Sunday, August 07, 2011

Birth Of A Nookworm

Sometimes I feel a bit ashamed to admit it, but for most of my life I didn't read much. Rarely, in fact. Mostly it would be parts of a technical manual for something I was working on or something I was curious about.

In the last 7 months, I have read 14 books - and I'm working on my 15th now. It was all triggered by a "gadget" - the NOOK Color reader/tablet. (Maybe technology is the sole reason for my new interest in reading.) Not only is it a reader, it's in full color and functions as a tablet. It has high-speed wireless internet access as well, and that access is unrestricted once a WiFi connection is made - most of the time automatic and unnoticed. WiFi is just about everywhere these days.

Anyhow, the books I've read aren't any one type or genre. To date, these are the ones I've read (in no particular order):

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Johnathan Safran Foer)
Heaven Is For Real (Todd Burpo)
Saratoga, A Novel Of The American Revolution (David Garland)
The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
The Hunt For Red October (Tom Clancy)
The Interceptors' Club (Steve Douglass)
The Invisible Man (H. G. Wells)
The Time Machine (H. G. Wells)
The War Of The Worlds (H. G. Wells)
The Worst Hard Time (Timothy Egan)
This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection (Carol Burnett)
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (Jules Verne)
Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)
Water For Elephants (Sara Gruen)

I recommend all of these, for varying reasons. However, I must add that the first one on the list was not an easy read. From the perspective of a 9 year old boy who lost his father in the 9/11/2001 attacks, it did not flow well. A second read might be better, but I haven't done it yet. I am now working on The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek To Freedom. I am not disappointed, on several levels.

My interests are not solely the subject matter, which can vary quite a bit as you can see. I enjoy a book that has flow, and is not overly burdened with minute details. Pertinent details are necessary, but lengthy minutia is hard for me to read. Some books I have tried to read might take the first 1/3 of the pages to detail every little thing from the characters' pasts, their families' pasts', etc. I don't care for that. I prefer that, in the course of the story, pertinent details of the character's past be injected when necessary. Those that whip around like a wild hose unleashed are not enjoyable for me either. Sure, I'll accept flashbacks when needed, and even changing to perspectives of different people now and then are fine - but wildly thrashing the story line around is burdensome to read. I read for enjoyment - finally.

Shelley has labeled me as a "Nookworm". I have become kind of a bookworm - with the Nook [Color].