Well, Internet, I have a confession: I have broken my promise to you. Specifically, the one where I said I’d read 20 books I already owned, before buying any more. See, what happened was…well, I was the antique store, the same place I got this charming petit livre, and I found something that I couldn’t leave without: a 1941 edition of Berlin Diary by William Shirer, on sale for $15. I tried to resist, I really did. I tried to imagine leaving it there, going home, reading another 12 books as fast as I possibly could, and then coming back to look for it. I imagined how I’d feel if it wasn’t there any more–and realized that sometimes, you just can’t keep your promises. It just seemed like the sort of thing I’d never find again, and would regret. So home it came. As Ken remarked, “I’m just impressed that you didn’t decide ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ and come home with a whole stack.” Me, too!
As long as I’m coming clean here, I might as well tell you I’m off the Challenge wagon entirely. I’ve been reading freely and at will for over a month now, not accomplishing anything more than my own entertainment and edification. I got an iPad in early May, and I had promised myself that the first book I read on it would be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; it seemed appropriate, now that Apple has so nearly approximated that famous device. (I also named my iPad Adams, in honor of Hitchhiker’s dearly missed author.) And, as you’ll see on my 2010 Reading Page, one Adams novel quickly turned into four (and several more on the iPad to go!)
I resisted the ebook revolution for a surprisingly long time, given how much I love to read and love techie toys. You’d think I would have been in on them immediately (and in fact, I’ve been asked for recommendations on readers many times by people who assumed I would have been.) I had played around with a Kindle, but was underwhelmed by it. As much as I liked the idea of keeping a whole library at hand, I didn’t want yet another digital device to round up every morning and schlep with me. The iPad, however, hit a sweet spot of functionality and portability that won me over, and now that I have it, I find that I love reading ebooks. I’ve been tearing through them a remarkable pace. The instant-purchase wireless downloads are a bit of a danger, but one I’ve managed pretty well so far.
It’ll be a while before I get back into Challenge mode, unless I can quickly find one dedicated to genteel protagonists solving increasingly unlikely murders. We’re moving in to summer now, and I’m already feeling the urge stack up the mystery novels and devour them like popcorn. Ramona got me started on Laura Childs’ tea shop mysteries, which will be just about perfect when it’s too hot to read anything but short, fluffy fiction. I’ve also heard good things about Steig Larsson’s mysteries, and plan to give them a go. Once we tip over into Fall (and yes, I’m looking forward to that already!), I’ve got my choices lined up for this year’s RIP Challenge. So the year may end on a positive note, challenge-wise. For what it’s worth, I promise you I’ll do a better job reporting on the books I’m reading, electronic or otherwise.