The Sunday Salon: Some literary tidbits

Sunday, February 12, 2012


The Sunday 
Salon.com

It has been a pleasantly bookish week for me, amidst all the work and the daily chores - the kind of week that's usually very rare. Of course, that also means I'm going through three very different books right now, but barring one, the other two are wonderful. I think I've also now been blogging for four days in a row, which I believe I have never done since November 2010, so it's refreshing to be back to an old familiar routine.

All "winter", I had been whining about how warm it has been. So right after the groundhog decided that we'll have six more weeks of winter, it has chilled out considerably. I am loving it! Sure, I now have to spend five minutes every morning, cursing and removing the ice from my car, but it's relieving to see something of a normal winter day and not be reminded of the changing climate every day. Are we someday going to see the winter-summer cycles swap between the Northern and Southern hemisphere? (Trying to imagine wearing gloves and mufflers in June - I know this happens in the Southern hemisphere, but it's still a very fascinating thing for me, who has never gone below the equator.

Did you read the Judgy McJudgerson post over at Picky Girl's blog? I recommend that you do - she has put up a great post about judging someone's taste in books. Personally, I have never felt judged. I read what I want, whether someone likes it or not. I have read romance books, and been judged by people close to me, I have read devoured the terrible Twilight books, and been questioned about it. Heck, I have even raved about the Harry Potter books since I first read them ages ago, and been called a crazy dimwit! Yawn! Whenever my Hemmingway and dead-old-guys'-literature reading cousin pokes fun at the reading tastes of the lesser mortals, I just tell him that at least they aren't wasting away as a couch potato or being too busy to even turn a page.

I've found a new site to go gaga over. Ever since I started reading more short stories this year, I've begun to enjoy them. I don't know when I'll pick up a collection to read and actually hope to enjoy the book, but that prospect is looking to be nearer, which is a good thing. During my browsing though, here's a website I came across - Byliner. This site lists the short stories and essays written by many authors and writers (there are quite a few familiar names here), along with links to the stories. To me that's a big bonus because now I can look for stories by authors I've always wanted to read but am not sure if I will enjoy them. I'm also hoping these stories will introduce me to new collections and make me want to read more stories by the author.

Looks like there will be lesser choices in Overdrive now that even Penguin has decided to cut its ties. I'm sort of fuming about this, because after all the ways these ebook promoters try to say that reading an ebook is just like reading a print book (which I disagree with), they then come up with excuses to bow out of avenues that try to use ebooks just like print books. And one of the arguments I read is about "friction" - how a patron has to make two trips to the library per book - one to borrow it and the other to lend it; and the easy downloading of an ebook cuts down on profits. The reasons people come up with! As if any book lover whines about those drives to the library (unless of course, there isn't one in the neighborhood)! On a related note, I hope this serves as an opportunity for small-press publishers to share more of their works with readers!

How's the Sunday going?


18 comments:

Chrisbookarama said...

I hate the Overdrive situation. What an excuse. At least when I stay home and download library books, I save on gas and can buy more books, right?

Helen Murdoch said...

I'll have to go and check out the short stories website as I sometimes get in the mood for a short story or two

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh - imagine if the weather really did switch and we were swimming on Christmas Day?! 

Jenn said...

Thanks for the mention!

And thanks so much for the link to Byliner. I really enjoy short stories and love how easy they make it. Fantastic.

As for the Penguin situation, I'm really disappointed. I love my library and go every Friday, but the selection isn't always fantastic. The last two times I went with my list, only a handful of books from it were in stock. They are trying to get set up with Overdrive in the next month or so, and I hate that Penguin has opted out.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Thanks for the referral to the Judgy McJ. post - I enjoyed it!

Athira / Aths said...

Exactly! I find it so hard to understand why they make things so difficult. And then give lame excuses.

Athira / Aths said...

I hope you enjoy it. There were plenty of authors we know, jhumpa lahiri, salman rushdie, etc.

Athira / Aths said...

I didn't think of that! That would be super strange! No santa, no snow, and beach xmas parties everywhere!

Athira / Aths said...

I hope you enjoy Byliner! The Penguin situation is so disappointing! The ebook industry needs to decide which direction they want to go in.

Athira / Aths said...

You're welcome!!

Samantha 1020 said...

I have tendency to read a wide variety of books so I'm definitely going to check that post out.  I don't ever apologize for the books that I read...and I don't think that anyone should have to.  (And I love a good romance as well)  It sounds like you had a very bookish week...I hope that this week goes just as well for you!

bermudaonion (Kathy) said...

That blasted groundhog!  I was enjoying the balmy weather.  I know some people judge others by what they read, but I don't, and don't worry if other people do.

Vasilly said...

Penguin's decisions to cut ties with Overdrive but without any alternatives upsets me! What are they thinking about? I'm more willing to read a book by a new author if I can check it out from the library. I'm not going to buy a book in any format by a new author without reading it first.  Publishers aren't thinking about how their decisions about e-books and libraries affect these writers.

You're the second person to mention Byliner this week. I'm going to check it out. Have a great week.

Athira / Aths said...

LOL! Your first comment made me laugh! Hopefully, it'll turn balmy soon again!

Athira / Aths said...

I hope you enjoy Byliner! I was somewhat heartened to read Random House's statement that they will not sever ties with libraries so far as ebooks go. I hope whatever solution they are implementing (increased price of the ebook when selling to libraries) will be good and sustaining enough that other publishers will join the band again.

Athira / Aths said...

I agree - no one should have to apologize for what they read. Any kind of written word helps the brain.

Ti said...

We had 85 degree weather all last week and then this weekend, it got COLD and rainy but not rainy enough to say...give the garden a good soaking. Just rainy enough to dirty up my car with hard water spots. Ugh.

BUT, my reading is picking up. I finished The Technologists, which I just reviewed today. I also finished the Keaton memoir which was wonderful in so many ways and I just started Revolutionary Road and another O'Nan book, Wish You Were Here. 

Emily said...

Ugh, that Penguin thing irritates the snot out of me.  And I don't understand why OverDrive agreed to allowing Amazon to send its Kindle users to its website if that violated the contracts it had with the publishers.  (Or did I read that wrong?  It's a little confusing.)  Oh, well, I guess elibrary books are still a relatively new thing.  It makes sense that there would be kinks to work out!

I'm still annoyed with Penguin, though.