Thursday, September 10, 2015

Friday Five: Five Books I'm In Line To Get From The Library So HURRY UP PEOPLE.

I'm almost back. For about two weeks now my asthma's been really acting up, leaving me mostly exhausted at night and too tired to think about blogging or writing or anything except listlessly paging through the Internet. I know a lot of gossip about people I barely recognize.

Here's the filler (both of) my readers missed! 

I am not sure I'll ever buy a book again. The last book I bought (other than real books I buy for nostalgic purposes) was on sale for $2.99 on Amazon. It was To Rise Again At A Decent Hour and I'm about 1/8 of the way through it. I never really feel like going to read it. I think part of it is that I bought it for only $2.99.  Part of my brain thinks how good can it be if it was only $2.99? Did you ever find a really good book in the remainder bin?

Instead, I get my books from the library.  Right now, I'm reading The Bone Clocks which is superawesome and I'm only like 3 pages into it. I've also got Authority from Jeff VanderMeer as my audiobook. And I can go check out an infinite number of books (well 10 at a time) online right now! FOR FREE. #govtworksforme. (PS I STARTED THAT HASHTAG back in 2012 and IT CAUGHT ON and I was briefly a Twitter celebrity.  WOO HOO.)

The thing is though, the library is limited in how many digital loans it can give out, so you have to get in line for books, and that makes it a gamble.  It's like Xmas crossed with a scratch-off lottery ticket: go to the library website, put a book on hold, go about your life and then one day out of the blue you get an email saying your book is here! and you know you'll be readin' good that night.

Here's five books I currently am awaiting.

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander.  I'm next in line for this. So any day now, I will get that email! I'm on the edge of my seat.

This is another book I'm going to re-read out of nostalgia. I wanted to say that I first read this book in 8th grade, but clearly I didn't because it was published in 1984, when I was in 9th and 10th grade. It's about an assistant pig-keeper who fights a Welsh Darth Vader.  I hadn't thought of it in years, but when we go to the actual physical library here in town (having ended my feud with them on account of Mr Bunches likes the library), Mr F likes to sit in the 'teen' area, where they have comfy chairs. There are racks of books there, and one of the books in this series was on one of them.

The Color Of Magic, Terry Pratchett.  (Currently 18th in line). I've never read a Terry Pratchett book. Or at least I don't think I have? I think maybe he did one as a collaboration that I read.  I never thought much of him either way, until he died. Even then I wasn't going to read one of his books, but then I read this discussion of the controversy over whether his books are worth reading (and the post it links to which talks about what books will live on forever and why), and decided I'd give it a shot. I believe this is the first Discworld book ever, so I picked it out and put a hold on it. Apparently 17 people read that post before I did.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix. (Currently 3d in line). This is sort of an example of why physical bookstores (or libraries) maybe ought to live on in some form even after everyone finally goes mostly digital, the way music has: I was not going to ever buy/wishlist/borrow this book because when I read about it I thought oh man way too gimmicky. The setup is supposed to be that the story is somehow told in the form of an Ikea-like catalog. I despise gimmicks despite the fact that they're an obvious way to get critics to turn your book into a bestseller. Imagine how awesome(ly stupid) it would have been if my book Codes had come with two copies everytime you ordered one. You know, because clones? ANYWAY another day when we were at the library it was Mr F's turn to decide where we go (he and I are a team at the library; Mr Bunches goes his own way mostly as long as he stays in sight). So we went to get a drink of water, and passed by the new books. Horrorstor was there on the display so while Mr F quenched his thirst I glanced through it and decided to give it a try.

BY THE WAY: A SPECIAL NOTE ON LIBRARIES AND EBOOKS:  Ebooks only make up about 8% of library borrows as of the most recent figures.  Publishers are still trying to figure out how to charge for these.  Some ebooks are borrowed just like physical books: the library can loan out a copy to one user at a time, so they would have to buy multiple copies to let multiple people get it. Others are a cost-per-borrow basis, and some publishers require the library to re-buy a book after so much time or so many borrows.  For Harper Collins, that number was 26; for MacMillan, it was 52.  THAT IS A COLOSSAL GAIN FOR AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS. Ebooks are far less costly to publish, and re-selling the book to libraries every so often is just gravy for the people who get the money. (Those were 2013 numbers.)  Since ebooks are overpriced anyway by a factor of about 100, I do not mind borrowing them from libraries, especially since that lets me try more books than I would otherwise, and cuts my cost on books that suck. Subscription services like Amazon Prime and such are too expensive for me: I read maybe a book a month, so for $80 a year, I would lose money on Amazon Prime.

Aftermath, by Chuck Wendig. (Currently 57th in line.) If we didn't put ourselves on a budget, I'd have probably bought this book, or maybe not. It's the newest Star Wars book and helps tie Return of the Jedi to Episode VII, so of course I'm going to read it at some point. But what if it's awful? My threshhold for spending money on books is so high that I basically cannot commit to buying a book anymore.  Other than that $2.99 impulse purchase all my purchased books have been directly purchased for me as a gift.  I had an Amazon gift card last year, and I waited five months before using it. The day I was going to buy a book I dithered so much about it that I finally decided not to buy anything and ultimately I let Sweetie use it to buy something for the boys. I just cannot bear to spend money on a bad book. Maybe when I am rich I will do that, just buy a book with impunity and hope it turns out for the best. But I'm not rich and so many books are so bad.

So I put this one on hold and hopefully 56 people will read it all in like a half-day because that movie's coming out in December and I would really like to know what's going on. (PS I also have Heir To The Empire on hold. I'm third in line for that. I know it's not canon anymore but I was feeling Star Warsy and wanted to read it again because I remember liking it.)

Armada, Ernest Cline. (Twelfth in line.) Ernest Cline's Ready Player One was one of the most pleasantly surprising books I read last year. I didn't expect much when I checked it out; it was just filler while I tried to decide what to read next. Ho hum a guy basically goes into a massive online game trying to win a jillion dollars is what I thought. But the book was really good, and really engaging, and to this day scenes from the book pop into my head.  So when I saw he had a new book out, I put it on hold.

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