ALL THE BOOKS. On my phone. Because I can.

I needed a nonfiction book after reading what has become this summer's hottest book - Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Oh my God ... like most people who have read this one, this book just blew me away.

I'll have more to say about this in my review, but what it left me with was an absolute restlessness in my reading. You know what I mean: you read an awesome book that keeps you riveted to your seat, and then everything that you pick up afterwards just doesn't compare.

That's happened to you, right?

Such has been my reading week this week.

I hate that, because it's usually not the book's fault nor the author's. It's more just a matter of timing. In those instances, my tactic is to switch genres: if it was a fiction book that had me captivated, I choose nonfiction as my next read, and vice versa.

This time, even that wasn't doing it. I started Gail Collins's As Texas Goes ...How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda, but the first chapters with Texas history were losing me a bit. I switched back to fiction, with Amor Towles's Rules of Civility, and promptly put that on the back burner too. (I'm not declaring either of these as DNFs just yet; I think they are just a victim to the post-Gone Girl phenomenon I'm dealing with.)

I'm restless on the personal front, too. I've had one of the laziest summers of my entire life and I still don't feel like I've gotten everything accomplished that I want to. My own fault, that. I've also been writing a lot this week - as in, my own novel. I'm a slow writer in this regard; I revise and edit as I go, which means I'm only up to Chapter 3 and approaching 5,000 decent (I think) words. I'm on deck to submit something to my writers' group in September, plus (dare I say it?) I am allowing myself to be optimistic about a job I might possibly hear about this week, which would put an end to my lazy days of novel writing and throw me back into the world of the gainfully employed. So, I have some self-imposed pressure, in a way.

Perhaps a book with Time as its theme would be in order.

Virginia Woolf, anyone? Today finds me reading The Years, Woolf's second-to-last novel (published in 1937) about the large, well-to-do Pargiter family. Their mother is dying, and the novel follows each of the characters through "the commonplace moments" (according to the book jacket) and the years that make up a life.

So far, this is okay. I'm ambivalent about Woolf. Loved, loved, loved Mrs. Dalloway, but was just eh about To the Lighthouse. I want to love her. I really do. I just haven't read enough of her to make up my mind or to have enough of a solid opinion.

Time will tell. This restless reader will give Woolf (and herself) a little bit more. 

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I had a cassette player in my car until May of this year and I was actually quite sad to see it go when I upgraded to a CD player!

Good luck on the job front :)

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Our local library doesn't have audiobooks or ebooks for loan yet :p But, our college library just announced a hefty collection of ebooks for loan after a very nice grant donation to the library...and guess which book was way up high on the list of new books??? Gone Girl!! Can't wait! It will be my 1st ebook borrow evah...and then, I'm sure I'll love it as much as everybody else and have to purchase it anyway :p
And, yes, oh yes, the blahdom that very often follows a blow your mind read has happened to me quite a few times :/

Sue Jackson said...

Ah, you are in good company. My car (a 92 VW) still only has a cassette player! Hubby keeps promising to install a new stereo, but it's been about 5 years so far...

And I still have a dumb phone. Though I do have an iPod! Next you need to discover podcasts - I love all my book podcasts!

Gone Girl is sitting on my bookshelf...waiting! First I need to finish my last Big Book of the summer, 11/22/63, which I am loving so far!

Enjoy your books this week -


Book By Book

Alipet813 said...

So I am having the same issue after listening to Gone Girl. It was an amazing audiobook as well. My next book was for book club and I really had to push through it. So now I have been reading freebies on my kindle to deal.

jenclair said...

I'm not so good at listening to books, but I am a fan of Malcolm Gladwell. He may just skim the surface, but I usually find myself researching further. Loved The Tipping Point and Blink.