Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Read: A Cheap Way to Travel

Abraham Lincoln said, "The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read."  When I am very busy, the thing I most crave is time to sit and read.  Reading is a way to travel to distant lands, to zoom back in time, or shoot forward into the future.  It is a great way to cope with pain.  It is a way to escape your own life, and try on the life of another for awhile.  Sometimes people with pain or illness have problems with concentration and/or memory, from the illness itself, or from medications.  Collections of short stories and magazines are two options that provide shorter segments to read.  I also enjoy reading children's books.  Many of the young adult (YA) books are every bit as interesting as adult books, but some are shorter, and/or have larger type, so are easier to read. (Not all are shorter, such as the Harry Potter series, an example of how interesting YA books can be.)

We own alot of books.  Whenever we travel, we like to look for used bookstores or independently owned bookstores, that have different selections of books from the big box stores.  When we moved, we got rid of alot of our books, mostly to the local library for their book sales.  Somehow, we still seem to have a zillion books, and I still keep buying them.

I also frequent my local libraries.  Besides paper editions of books, there are books on tape and on CD, and electronic versions. The books on tape or CD are great for people with eye problems, hand problems, or anyone who can't or doesn't want to handle and turn the pages of a book.  I like to listen to books on CD in my car.  I don't always get them finished on time, but my library allows renewals online.  If I forget to renew, I figure my fine money goes to a good cause. 

Electronic books, or E-books are available through many sources.  In order to read e-books, you need either a device designed for that purpose, or a program (or app) for your computer, phone, or other device.  There are many different e-readers and many different devices you can use to read e-books.  I have an Ipod Touch, and I got a free Kindle app, and can download books from the Kindle website.  Their standard price is $9.99, but they have quite a few books that are free.   I also have MobiPocket on my computer, and I can get e-books from my library  to read.  Devices specifically designed for reading e-books are called e-readers.  The most famous is Kindle, but there are many others.  Wikipedia has a nice comparison of a number of them. 

Once you have a device you can read e-books on, there are many sources for e-books.  Make sure that the device/program you are using is compatible with the books you get.  There are many sources of e-books.  Some have regular books, which are published as e-books as well as paper books, others feature writings that have not been published before.  Many of these sites allow you to publish your own writings, as well as read what others have written.  (A topic for a future post?)  Search online for 'e-books' and the name of your program or device to find compatible books.

A favorite t-shirt I have seen said "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.

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