ebooks vs paper books??

It’s an inevitable question isn’t it.  A while ago I had a kindle bought for me.  I was a little underwhelmed at the time because to be honest I prefer books.  However, that being said it’s amazing quite how easily the kindle becomes a part of your reading life, it inveigles itself and creeps up on you unexpectedly.  Let’s face it the books you buy for your kindle are more reasonably priced.  There are frequently good deals on some of your favourite books.  There are daily deals and many books are completely free, especially the classics.  If I was to list my pros and cons they would probably be:

Pros:

  1. Cheaper books
  2. No matter how many books you have on the go at any time your place is always saved – no need for bookmarks
  3. No stacks of books all over the house
  4. Easy to highlight relevant parts which is great when doing a readalong
  5. Quick to purchase – ‘one click’
  6. No postage costs or delivery time
  7. You can take a thousand books away on holiday with you and still fit clothes into your suitcase
  8. Really good for reading big chunksters

Cons:

  1. They’re not books!  Books are like trophies in a way, I love having them gathered all over the house. I don’t know why but they’re just a part of my personality and I feel like they say something about me that a kindle just doesn’t.
  2. No stacks of books all over the house!
  3. The books are cheaper but if I read a book I love I still want to own the paper version which in reality means I buy the book twice!
  4. It runs out of battery at the most inopportune times – my fault but nonetheless infuriating when it happens
  5. They’re pretty useless in terms of glossaries or maps that are usually at the front or back of the book – if you’re reading a book it’s so much easier to flip from front to back.  Which means I tend to ignore these things completely!
  6. I lose the association with the look of the book and the title and author.  Sometimes I will struggle to remember a book’s author after I’ve finished reading on the kindle – I know that sounds odd but when you’re reading a book you see the cover and name/author all the time.  It just reinforces it somehow.
  7. I can’t be nosey and look at what other people are reading when they’re using a kindle.  I know, I know.  I’m a nosey so and so, but, I just can’t help wanting to know what everyone else is reading – well, it could be the next ‘big thing’.
  8. It really is too easy to buy books this way which means you purchase on the slightest whim – there are no physical inhibitors, no scowling partners – no books taunting you from the windowsill, coffee table, bedside cabinet.

So, it appears evens doesn’t it – and yet, I still prefer the book.  I worry about all the talk surrounding the disappearance of paper books, how they’ll soon just become a thing of the past.  Let’s face it some books are never printed at all now.  What happens to all the gorgeous cover art??  Will it still be needed?

It definitely makes me a bit sad to think electronic books may be the end of paper ones.  After all, as much as I’ve grown accustomed to my kindle it’s never going to fulfill my dream of having a library is it!!

And, I wonder what authors make of ebooks.  I can’t help thinking it must be really satisfying when you receive that first copy of a book with your name on it – and yet at the same time so many books are self published now which gives some authors a chance that they wouldn’t previously have had)  Of course, there’s a whole other argument around that and the flooding of the book market with so many books that probably would never have made the cut through a publishing house.

Your thoughts??

 

 

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – readalong week 3

537a7-wordsofradgroupread250Today is week three of a 10 week readalong of Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance arranged jointly by Dab of Darkness and Stainless Steel Droppings.   If you’re not joining in already you might want to think about it – it’s not too late!!  Alternatively, if you’ve already read this and just want to jump in with comments then that would be cool.  (The schedule is here).  This week’s questions have come to us from Susan at Dab of Darkness who you need to pay a visit to – mainly because she always has such wonderful insights!  So, without further ado:  (Oh, fyi – spoilers below, they’re like spren, if you read this they will pop up all over the place – mischievousspren!)

1) We have a new character on the scene: Zahel, a swordmaster. What do you think of his interest in Kaladin? 

It’s very curious isn’t it.  I like Zahel.  Maybe that’s because he wants to train Kaladin – and clearly he had a point as Kaladin very successfully displayed!  Although, part of me wonders if part of Kaladin’s success is his improvisation.  Anyway, I have mixed feelings – I like Zahel – but in a way it makes me sceptical because Kaladin’s first thoughts were to mistrust.  Okay, sitting on the fence here.

2) We learned a bit more about Shallan’s past. What do you think her brother Heralan was doing all those years ago, coming and going as he did, and where did his Shardblade come from? 

Again, this was very interesting.  Last week I was convinced Shallan hadn’t killed her mum, this week I’m mistrusting that initial thought.  I thought she’d probably witnessed it.  But, this week, she broke her silence to protect her dad which I wonder if she would have done that if he’d killed her mother?  Surely she’d hate him as much as her brother seems to do.  Perhaps he was protecting some sort of secret for Shallan.  I have no idea why Heralan has a Shardblade – I only hope he knows how to use it!

3) What do you think of Shallan’s recent actions with the caravans? How about her growing friendship with Tyn? And her first interaction with Kaladin? 

