Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus knows me well. I am helpless in the face of books. I read about them and long for them – hardcovers, softcovers, and the crack of readers everywhere, ebooks. Used, library, bought. I am helpless in a library – hundreds of books and all of them free! I always come home with way too many to read before the loan time expires.
Used book shops used to suck me in for hours before I lost my ability to stand for long periods. Now I bring my walker and sit…and buy. I dress in cast-offs from Value Village, I enjoy frequent nights of pasta and Kraft Dinner, but my bookshelves, virtual and actual, groan under their weight. I am actually looking at purchasing MORE bookshelves.
But the thing about ebooks is that you can gather hundreds of them in one tiny space. So the feeling of being enclosed by books vanishes and you can merrily stack up “to be reads” in a secret cupboard that only you know about (well, and your credit card company).
Lately I signed up for Librarything http://www.librarything.com/, where I immediately volunteered to be an early reviewer. It is madness. You can skim through books coming out soon and then select ones you are interested in and the authors send it to you in exchange for a review!!! Life is very good. For an addict like myself, it allows me to feed my craze with no payment other than writing, which I should be doing already. It’s like cutting back on chocolate by eating caramels.
True, early reviewers have a time limit on reviewing, and many of the books are not as worth spending time with as others, but it’s fun to see what’s out there and sometimes you are very pleasantly surprised. I just finished reading “Dirty Little Angels” by Chris Tusa, for example, and initially wasn’t prepared to like it. All the characters seemed unlikable, no one to root for in it all, the geography was grim in terms of visuals and people. It seemed totally grey. And yet…I got sucked in. I found myself unable to put it down, this story of helpless people surviving in a nasty place. It took me a while to figure out that the protagonist was a girl (I blame reading it at night), and even before I did, I could feel affinity for her creeping in. Heck, I wanted to invite her over and give her hot chocolate, poor wee mite. But she isn’t a poor wee mite. She’s bristly and dangerous in her own way, but with an inner life that is seriously messing with her or saving her. It’s hard to tell.
I never would have picked up this book. But now I know the author and will keep my eyes open for more. So, library thing, you rock.