Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In Which Sugar Hatches a Devious Plot

I am a book lover. We have many, many books in our home, and shelves measured in miles, not feet. I have on many occasions proclaimed to family, friends, and random strangers that I will NEVER own an e-reader, because I love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of paper, the flap copy, for heaven's sake!

Sugar has always nodded like he understood, and never once argued the point. He had no dog in that fight.

But then I mentioned how we needed another set of bookshelves, perhaps a row in the not-yet-completed family room downstairs. I'm working my way through my to-be-read stack (which has its own bookshelf), and as I add books to existing home-library shelves, they are becoming overstuffed. I don't have room to work in more books by my favorite authors. Clearly, action must be taken.

But Sugar's vision for the downstairs room is more "Jimbo's Tiki Bar" than family room. He did not welcome the suggestion that yet more bookcases might be part of the decor. Still, he didn't press the point.

Now, next to my books, Sugar knows I love my iPhone. He's a smart man, and one day he comes home from a company meeting with an iPad. I don't doubt his story that this is business equipment, necessary for presentations, etc. BUT, I'll say this: He's been waving that thing under my nose every chance he gets, showing me one cool app after another.

Then, he started downloading books. He's already got most of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series on that gadget. "Look, it's back-lit," he says. "I don't even need a book light."

For the first few days he had it, he'd demonstrate the fabulosity of the toy, but wouldn't let me play with it. When he had me in a mad frenzy to try it out, he let me read a few pages. Okay, it had me at "browse, download, read." I love books, but I'm an instant gratification junkie.

Thinking I would have to talk him into this pricey new toy, I casually said, "You better stop showing that thing off, or you'll have to buy me one."

Here's where he made his mistake. He didn't protest quite enough. He worked up a weak, "We'll have to see about that."

And I knew. I looked at my true love square in the eyes and saw the truth. He had done the math. The iPad was less expensive than more bookshelves. And it would not interfere with his plans for a man cave downstairs.

I have been had. But, hey, I'm getting a new toy. Everybody's happy at Chez Boyer.

Peace, out...



Carole St-Laurent said...

Your man sure knows how to tease you... ask him to speak to mine, please!!!

Donnell said...

LOL. Susan. Your husband is a genius. I held my first Ipad in my hand the other day, and I was quite impressed.

At a barbecue recently a retired lawyer mentioned he had a Kindle. He wanted to show me his library. It was vast and wall to wall, and he said it was his goal to read books on the e-reader from here on out because they're not as heavy as his textbooks, and because of the font adjustment and the backlight.

Gosh, he's 80. What does it mean when 80 years are evolving and I still haven't? ;)

Cute post.

Valerie Norris said...

I'm looking for bookshelf sales myself right now! I'm not done with the bookshelves yet. I gutted my book collection and sold some too-deep bookcases when we faced two moves in one year. Kept mostly cookbooks, history books and books on writing. But my collection is growing again, and I see no signs of its stopping. Not an e-reader fan yet--I'm always 10-15 years behind the curve. Just check my hairstyles over the years.

Susan Schreyer said...

Oh, my!!! I'm wiping tears of laughter away! Too, too funny! I have a Kindle, which I am totally addicted to, but if truth be told, I lust after an iPad (despite the dumb name!)

Bob Strother said...

Please, Susan, say it ain't so...

Susan M. Boyer said...

Bob, it's just too pretty to resist--and as you well know, I'm out of shelf space. But, I'll always buy certain hardcovers. I'll just have to make room for those by donating the occasional less-favored book (likely from Sugar's reads) to the literacy association.

Rebecca said...

LOL. I got a Kindle for my bday 1.5 years ago, and this summer I broke down and got an iPad. They're all wonderful, but my new baby is my... well, my BABY! Absolutely gorgeous, and reading on it is a thrill. Especially when I'm reading in bed at 2 a.m. and my hubby doesn't know the difference.

Enjoy it! :)

Henry said...

Well, Susan. I too measure my book collection in miles of shelf space. Moving back from California, I moved in excess of 50 cartons of books, including one box that was deemed "high-value", since the books were worth more than $2.00 per pound (yes, my rare Rick Brant's, Tom Swift's, Ken Holt's and Brett King's).

I made the leap to an e-reader six months ago with the purchase of a Barnes & Noble Nook. It's not backlit, but you can read for about a week on one charge. Here's my big ah hah – I can read FASTER on the nook. I love the ability to change font size. I love the ability to travel with only 2 paperbacks and a Nook, instead of the usual 10-12 books.

Like you, I'm sold on the instant gratification factor. Okay, I'm a little bummed out that not every book is available for my Nook. I'm also ticked that USA Today is available on the Kindle, but not the Nook. It's coming, I'm told.

Will an e-book ever replace my love for paper books? Two years ago, the answer would have been a definite NO! Now, well, I collect W. E. Butterworth books, you might know him as W.E.B. Griffin. I have 100+ of his books, many from the last 15 years in both hardcover and paperback. When his last book came out, I bought an e-copy. It was cheaper and faster. Did I mention I bought it while riding as a passenger in a car – it don't get any better.


P.S. I knew Sugar was a smart man.

Barbara said...

Ooohhh! I've been SO tempted, but I can't decide what's the best way to go: Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Having it backlit so I can read in bed would be a real plus, but I MUST be able to read outdoors in sunlight too. I've seen Kindle ads that say I can do that. What about the iPad and Nook?
BTW, when we moved last November,I donated a lot of books and still had over 50 boxes of books to move! I've run out of shelf space, too.

Susan M. Boyer said...

You definitely couldn't read outside in bright sunlight with the iPad. It's reflective. I don't know about the Nook. The thing is, I rarely do anything in bright sunlight, as I burn so easily. I mean, under a shade tree, or on a porch yeah. I'm going to test Sugar's iPad to make sure this works okay. I'll keep you posted. :)

Henry said...

Like Barbara, I'm not too much of a bright sunlight person, but yes you can read a nook in sunlight. Sometimes there's a tinsey bit of glare, but a tilt and you're good.

Did I mention I could read it just fine in a car on a sunny day?

Also, for the night light there are attachments that use the Nook of Kindle's power for a little "book light".


Susan M. Boyer said...

Thanks, Henry, for the scoop on the Nook! I guess I'm going to have to test drive one of each before deciding. Right now, I'm in love with Sugar's iPad, but I'm betting everyone and his cousin will come out with a new and/or cheaper model for Christmas.

Gladys said...

Half the fun of owning books is selling them at your yard sale after you read them. Here's what ol' Gladys suggests: First, put up neon posters around your neighborhood to promote your yard sale for a solid week or two.

While the excitement builds, go to one of those seedy used bookseller stalls at a remote flea market. (I would suggest Webb Road Flea Market, but someone burned it down.) Buy a box or two of really raunchy, not-so-soft-porn paperbacks, as well as a collection of 70s-era, multi-functional gadgets of all sorts (e.g., handheld kitchen mixers and giant hair picks for extra coarse hair). Get creative with your purchases and remember to negotiate - these items are for resale, after all.

Recruit co-conspirators from your writer's group, family, and other pools of interesting people with whom you may associate. (Tell them there will be free booze.) Encourage them to come dressed in their finest costume regalia and to wholly embody the personalities of their favorite talk- or game-show hosts.

Mail personal yard sale invitations to each of the members of your Architectural Review Board. Serve mimosas and Vienna sausages on toothpicks. Have Sugar film the event for posterity.

If you don't sell any of your paperbacks, at least you've made beautiful memories for the ARB.

Susan M. Boyer said...

Gladys, you are a genius, as I've often maintained. :)