I was really impressed with her this week.  She took control of her situation and I think it was a learning curve for her.  It was interesting to here Pattern say that there are different truths.  Not sure what to make of Tyn yet, I like her to be honest.  Yes, she’s a bit of a con artist, but, I think the two could get along – she’s also free thinking – I loved her comment about she’d eat what she wants – damn straight!  She thinks she has Shallan sussed out and so she’s opening up in a way that she wouldn’t otherwise do.  The first meeting between Kaladin and Shallan was so funny!  It’s now got me thinking that those two would get on famously – I don’t think Adolin would take that well.

4) Kaladin took Syl’s advice and confided in Dalinar concerning Amaram. What do you think Dalinar will do with this information? 

Well, it will be good to watch this.  Knowing what he now knows, if I was Dalinar I would sit back in the shadows and watch how Amaram reacts to Kaladin when he believes nobody is watching him.  It seems to me that Amaram will either confront Kaladin or try to expose him in some bad way and Dalinar needs to keep a low profile and observe.  Clearly he can’t just out and out believe one man’s word against the other although I thought he took the revelation well – he didn’t blow up at Kaladin and become all indignant or self righteous so it feels like he’s giving Kaladin the benefit of the doubt.

5) There has been yet another attempt on the King’s life. Do you think this is another faked attempt (as Ehlokar did with the saddle girth in Book 1)? If not, who do you think is the most likely culprit? 

I can’t imagine Ehlokar making another fake attempt.  I’m a bit baffled to be honest.  Plus it’s somebody with a Shardblade – although clearly people let others use their blades so that’s not a definite pointer.  Because I dislike Sadeas so much I can’t help wondering if he’s behind it somehow – maybe pouring poison into somebody’s ear and allowing them the use of his blade.  Basically I don’t know!  And, the attempts seem too easy – like a distraction.

6) Gaz has returned to the story, after having mysteriously dropped out in Book 1. What do you think he isn’t telling Shallan? How do you think the men of Bridge 4 will react upon seeing him again? 

I don’t think the bridgemen will throw Gaz a welcome party, he was hardly nice to them after all!  Obviously he had his gambling debts but it seems to me he must have done something worse somehow.  It was curious to watch his reaction to Shallan, in one way he was admitting things almost in a resigned what difference will it make kind of way and then he just closed up.

7) Eshonai and Adolin had a brief chat on the Shattered Plains. What will come of it? How will the Parshendi ever get a messenger to Dalinar? 

I think it can be done and I really think Dalinar will want to have this conversation.  How will they get a message through?  Could one of the Parshendi who doesn’t have the armour perhaps sneak in as a parshman.  Or, maybe, they could use a spren?  ahhh – grasping at straws.

If you want more debate then here’s where to look:

Dab of Darkness    
Stainless Steel Droppings     
Over the Effing Rainbow     
Musingsonfantasia
Books Without any Pictures
Making my Mark
Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers

 

A hobbit hole is what we chiefly need….

b2bf5-toptentuesday2This week over at the Broke and the Bookish the Top Ten Tuesday is :

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own 

As my reading tends to lie predominantly in SFF I’ve decided to find 10 fantasy reading ‘things’ to wish for on today’s list:

  1. A hobbit hole, all warm and cosy, with lots of pantries and nice quiet spots for reading.
  2. One of those remote controls that means I can turn down the volume of life going on around me and focus on my current read.
  3. A time machine so that I can go forwards – and not have to wait for the next in the series and backwards to gain time and catch up on my TBR.
  4. Magical lights that illuminate as soon as I pick up my book and light up just enough to be easy to read but not too much to be glaring – you want the ambience, right?
  5. Books that have REALLY creative covers – I’m thinking of that book of Monsters from Harry Potter.
  6. My own portal that opens up the book worlds and allows me to enter (not all the time of course, brrrr).
  7. My own personal Brownie – to keep my books in some sort of order, help me with remembering plots and places, come in useful as some sort of dictionary, thesaurus, almanac and general know it all.
  8. Alien reading skills – the sort where you flip from cover to cover and you’ve completely read the book – imagine! – extreme speed reading!
  9. Photographic memory – because I’m so bad at remembering names and places.
  10. Some sort of bodyguard/slayer (okay, that’s probably a bit over the top) to stop all the pesky people on public transport who will insist on saying such things as ‘oh, you’re reading a book?’ – No, I’m just pretending.  ‘Is it good?’, let me read it and I’ll let you know, ‘What sort of book is it?’, fantasy  ‘Ohhh, I bet it’s that 50 Shades…’ Shut up and go away – I’m READING!!!!  Or you know the bodyguard/slayer could just accompany me and scowl at people and look generally menacing.

What are your bookish ‘things’?

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the story of Achilles told from the point of view of Patroclus.  I found this read intriguing and compelling.  The pages simply flew by and it was all over too soon!

