Respecting the written word, or the curse of the eBook Reader.

Fair to say I’m loathe to put a book down. If I read over the cover and get a sense of what it might be about, I’ll commit and start it. Once I commit, it’s almost as though I’ve entered a relationship with the author. I don’t expect blowjobs and bonbons, but I do expect that the author will put their spine into it. ( as an aside, a work of literature that indeed delivers blowjobs and bonbons would be a welcome addition to the library. I kind of half suspect that the writing of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries delivered buckets full of blowjobs and bonbons, which is why lots of people had a formal Library in their homes. )

I may not wind up particularly liking the style or content of the novel or short story but I do hope that I’m holding in my hands the fruit of reasonable and intelligent labors.

I was given an eBook reader by my Dearly Beloved for Christmas. Quite in love with the device, I am. If one has a Nook, one can go for quite a few years if not more without paying for anything to read on the Nook. That is because there are many ways to get free material onto it. The most alluring method is to sign an ebook out of the New York Public Library onto it for free. The Nook is the only eBook reader that does this, and so was the logical choice. ( B&W reader. The “e-ink” is gentle on the eyes. The color one is ablaze with laptop-like eye burn ).

If you get into your Nook and sign into the B&N web site using it, you can do a search. If, in the search parameters, you enter in the following information, " $ 0.00 ", then the B&N website does a search by cost of ebook only. There are over 1 million, 8 hundred thousand free publications on the B&N web page.

I’ve taken to downloading based on title and cover art alone. It’s quite freeing ( and free-ing ! ). It is also a titanic crapshoot. Some of the title are much longer on the crap and shorter on the shoot than others. The democratic nature of posting literature through Smashbooks and other venues means that I am sometimes reading material best left unsubmitted to the High School literary magazine.

OTOH ( and there had to be an OH ), I’ve read a few novels in the last few months that were extremely engaging and well crafted.

Problem is, I have a lot of trouble exiting the piece even if it is starting to feel like it’s a disappointment. Why so? My financial investment, which if you look at it from a “buying and reading literature is a commitment and you’re invested so you want to get out what you paid so you finish even if you didn’t want to, to justify the investment” kind of angle is net zero. Even if I had paid cash myself for the Nook, that investment in no way equates to an expectation of superb writing. That would be like buying a new MacBook Pro ( oh, to dream ) and then expecting that the only websites it can take me to are liberally-biased. Hmmmmm. :smiley:

It is a struggle. I just finished the most wretched self-reflective tawdry meandering masturbatory bit of blathering. It’s a short story. The title doesn’t matter. By page 4 I knew I was not going to be delighted. I could kind of tell I wouldn’t even be amused or brought to a moment of, " Huh. Hmmmmph. Okay. " And yet I’d started it so I finished it.

I wish the device had an OlfactorApp. It would emit a foul odor if the reader gets more than 500 words into a steaming pile of crap.

Until that time, I have to figure out how not to feel a certain level of commitment to a written piece.


p.s. I’ve found a dozen or more websites that deliver free eBook content. Well aware that the NYC Public Liberry, and the B&N website are not nearly the only portals to free reading pleasures. Just found it useful to limit the listing to those two in this post.

I have the Kindle, not the Nook, although the platform doesn’t matter. I read a lot, and find that I read more now that I have my Kindle. I also love and appreciate the seemingly unlimited resources for free books. I now have many more free titles on my Kindle than paid, although I will still opt for a paid title from a favored author.

This thread is interesting because I experience similar disappointment when a, usually free, book’s story falls flat on its face, is obviously derivative, is predictable after a chapter or so, and sometimes within the first few pages, or is simply poorly written. Now that I have access to an almost unlimited library of books, I find that although I have little patience for crap I, inexplicably, have even less patience for free crap.

I love my nook and am grateful for the nook tips from the OP. How did you find out about the NY Library? Do you have to be a citizen of NY state to do this?

thanks! :smiley:

My local library offers ebooks. You could check out an ebook and three weeks later it disappears off of your reader. It’s borrowing the file as opposed to getting it for life.

Some one told me how “free” ebooks would really only be the first 4/5ths of the book. You have to buy the ending. That would suck. Big time. Really BIG time.

My aunt was a voracious reader. She went to the library every week and swept the new books off of the shelf. I complained about good versus bad books. Her explanation was that since she turned 80, she would read 10 pages and then decide if it was worth continuing to read. If it didn’t pass, she had no qualms about closing the book. Plenty more where that came from. I used to be pretty adamant about reading cover to cover. Now, after about 10 pages, I think, “Would Aunty bother with this?” If not, I close it without a second thought.

I would assume so, though in poking around their website I didn’t find rules pertaining to residence in NYC as a requirement. Perhaps I missed it.

Mom is a voracious reader as well. She’s good for a small pile of books every week from the local library- always has been. I come by the delightful obsession honestly.

Now you make me wish I’d gotten a Nook instead of a Kindle. I’m not used to paying for books, or paying very little, and with the Kindle I find that the books I’m interested in reading come at a price. I generally err on the side of caution and don’t buy the book because I don’t want to spend $10 on something that might not be that interesting. Also, I generally donate “real” books I’ve purchased to my local library’s used book store, which is generally where I bought the books for a dollar or two in the first place, so I feel like I’m recycling and ensuring a supply of reading material will always be available. With the Kindle, I obviously can’t do that.

Now, if I could borrow library books on my Kindle–that would be ideal. I can’t do that though–or am I missing something?

I have some sympathy with the OP, but I would advise him to get over it. Life’s too short to read crappy books. I have literally hundreds of books I want to read, on my bookshelves, on my Kindle, and on my Amazon wish list. And, dammit, they keep publishing new ones; I’m never going to get caught up! I’ve had to face the fact that I’m not going to live long enough to read every book I might want to read, so I should devote my reading time to the books that are most worth it.

Cartooniverse, if it helps, you could start a different book and tell yourself you’re not giving up on the “crappy” one, you’re just putting it aside for now, and you’ll get back to it later if you ever run out of other stuff to read.

Me too, and most of the books on my Kindle have been free (or nearly so). But I do feel a little guilty about this attitude, and I’m trying to mentally retrain myself to think that it’s worth paying authors (living ones, at least) to compensate them for all the creativity and effort they put into creating something that I enjoyed or learned from.

Maybe if authors had online “tip jars” where I could reward them after I’d read their books, it’d be an ideal situation from my point of view. I’ve sometimes wondered if such a model would be workable.

At least Amazon offers “free samples” on their Kindle books, so you don’t have to spend the $10 until you’ve gotten the chance to at least read a chapter or so.

Well, yeah, part of the reason I am loath to buy e-books unless they’re cheap is that, when I buy a printed book, part of what I’m paying for is the ability to give away, lend, sell, or trade the book when I’m done with it.

Not without doing some DRM stripping and conversion, but at least one Doper has figured out how to do it (see this post by Blackberry).

I don’t know about the Nook, but the free samples on my Kindle have pretty much completely solved this problem for me. Anytime I hear about a book I might like, I download the sample to my Kindle. Then I get to read the first few chapters, and it either gets purchased, or I delete the sample. Pre-Kindle, I ordered many books based on reviews and recommendations, and then felt compelled to read them once I had them on my shelf. Now I probably dump about a third after just reading the sample.

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Is this a library from New York City or New York State?

Municipal libriaries often allow people who live outside their municipalities to join if they pay a non-resident fee. I used to live in Oakville, Ontario, but paid $20/year to be a member of the library in the neighbouring city of Mississauga because it was much larger. And I went by it on the way to work.