Sunday, March 8, 2009

No Particular Thoughts, Random Ramblings

It's been a while since I've talked to myself here - been busy with the business of reading during the last month or so. Here in New England it's been frigid and snowy and icy and it's an adventure driving to and from work. When I get home at night the sweats and fuzzy slippers are a welcoming warmth and all I have energy for is sitting in the easy chair with a hot coffee at hand and a good book.

And I've been doing a lot of reading as I've challenged myself to read more new-to-me authors this year (as I posted at one of the discussion boards at PaperBackSwap), and I've probably read a dozen new authors so far, some aren't worth reading again, some were buried treasures and I'm on a glom for their backlist. I still haven't started on the Harlequin-Silhouette Challenge for 2009 (my bad, though the books ARE here on my computer table and some of the authors will be crossovers to my New-To-Me challenge at PBS). A too-fer, who can resist?

When the weather was at its worst I went to work to early so I could take my time on the slippery streets and I've gotten into the habit now - it's nice to get there about an hour ahead of time, relax in the kitchen with a Dunkin Great One or hot lemon tea and read quietly for 30 minutes or more - read at home or read at work. Reading time is reading time, wherever you are.

But this weekend we changed the clocks, it's staying lighter later and soon all the rooms in the house can be opened up once the heat is turned off - it'll be a fine time to get serious about doing more book cataloguing and sorting.

Happy spring-is-just-around-the-corner, fellow readers. Read on.....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Do You Read? The Ideal Reading Area

As I was reading in bed the other night I mumbled to myself that there has to be a better way to relax and read before I put the light out. Years ago my dad rigged up a clamp lamp that attached to the headboard, it could be tilted in any direction depending on how I was reading (on my back, on my side, sitting up). It totally died some time back and I've not been able to find anything that fit the need so well. The floor lamp I'm using now just doesn't do it.

So I got to thinking what would be an ideal reading corner and since it's a fantasy I went for big and expensive. I'm thinking one of those all-season rooms with floor to ceiling windows with a northern exposure for the natural light. I'm not big on the sun so it was an opt-out for a southern exposure.

The back wall would be all custom shelving, floor to ceiling, sized to accommodate both paperback and hardcover books - one row deep, thank you very much. I'm so tired of double rows and the shuffling needed to find just one book you KNOW you saw in a back row months ago. Maybe I could finally have some order to my books, no more books in boxes, or authors' backlists scattered all over the house. Just once in my life it would be lovely to have even ONE author's books together in one place

What else is needed? A comfortable recliner in one corner, maybe a small table for the laptop, some kind of unit to hold my K-coffeemaker and a Bose for music. The places where I read now no way resemble my fantasy reading room.

What would your ideal reading nook be like?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Reader Friends: Opposite Sides Of The Coin & I'm Stuck In The Middle

I just spoke with one of my best friends, making plans to do lunch with her and her daughter on MLK Day, and of course we talked about what we've been reading since we last spoke. She mainly reads mysteries (only female authors) these days and will read through a whole series then move on to another. She went through her unread romances some time back and only kept a very few of them, she doesn't keep books (a concept totally alien to me), and has cut back drastically on her book-buying. She's my idol. Of course she has a lot less books than I do so sometimes I feel I should be the one leading by example, not her.

Another friend who is a big romance fan still occasionally buys what she calls "an heir and a spare" books written by favorite authors, one for reading and one for keeping. I think she has more books than I do but though she buys fewer books these days she doesn't get rid of any books; so while my mystery-fan friend has purged her collection, and I'm still buying books BUT I'm also getting rid of some in various ways, I think we both are slightly ahead of the game.

But I have to stop enabling her. Yup, I'm not helping her at all. I hate throwing books away, even if they can go into the recycling (good cause); if I can pass books along to other romance readers I'm happy to do so. One day while we were on the phone I asked her (I'll call her Beverly) if she wanted my Heather Graham Pozzesserre romances and she said she'd take them. I've never really been able to connect with this author so I was happy they went to a good home; I asked Beverly if she wanted my old Stephanie James Desires and she said she'd take them as soon as I got around to that particular box of books. She came to reading romance quite a while after the categories got started so there are a slew of them she hasn't read yet, especially those written by today's best-seller authors like Jayne Ann Krentz and Sandra Brown.

I'm really waiting for the Beverly calls to ask me to help her purge her books. I'm going to be one happy reader - she says she has an OOP, HTF early Tess Gerritsen that even I never connected with. It's the only Gerritsen I haven't read - I guess it does pay to keep books. You never know when you're going to make someone very, very happy.