Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reading and Writing and 'Rithmetic

On my current stack of reading is the Stephen King book "On Writing". I originally got the book as part of a birthday present from a friend of mine who gave me an Amazon Gift Card (thanks Jim). I got it partially because I thought it'd be useful in GMing and partially because one of my secret goals is to be a writer (maybe not secret anymore). The Trophy Fiancee has inspired me to give it a whirl. Part of this means, that I'm going to try adding FICTION to the rotation of posts here. I'm working on an idea now.

One of the things Stephen King points out, is that if you want to write, you have to read. Sadly, I've never been a strong reader, so historically I've not enjoyed reading. I find it very difficult for several reasons. First, I read incredibly slowly. Whereas my mother can devour a Robert Ludlum book in 3-4 hours, it took me about 18 to read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Somewhat disheartening, eh? Secondly, I find it a hassle to have a book on me at all times (a rant on why women can carry purses and men being forced to rely on pockets to come later). After all, the average paperback is about 4 by 6 by 1 inch. It's hard to stick that in your pocket - especially if it's a newer book that is hardback ONLY and doesn't fit in your pocket. Furthermore, when it gets dark you need a book light, so you can't read just "whenever". Heaven forbid you loose your place.

In the book, On Writing, I was struck when Stephen King says "I'm a slow reader." Sure, he says he reads 70-80 books a year, but when you realize he reads an average of "4 hours a day" that means it takes HIM an average of 20 hours per book (360 days, 4 hours per day, 75 books). I suddenly realized that it's not that far off from MY reading speed. I just need to focus my attention a bit better.

With this being said, I decided to further pursue my "better living through technology" mantra from a couple years ago which has worked so well and see if I could circumvent these problems (computer = 'rithmetic, BTW).

As I've previously reported, Amazon has offered the "Kindle" as a free iPhone app.
  1. iPhone - always on my person
  2. Smaller than a paperback
  3. Glowing screen
  4. Very hard to lose your place
With these facts at my side, I took the plunge and bought the "Kindle Version" of the first novel of The Dresden Files. Many of my friends have been reading this series, so I thought that it would be a good start.

It is indeed.

This is extremely convenient. I do always have my iPhone. I can always whip it out and read. It has a built in light. The font is adjustable. I can have my book out and ready at a moment's notice.

It helps that The Dresden Files: Storm Front is a GREAT book. I'll post a review when I'm done. I'll also post a review of On Writing.

In conclusion, Kindle for iPhone - Win! Dresden Files - Win! On Writing - Win!

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