Bacon Talk: Books and Reading

Welcome back, everyone. Where have you all been? We’ve been right here waiting for you to come read! We don’t like to write something until we know you’re coming. We’re like the Whataburger of websites. We don’t make it ’til you order it. Actually, we’ve just been on sort of a hiatus, since Haycomet got bored of writing, and I lost eight of my fingers in an opossum attack last fall. They finally regenerated though, and I’m ready to write! So without any further ado, let’s get down to today’s Welcome Back Bacon Talk topic, which is Books and Reading!
Now I know I do a lot of both. Well, wait. Okay, one’s a noun and the other’s a verb. I’m still trying to get that straight in my head. Okay, so I have a lot of one and do a lot of the other. There. That’s better. So how about you, Haycomet? Do you have a lot of one? And do you, therefore, do a lot of the other? It does seem that the verb might be dependent on the noun.

Hey there, Space. I’m so glad you recovered from your opossum attack. I, dear readers, was not bored of writing at all, I was actually volunteering for a program that rehabilitates albino polar bears. Fitting a polar bear with sun glasses and parkas is not an easy task. See, albino polar bears have pink skin instead of black, so they have a hard time staying warm. But anyway… Back to the topic. My answers to your questions are no and no.
Don’t give me that look, Space. I’m going to expand on my answers. I used to have shelves full of books, but over time, I donated most of them or sold them to used media stores. I only have kept the ones I really enjoyed, or books that I acquired from someone and intend to read in the future. I honestly don’t read books a lot. Reading has frustrated me since grade school. I had the hardest time keeping my mind on the words. I would get distracted by my own thoughts within seconds, and have to reread the same sentence four or five times. Sometimes I would read the words and just not “get them”. I’m better with reading now, but only with subjects that truly interest me. My husband, Byronic, on the other hand, reads at least one book a week. Our house isn’t full of his books anymore though, because he has an e-reader.

Well, yeah, I guess you’re right. Now days you don’t really have to have a lot of books to read a lot of books. Well, okay, I guess you never did. There have always been libraries. But I was thinking more along the lines of electronic book readers, like the Sony Reader, the Kindle and the Nook. What do you make of these devices, Hay? Are you interested in them at all?

I have used Byronic’s Kindle, and I think it is an amazing gadget. I am actually the reason he has an e-reader; I bought it for him two Christmases ago. Not only is it easier for him to carry around multiple books at once, but in general, ebooks are cheaper than paper books.

Not always. If you shop used bookstores you can find better deals on used paper books than on ebooks online. But as a rule, they generally are cheaper when comparing new to new. Which do you prefer the feeling of in your hands the most? A good hardcover, a paperback or an e-reader? I have all three. I, as you know, am a collector, so I have a bunch of hardcovers at home of all my favorite authors. I also have several paperbacks for those that weren’t available in the hardcover edition. And then, of course, I have hundreds of ebooks on my Sony Reader Pocket Edition.

I prefer a good paperback. They aren’t as awkward to carry as a hardcover book. I can usually fit a paperback book into my purse. I can’t do that with a hardcover book unless I carry a big-ass messenger bag. Oh, and the smell! I love the smell of a new book, or even an old book for that matter. An e-reader always smells like plastic… Pffft. An e-reader also can’t be signed by an author. Well, it can be, but that would be idiotic. I used to love surprising Byronic with signed copies of books that he loved reading in the past.
A regular book also can’t be shattered and doesn’t need to have a battery charged before I can read it. If I spill something on a paper book or leave it on a bus, it’s not a big deal.
Oh Space, we are missing a type of book that I happen to know you have been utilizing – audiobooks. I know they don’t get read, per se, but they are still a type of book, so I think we should talk about those too. Do you really like hearing someone else read a book aloud for you?

Oh dear God yes. I love it. I do, by the way, call it reading. I think the verb safely encompasses the act of absorbing – be it visually or sonically – words from the book and processing them. Though you’re actually listening to it, your mind is doing the same thing with the information it absorbs. Reading is no longer just for the eyes. But yes, I absolutely love reading audiobooks. The audiobook is the answer to reading when your hands are busy. I read audiobooks in my car on the way to the train station. Then as I switch to the train, I open my e-reader.
Audiobooks are the aural equivalent of a bowl of peanut butter and syrup. If you get a good reader like Frank Muller, you can get a lot more out of the text than by reading it. He gives unique voices to the characters and spirit to the narrative. The reading gets a lot more intense if the performance is solid. And, once again, it makes driving a lot more rewarding an experience.
Speaking of fitting a book in your purse, my Sony Pocket Edition Reader would fit in your tiniest purse. It fits in your back pocket. Of course, if you don’t read a lot, it’s probably not worth it to you. I will tell you though, I do read a lot more now that I own a reader. What sort of books do you like when you do find yourself involved in a book, Haycomet?

My books are almost always science fiction. I just recently borrowed a book from you that sounds like my kind of book – The Alienist, but to my disappointment, it was just a murder mystery. Needless to say, I didn’t even make it halfway through the book. I know you warned me in advance that it wasn’t sci-fi, but I really thought it would be an interesting book and a chance to venture into a different genre. I just couldn’t get into it.

You mentioned the smell of a book earlier. I really dig that myself. I love the smell of the public library. I also like the plastic covers they put on the books. The crinkling, crisp sound as you open the book. There’s still a sense of magic every time I walk into a library. Sadly, now days, when I walk into a library, most of the people whose cars are occupying parking spots are inside at the computer terminals. And they’re all on facebook. Makes me sad. Like in the movie Se7en when Morgan Freeman goes to the crime library. “You guys are surrounded by a world of knowledge and all you do is play poker.”
There’s also that feeling of magic when I walk into a bookstore, though. I love Half-Price Books. I can take a c-note in there and walk out with twenty books and gigantic smile on my face.

I miss going to the library. The library at my middle school was my favorite place to hang out. Even the substitute teachers knew that about me, and would write me passes to go to the library so I didn’t have to be subjected to my rowdy classmates. There is even a small “library” less than thirty feet from my desk now where I work. It is basically a “drop-off” area for media that my co-workers no longer want, but that’s okay, I’m just happy that it’s there. There are less than one hundred books and magazines in its little collection; this library is on my way to the break area, so I get to walk by it at least four times a day. Yesterday I stopped at this little library and organized the magazines into straight rows and alphabetized the science fiction section by the author’s last name. Does that make me a major geek, Space? Does loving books make someone a dork in general?

Boy, I don’t see how. Being well read to me is honorable. Much more honorable than someone who knows every episode of South Park or Star Trek by heart. Reading is such a powerful tool as well as a fantastic escape. And it makes you more intelligent. Gives you knowledge. How can anyone call that dorky?

That’s true. So I guess since you and I are writers, we are contributing to the intelligence of our readers then, aren’t we? Well that makes me feel awesome! Maybe humanity isn’t completely hopeless – everyone just needs to start reading our posts.

You got that write. Oh! So spread the words, friends. We’re here for your intellectual enhancement. Well that’s all for this week, friends. We shall be back next week with another plate of bacon and a pot full of dark roast coffee, discussing our favorite porn sites, and the differences between hamsters and gerbils. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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