During the Christmas shopping season, an older lady and her middle-aged son came in to the bookstore I work at. The lady wanted to know if an e-reader could be of help to her. She showed me her hands, which were twisted with rheumatoid arthritis. She loved to read, she said, but holding a book became very painful very quickly for her, both from the weight, and from the awkwardness of turning the pages. Also, she told me she had lost an eye to cancer, and found that reading smaller print was very difficult for her. I showed her the same e-reader I use, (Kobo Touch) which is very light, quite straightforward to learn since it is strictly an e-reader, and it’s a touch screen, so she didn’t need to manipulate buttons to use it. Of course she could re-size the font, to make the print larger, as well. She agreed to give it a trial run, and promised to let me know how it went.
A few weeks later, she and her son were back in the store. She was very emotional as she told me that it was incredible – she could read again, easily, for the first time in years. No eye strain, no pain, just sheer enjoyment. I was practically in tears myself, and she told me how she was telling all her friends about these miraculous devices.
Maybe working in a bookstore, I won’t save the world – but I found out I made her world better, by bringing something she loved back in to her life, and you know what? That’s good enough for me.
Filed under Books, E-readers
The bookstore I work at carries e-readers, and I spend a lot of time answering questions, helping people learn how to use them, etc. That’s my specialty. I didn’t think much about e-readers until I was given a Kobo Touch for my birthday last year. I was skeptical as to why I would bother using it, cool as it was, when books were working just fine, thanks – but it was so handy, especially in terms of
a)not funding the public library entirely on my late fees! I can take out e-books online from the public library, and they expire after three weeks.
b)Brand new hardcover – 1/3 of the price, and about 1/64th of the weight, much easier to tote to various waiting rooms, and on transit.
I will never, never give up the real thing, but my Kobo has won a place in my heart.
I have a couple of customer stories too, that I will share in future posts – they may convince even the most vehement of – erm, what’s a word for people who hate e-readers? Anyways, they may be convinced that, for some people at least, e-readers are the best thing that could have happened.
Filed under Books, E-readers
I’m currently reading Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay, for the second time. I love this book, and the beautiful images it evokes. It is set in a fictionalized version of historic China and Mongolia, at the height of imperial power and influence. Although there are definitely elements of fantasy, I would say that they are there almost as metaphors, and it is not high fantasy, like his Fionavar Tapestry (the best word for trilogy yet). The first time I read this book, I experienced such a strange sense of deja vu that it distracted me from the story line. I had the feeling that I had read a short story with very similar elements, but I still haven’t figured out what story that might have been.
Guy Gavriel Kay’s writing is always gorgeous, and often has some very interesting philosophical and moral questions that come up. I’ve also read his Ysabel, which is somewhat of a fourth book in the Fionavar series, and may be my favorite, Tigana, The Lion of Al-Rassan, and others. No wait, A Song for Arbonne is my favorite. I think.
If you are looking for a book that will stay with you, that you will drag around with you and force other people to read, so they can exoerience that sensation that only comes with reading a beloved book, I highly recommend Guy Gavriel Kay. Just don’t blame me when you are still reading at three o’clock in the morning.
Filed under Books, Review
This is an incredible video made at “Type” bookstore. “The Joy of Books” indeed.
People who love books tend to be interesting people. Book love (or bibliophilia) can range from adoring a classic adventure novel, to devouring Harlequin, to reading only the works of Margaret Atwood, to acquiring a library of rare first editions. It comes in many forms, and all are welcome here.
I intend to use this space to write about books I’ve read, what I loved, what I didn’t. There may also be anecdotes from my work in the bookstore, which is never, never boring.