Saturday, January 7, 2012

Books Bought and Nook Considered

Okay, I have posted a couple times already within the last week but wanted to post what I bought today when I went to Barnes and Noble along with something I am considering. For Christmas, my mom and stepdad gave me a book card to the store as they do almost every year. I love that present because I always use it. This time I actually went with a plan on books I wanted to buy, which is unusual, and although I planned to get books from my "want" list on GoodReads, I did end up with one new book I had never heard of until I saw it on the shelf.

One of my reading goals for 2012 is to read 10 books in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (might change it to 8, couldn't remember how long the series was) which I initially started reading in high school but only made it 3 or 4 books in. However, I couldn't find books 1 and 2, just 3 and 4. So, I had to buy the first two books in order for me to reach the goal.

Then I bought Game of Thrones by George RR Martin because my reading group on Writing.Com will probably end up reading it in February. Right now only 6 have voted on the poll but the majority is leaning towards that book as the one.

The final book that I bought was one I had never heard of until I saw it on the shelf. I went through my list of books I wanted on GoodReads on my phone and couldn't make up my mind, then saw this one and bought it. The book is The House of Discarded Dreams by Ekaterina Sedia. Read the back of the book and decided to give it a try. Hard to pass up a book that includes "a psychic energy baby living in the telephone wires..."  Will be an interesting read, I hope.

Now for the other part of the blog post. While I will always love and prefer paperback books, I could really use an e-reader. My sister has a nook and my stepdad has a umm something or other, it's not the amazon one(kindle) and he buys his e-books from Barnes and Noble but it isn't a nook either. He still prefers print over the e-reader but does use it. Sister absolutely loves her nook. And even with my love of paperback, I can see that having an e-reader would come in handy.

When I renewed my Barnes and Noble membership (along with the books I bought) I also got a coupon for 25$ off the nook color. So I thought I would look the nooks up and consider them. And I am rather tempted to buy one of them. The color one is kind of pricey though, even with the coupon. There is the simple touch, which is only 99$ right now, and that one wouldn't be too bad. But the color one is tempting even with the higher price.

Not making any decisions yet, but it's under definite consideration.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Books as Gifts

I have been meaning to do this post for a couple of months now because it's a topic that I have some uncertainty over along with personal experience. I love books and a gift card for me to buy books is one of the best gifts that I could get. And I give certain readers in my family gift cards too because then they can buy books on their own. However, actually buying a book for someone else can be hit or miss. I am getting my dad a book but I know he likes the series/author, is collecting the books in paperback to fit on his shelf and he promised not to buy that specific book. But there is no surprise in the gift because of that. There are pitfalls to buying books as presents and I'm going to talk about them.

1. Knowing what the person likes to read.

There are a few people I know what they like. My stepdad and dad have a few authors in common, and my stepdad also likes books like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and even found the Hunger Games interesting. My sister reads the most and loves YA. One of her favorite authors is Tamora Pierce and she loves reading both fantasy and realistic fiction. She has a Nook now and adores it. However, my two stepsisters... I had no idea what they read or if they read. I know one may not have time right now with her new career as a nurse and the other, well I texted her because I was curious.

On the other hand, sometimes people give me books as presents and every now and then they get one I can't wait to read, but often I wonder if they know what I like to read. I am always grateful for the gifts and I keep the books though a few get put near the bottom of the to read list because I am still willing to give them a try but have so many books waiting already. But I've gotten books that seem more suited for my sister (including a book involved in a series I haven't read) and books on writing but not for the writing I do. I still read the book on writing and I have the others waiting because I will still try to get to them but it's one of the reasons I find gift cards to be a better gift currently than buying the actual books for someone.

2. What books do they already own?

While I haven't come across this problem too much in receiving gifts, it is something I worry about when considering giving books to someone. Knowing what they read can definitely help but there is also a danger of buying them a book they already own. Even for the ones I bought books for the Epic Giveaway, I was worried because I don't know what they read, what they like and what they already own. I have no idea what books my siblings currently have, so would struggle to give them a book as a gift. And I own a lot of books with so many I have read and a just as great of number of books that I haven't read yet. Unless you are around the person and their book collection, it can be a hard task knowing the book you are buying that they would like isn't one they already have.

(Note: For this reason, I am adding on my goodreads page shelves for books I own and books I want.)

3. Do they even like to read?

Introducing reading to someone who doesn't read very much can be a very great gift but it doesn't always work that way. Some people just don't want to read books very often. My mom is not much of a reader. There is a specific kind of book she will read, some times, but she isn't the one to buy books for because most of the time she doesn't read. It's worth the effort sometimes to at least try but for some, they may never be big on reading but an occasional book gift isn't a bad idea for even them.


I am still mixed on the idea of books as gifts. I am definitely and probably will always be a big fan of gift cards for books as a gift. But I'm still not sure about giving books to someone. It can be a great thing but there are also pitfalls and things to think about.

What do you think?
Are books great gifts as presents?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reflection and New Year

The year 2011 is gone and the time has come to reflect on the year I've had with this wonderful blog. This year was a bit more off and on with blogging than the year before.  In 2010 I had 110 blog posts and for 2011 this will make number 65. That smaller number of posts has included a variety of writing topics, challenges, a couple blogfests, new blog announced, a month long event and other stuff included.

Beginning of the year started, as many do, with promise and goals. I started getting together the book review blog, Reading at Dawn. I discussed my internship a little, though I know a few people are hoping to hear even more about that part.

March brought about a couple of writing challenges and a couple of interesting topics including "gay character versus gay story" and an author interview. Which was then followed in April by the great blogging challenge of blogging from A to Z. Quite fun to take part in and I may consider it again this year.

The next months were much slower, with only 1 to 5 posts per month. Work got in the way and my idea of the epic giveaway had such promise but since I still have prizes to mail out when I gather the money and get to the post office, it was more of an epic fail than success. Yes, I still have all the emails and what not and I'll probably re-email those that are still waiting in case anyone moved. I will get those prizes out, I promise.

And it didn't get much better from there. Nanowrimo was very distracting since I ended up write 125,000 words for the month. In fact, the last month I blogged was September. Kind of sad, but no worries, I am back to blogging and my goal is to blog at least 4 times a month all year long. I shall keep going and have some topics in mind for January.

So, that was 2011 and I look forward to a more successful blogging year for 2012.