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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

The Argument for Kindle

Honestly, I never wanted one. I've never had any interest in giving up the reading of actual books. Holding them in my hands and turning the pages and hefting them with me on planes and keeping them stacked on my bedside table. I also never wanted to give up the library, and having reason to go there and select my next book. I've really never even considered getting a Kindle.

Had I not been gifted one for my recent birthday, I would have continued to stick to my guns on this, but the fact that the libraries are closed has put me in a bit of a reading pickle. In that my only option really is to use the Kindle. So I'm now in this, if a bit begrudgingly, and felt the need to just sum up how a non-Kindle user (a real book preferer) feels after having begun using a Kindle.

In short, I don't hate it. And I sort of hate that I don't hate it.

Benefits include: having immediate access to pretty much any book, how small and light and easy to transport it is, that you don't have to shine a light on it at night in order to see what you're reading.

Things I find annoying include: being limited to only seeing a couple of paragraphs at a time, having to pay money to read books as opposed to getting them for free at the library.

I still feel like my preferred method of reading is to have an actual book in my hand, and maybe I'll always feel that way. But that said, I am surprised by how much I do enjoy using the Kindle, and once libraries open back up, I can see myself still sometimes forgoing the books on my nightstand and instead choosing to swipe open the Kindle. But only sometimes.


Reasons Why I Do Not Have a Kindle

All this Kindle talk has made me think about Kindles. And how I don't have one. It seems like a must-have for any reader, but here are the reasons why I have not yet jumped on the bandwagon:

1. I don't have much time for reading. I feel shallow and ignorant for admitting this, but reading always gets pushed to the bottom of the list, and I usually only do it when I can't do anything else. Like when I'm on a plane. Or in the bathroom.

2. I like real books. No matter what you say about being convenient or saving space, I have no issues with slipping a book in my computer bag before a flight. In fact, I always plan on devoting a small pocket of space just for this purpose. And I enjoy physically holding a book in my hands, admiring the cover, smelling the pages, using a book mark, etc.

3. I want to be in control. Maybe I have the wrong idea about what using a Kindle is actually like, but I'd prefer to see the whole page at a time instead of scroll a screen up gradually to see the next couple of paragraphs. I'd rather use my hand to flip to chapter 10 than clickity click my way through some sort of table of contents. I sneak glances at fellow passengers as they read on their Kindles, and it just doesn't look like a reading experience that I would enjoy. At all.

4. I fear the end of the brick and mortar bookstore. It's already happening and there's probably nothing we can do, but my heart aches a little when I think about what it would mean if everyone had a Kindle and exclusively read with it.

I'm sure all you Kindle fiends could argue that I would love a Kindle once I tried it, and you might be right. Back when ipods were new Back when I realized that ipods existed, I couldn't think of any reason why I would ever want one. Then I got one. And now I can't imagine life without it. Still, I'm planning on holding out on the Kindle. The only compelling reason I've come up with for Kindlizing is that I don't necessarily want to buy (as in add to my own book collection) every single book that I want to read. So a Kindle would be a nice way for me keep my bookshelves less crowded. That said, for now I still choose to buy a physical copy of books I hear about that I want to read.

You know, as long as we're talking about it, what I really want is a way to borrow or rent books without having to add them to my personal collection. If you're thinking this sounds a lot like a library, you'd be right. But time is money, my friends, and I don't want to have to drive anywhere. Or search alphabetical listings. Or wait on a list for my turn to check out my library's single copy of something. What I want is a Netflix for books. Could someone please get that going? #ipromiseiamnotaslazyasisound


Download 'Schooled' for free!

Well, it's that time of year again: The time of year when Starbucks brings out their festive red cups. I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but I love those red cups (I suggest a Hazelnut Steamer if you don't care for coffee). I love everything about Starbucks, from its Pacific Northwest origins to the way they have the whole world happily overpaying for warm bevs. I mentioned this to someone recently, my respect for the stronghold that Starbucks' marketing has on our wallets, and they had a hard time understanding where I was coming from. "Wait, you LIKE the fact that they make us all overpay for coffee?" The answer is yes. Yes I do.

It's not that I like overpaying, but the genius of Starbucks is they have created an experience that we all want. That we all need. Because of this, it's not like we stand there in line stewing over how much we hate being ripped off. We WANT to pay it. We CAN'T WAIT to pay it. We consider our lives better and ourselves more trendy for overpaying being Starbucks customers. That's why we keep coming back. And the ability to create that kind of devotion (at a premium, no less) is impressive. More than that, it's the ultimate success when you've got something to sell.

Marketing and selling books is a completely different matter. (Hello, Captain Obvious. Welcome.) There's nothing luxurious per se about a book, and unlike a drink you can sip and instantly confirm that you like (or a piece of art or jewelry that you can form an opinion on immediately), books require reading before the buyer really knows whether they are worth his investment. So more often than not, he doesn't invest. It's even more difficult when the author is a nobody. Like me. All you can hope for is word of mouth. Which is a problem when no one knows about you. So on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (Nov. 28 and 29), Schooled will be available as a free Kindle download. Download it, tell your friends, tell them to tell their friends, and remember that my holiday promotion still applies for those who like it enough to post a review. It's the perfect thing to read while sipping something hot from a festive red cup.


Holiday Book Giveaways

I began my Christmas shopping this weekend. So far I'm spending way too much per gift (as well as spending way too much time in each store), but that's neither here nor there. Since most of you are probably also thinking about holiday gifts, I thought it might be nice to give some books away. So here's how it works:

Option #1: Anyone who posts a review of Schooled on Amazon or Goodreads will be entered to win one of a few signed copies I'll be giving away in time for Christmas. If you post a review on both of those sites, you'll be entered twice. Just contact me so that I'll know where the review is and make the connection that the reviewer is you. Use the email in the About Me sidebar on this blog if you don't have my personal contact info.

Option #2: There's a free book in it for anyone out there who gets their local indie bookstore (or library) to stock the book. Again, contact me so I know which store now has it and where to send your book.

Option #3: For shoppers out there looking to purchase at least 5 copies, contact me and I can send you a discount code to be used when you place the order.

**One last thing. Anyone receiving a free copy of Schooled will have the option of choosing a copy of my second book instead. Just bear in mind that it's only halfway done. So you might be waiting a long time. To the tune of a couple of years possibly. But still, it's an option. Email me with questions, and certainly to let me know if you're interested in participating in any of these giveaways. And whatever you do this shopping season, stay away from Anthropologie. Especially if they're having a dress sale.