Sunday, January 29, 2012

So frustrating!

OK, I have been reading. Really! I've read 10 books already - well on my way to 100 for 2012. So why haven't you seen more posts from me?

In a nutshell, my wrist.

Yep, I finally did something to hurt myself at work. The "what" is still a bit of a mystery, although I have my suspicions, most of them surrounding a marathon session of moving/shelving books about 2 weeks ago. I also might have rolled over on it while sleeping and strained something that way, or maybe it just aggrevated the existing injury. And since I can't be sure I did it at work, there's no sense in looking at any sort of time off for it, either. Sigh.

Best guess is that I have tendonitis in my wrist. Feels like I pulled a muscle, but according to the medical reading I've been doing, you don't have any muscles in your wrist - just tendons. And when one of those tendons is inflamed or stressed or whatever... well, it just sucks. There's really no much you can do for it unless you actually rip the darn thing in half. Basically, NSAIDs and a wrist brace - and patience - are your best bets.

So I'm trying to type this with the brace on, since using the computer, mostly the mouse, really hurts. But trying to type with this thing on is almost impossible, since I have to hold my arm at a weird angle. Plus it's making me use muscles in my upper arm that I haven't used in forever! Thus, posts from me are going to be sparse for a while. Bear with me, and just keep your fingers crossed that it won't take long for my wrist to heal!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yes, I'm still alive

Sorry for the radio silence. It's been a crazy week or two at work. We've had three people resign at our Main branch in as many weeks, two for personal reasons and the other one because of a new full-time job. As you can imagine, that has put more of a burden on those of us that have been "helping out" - they need a lot more help!

I promise I have been reading, and that there will be more blogs and book reviews soon. Hopefully this week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Drought is Over!

I have managed to read a paltry two books so far this year. At this rate, my goal of reading 100 books this year was looking more like "Mission Impossible". I had made myself a promise to stick with one book at a time, hoping that in doing so, I would be able to finish a work faster and maybe still have a small glimmer of hope of reaching such a lofty goal.

Well, it's a holiday weekend for us at the library, and I was looking for something new to read. I opened the latest box from my "dealer" and pulled out three possibilities. I thought I would just read a little of each one to help me decide which one would be "the one" - and ended up reading quite a bit of all three. In fact, all three are really holding my interest, so I'm plowing right along with them.

Hallelujah! The reading drought is over!

I have to be honest: I was really starting to worry that I was losing my interest in the printed word (and I mean any printed word, be it actual print or e-book or whatever). I had found in the last month or so that I just wasn't reading all the much. I've been coming home from work and sitting in front of the boob tube, content to just veg out before tottering off to bed at my usual time of 9-ish or so. I was trying to read a bit before turning out the light to head off to dreamland, but was finding it increasingly difficult to make it through a single chapter. Very scary for a library lady, especially one who has a blog of book reviews and such! But it looks like things are getting back to normal, for which I am eternally grateful.

O Happy Day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wet Wednesday

Yes, it sounds like a naughty contest, doesn't it? Sadly, it's today's weather forecast here in North Carolina: 100% chance of rain. As in, a complete and total washout. I will be working, but I won't be working, if you know what I mean. I don't know why but it would seem that people just do not want to come out in bad weather, be it rain, snow, cold, etc.


Anyway, I was bemoaning my extremely slow progress yesterday regarding my reading goal of 2012. I thought about it some last night, and I'm still baffled - why is it taking me so long to get through a book these days? It's not like I've picked up duds. I really have liked the titles I've read lately. But I'm only to get through about a chapter per day, and yes, at that rate, I'll be lucky to read 50 books this year. I suppose I could choose much, much shorter works, which would hopefully help my speed, but that seems a bit like cheating.

How are you doing with your reading goals so far? Anyone else having the reading "blahs" like me? How do you get through them?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One down, 99 to go

I have finally finished my first book of my 2012 reading challenge. Good grief. At this rate, I will never make 100 books this year.