I enjoyed reading this from the point of view of Patroclus.  Born a prince and banished to the Island of Phthia under the guardianship of King Peleus, Patroclus meets and eventually befriends Achilles.  Starting out resentful and almost hating Achilles’ easy and lazy acceptance of his own brilliance Patroclus eventually becomes enamoured with the Prince.   Of course, the story of Achilles is well known even if you haven’t studied the classics (which I haven’t) so I don’t really need to elaborate too much on plot.  What, I think makes this story different is the modern way in which the story is told.  The writing is crisp and to the point and the narrative is not interrupted by flowery descriptions.  I did enjoy the writing style and in particular the descriptions of Achilles’ Goddess mother Thetis – a rather chilling woman by all accounts!  You could practically taste the tension snapping and crackling whenever she appeared on the scene.

I did however have slightly mixed feelings about the book.  Yes, I enjoyed it.  It’s a love story – which I hadn’t realised or expected and which was quite a nice surprise.  I felt quite easily transported to the time and place.  I loved meeting some of the characters.  I really liked Odysseus and Chiron and reading about Thetis was quite gripping.  I also thought it started out really well, and actually concluded really well, I did flag a bit in the middle but the ending redeemed this with ease.  I think my main problem with this was that I found Patroclus a tiny bit irritating and actually, to an extent Achilles.  Patroclus just comes across too much in awe of Achilles.  Even after they’ve been together for quite some time he constantly talks about how beautiful Achilles is – it sort of put me in mind a little of Edward and Bella and Bella’s constant harping on about how perfect Edward was.  I don’t know, he was a little too fawning or over the top with his worshipping of Achilles and I also struggled to see what Achilles saw in Patroclus.  The relationship just felt off kilter slightly and very much surface based.  I suppose I wanted something a little bit more meaningful than simple attraction and , as I said, I really couldn’t see why Achilles chose Patroclus because at the earlier stages of the book he had few redeeming qualities really?  And Achilles himself – he clearly doesn’t always make good choices and also feels no reason to be either kind to others or to explain his actions.  He definitely comes across as arrogant – but I think that was the intention of the author – and anyway, look at his mother and it’s not really that difficult to see where he gets his disdain from!!.  That being said I do think Patroclus redeemed himself at the end by becoming the voice of reason in the face of Achilles’ increasingly erratic behaviour.

In spite of my criticisms (which probably look worse than they really were ) in terms of Patroclus I did enjoy this.  Maybe it would be different for those readers who have studied the Iliad, maybe this wouldn’t seem as good or they’d be more likely to unfavourably compare the two.  For me, it was my first real step into reading a novel of this sort.  I enjoyed the easy acceptance of the relationship.  I liked the way that the Gods were not only believed in and worshipped and revered but also walked easily amongst humans and played such a big part in all the comings and goings.  Very entertaining, I would certainly recommend it and wouldn’t hesitate to pick up more by this author.

I’m submitting this for the Once Upon a Time event I’m taking part in being hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings under the title of myths.

I couldn’t resist.  Check out the different covers – really different – any preference?

 

 

 

A big shout out to the lovely hubby!

Posted On 13 April 2014

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 10 responses

Okay, this is completely unrelated to my typical type of blogging and frankly a bit random.  Basically, the better half noticed that my ‘about me’ section doesn’t make any mention of him – even though I mention the kids – and even the dog!  So, feeling rather ashamed of myself and a little bit bashful, although in my defence when I wrote that I had only just started blogging, I was new to it, I didn’t know what to put there and, well, enough with the excuses.  Therefore this post is all about my lovely husband Paul.  This isn’t a Top Ten Tuesday but I’ve decided to give 10 bullets (basically because I’m a bit OCD about lists!):

  1. He puts up with my reading and book obsessed mania – and only grimaces occasionally at my stacks – you have to remember he’s a gamer not a blogger!
  2. He’s the reason I even got into blogging.  He created my blog and even my Twitter account which I swore I would probably never use! (He may possibly regret this now as I do spend a lot of time either behind a book or behind a laptop screen!)
  3. It’s great having your own IT on constant tap.
  4. I read in bed until the early hours with the lamp on and he just falls asleep – which I probably wouldn’t be able to do – and doesn’t complain (much).
  5. He’s much more driven than I am – in fact in some respects we’re chalk and cheese because I would just be a lazy bum, sat on the settee reading all day (which does sound a little bit perfect) but he constantly drags me all over the place on breaks and holidays which are always amazing.
  6. He has a much better sense of humour than me – I’m a bit of a grouch until at least 11.00 am in the morning, I need a good 8 hours sleep (and two or three cups of coffee).
  7. Speaking of coffee, he always makes my first cup of coffee on Saturday and Sunday.
  8. Being into IT and games he keeps me uptodate with everything – I’m pretty certain I would be writing on a slate if it wasn’t for his digital obsession.
  9. He’s the family’s ‘on tap’ taxi!
  10. He’s great and I love him!!!!

That was really quite good fun – now perhaps you can tell me all about your partner/soulmate/love of your life or best friend and inspiration.

 

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