I might not even make 50!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brick-&-Mortar vs Online retailers

I just read a very interesting article in the December 12th edition of Publishers Weekly. It was mostly in response to Amazon's "check price app" that was offered before the holidays; for walking into a brick-and-mortar bookstore, the all-mighty e-tailer was offering up to $15 in discounts to those customers that scanned that booksellers item/price. Some thought it was a smart move on Amazon's part, as they have no physical stores, but others cried "Foul!" - and loudly. They saw it as Amazon trying to beat out the physical stores, both the big chains and the independents, through some sneaky-snake deals.

Regardless of how you see look at it, though, it brought up a good point, and that's what the article really focused on: how people choose the books they choose. I have to admit that I've done this myself, although not exactly in the context they mean. We have a local brick-and-mortar bookstore in town, and yes, I have walked through the store looking at displays, picking up interesting titles, enjoying the atmosphere - and walking out completely empty-handed. I never intended to buy anything when I walked in; I was doing research, both for my job and for my personal reading interests. As much as I love physical print books, I am loathe to pay the prices this particular bookstore wants to charge, even after you pay a yearly "member" fee that supposedly gets you discounts. Plus working in a library setting, I just do not buy books all that often, as I can get most anything I want to read through work. It's not that I don't want to support good authors. I just do not have the funds nor the storage space to buy every book I read. To give you an idea of what I mean, I read 92 books in 2011, and the three years previous I read 86 books - each year! That's a lot of books, people!

Anyway, I digress.

The PW article basically said that many readers do this, what they call "showrooming" and "previewing" in brick-and-mortar stores, and yes, most of those readers admit to going home and buying the book from an online source. This held true for both print and e-versions. So what are the brick-and-mortar stores to do? How can they compete? Well, a different article farther into the issue says that many independents are offering sidelines, and lots of them, to make a profit. Which begs the question: is it still a "book" store if 25-30% of what a store sells (or more) are not books?

It's a new world out there, folks, and it would seem that the ongoing print/physical book vs. online/e-book war is going to continue without end. However, on a final, somewhat hopeful note, there was an interesting graph in the first article measuring out percentages of book buyers who "previewed" books in a store, then bought that same book online in either format, in the past month. Yes, e-books are on the rise, but 21% of the people questioned said they "will never read books in digital format", while a whopping 40% said they read an equal amount of print and digital formats. This totally has me happy as a clam, because I am a dyed-in-the-wool print girl at heart. And it also confirms what I've seen at the library: patrons who are thrilled that we are offering digital versions of titles but who still love the feel of a good book in their hands, proving that their is room for both formats in the publishing world.

Food for thought on a Saturday morning!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I awoke later than I had planned this very frigid Wednesday morning. As I tried to extricate myself from a wonderfully warm bed, I promptly whacked my right orbital socket on hubby's elbow (he was sleeping on his left side facing me). Talk about seeing stars! He apologized profusely, which I appreciated, but let's face it - it wasn't really anyone's fault. Dark bedroom, sleepy Bookbabe... the combination just didn't work this morning.

I'm hoping my day gets better, and I'm really hoping I didn't hit myself hard enough to have a black eye later. Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Evanovich at the movies

Oh boy. Anyone else dreading this release? Anyone else going to stay as far away as possible? I know, I know.... I've heard a lot of Evanovich fans say that the movies doesn't look very good but they're going to go see it anyway.


Really. I'd like to know why readers feel they "must" go see a movie based on a book they enjoyed. We all know that the movies based on said books are never "just like the book". We all know that all too often, the movies are much, much worse than the original books. Indeed, there are times where the title of the movie is the only thing linking it to a book!

Are we, the readers, doing our favorite authors/characters a disservice by paying Hollywood to rework something we loved in print? Or do we really consider it support of those authors, just as if we bought another copy of the book? Wouldn't it be better to keep spreading the word of the print version and get the author more overall sales?

If there are any authors reading this blog (and gosh, I certainly hope there are) what do you think? Do you have dreams of your book(s) coming to life on the big screen? Or do you have nightmares about what might happen to your literary vision?

As for me, I don't watch movies too often to begin with - I am a reader, dammit! And I rarely want to watch a film based on a book, especially a book I've already read. Every once in a while I'm surprised by a very good treatment of the original written piece, but yeah, there are stinkers out there that have made me groan in actual pain. Just take a look at any number of Stephen King pieces: for every "Stand by Me" (based on his original novella "The Body"), you've got something like "Sleepwalkers", a movie best summed up by a guy sitting near me during a preview, sho said "Dude, that would have totally rocked if we were stoned!"

Let me know what you think. Movies based on books - good idea? Or should scriptwriters stick to coming up with their own ideas?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Last day of vacation

It's Monday, January 2nd, and my last day of vacation. Having ten days off has been amazing - so relaxing! But it's quickly drawing to a close, which makes me sad. So yes, my goal of more vacation should be easy to accomplish as I'm very motivated at this moment to not go to work. lol!

Our weather here has taken a nose-dive into the freezer. Brrr! Today will be a good day to stay in and attempt to get a few things done. I'm currently reading Simon Green's "For Heaven's Eyes Only", the latest installment in Green's Secret Histories series. It's just as fun as the rest, with Eddie Drood trying to fight the good fight, even when it includes his family. I realized reading the previous book that these sort of remind me of comic books without pictures: the action is over the top, the violence is over the top, the puns are over the top, etc. It's all so crazy that it probably would make a great graphic novel (I guess - I don't read them myself). Anyway, I'm hoping to make progress on said book today as I really do not want to go outside since it's c-o-l-d today, and only going to get colder over the next few days. Luckily, it's short-lived, with the weather dudes are saying back to "normal" temps by this weekend.

My other goal for today is some housecleaning. I really had every intention of doing a little at a time so that all of it was done before I headed back to work. But, yeah. That didn't happen. I have basically done nothing but veg out - not that that's a bad thing! So now it's time to get back into the right frame of mind of "getting things done", and hopefully that will help when I return to work tomorrow.

I must admit that I'm glad MLK is a holiday for the government offices, though; it helps me "ease" back into the whole going to work every day routine!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! (2012 edition)

Hello to 2012! As I sit here this morning, it's the start of lots of things: another week, another month, and yes, another year. Hard to believe that 2011 is finished and sitting on the bookshelf of life, isn't it?

As always, I resolve to do better with this blog. (Yes, I know you've read that before - several times!) Now that I've been proofreading for Astraea Press, an e-publisher, I realize the importance of a good blog, and part of a "good blog" is getting it updated every day. Which means even if I do nothing more than put a small paragraph on paper (so to speak), that's what I need to do. That and spread the word that "Novel News" exists!

Besides being a better blogger, I resolve to really knuckle down and take care of myself this year. "They" recommend setting concrete goals, so here goes: I resolve to exercise at least 3 times/week. I resolve to lose 12 pounds in 2012 (corny, but it's concrete!). I resolve to eat dessert only once a week and really watch my sugar intake the rest of the time (not as concrete as it should be, but I'm trying) in the hopes that my cholesterol levels will improve. And I resolve to take more vacation days from my day-job! I am on my 9th day of a 10-day break, and it's proven to me just how much I need to recharge the old batteries. So yeah, more vacation days, even if it's just long weekends.

Finally, my reading goal. 2011 wasn't too bad, once I realized I could/should count all the manuscripts I proofed for AP! I mean, I did read them while looking for errors, right? I finished out the year with 92 books read, which finally broke my couple-years-running total of 86. I really, really want to reach that magic 100 books in 2012, so fingers crossed!

I sincerely hope that this new year brings you good luck in every way. Let me know what sort of things you'd like to see here in this blog, and I will do my best to oblige!