Shut up, I’m Reading

Reading is often regarded as a solitary sport. I have heard it referred to as something antisocial people do because they want to escape into their own head. I admit, sometimes that’s true. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t scary loners who wear all black and growl at the sun (except for maybe you twilight fans), but we do like a little quiet time away from all that hoopla out there once and a while.

The rest of the time, I do find it enjoyable to have a warm body nearby keeping me company when I’m reading. A silent one. One that doesn’t kick me under the table and demand I “put that book down!” like I’m doing something rude. Note to world: I’m not being rude. I’m reading. OK, maybe you don’t like that my first instinct upon receiving a steaming cup of java is to whip out my book like a fresh croissant to accompany it, but that is just a reflex. I probably thought you’d have a book too. We’re friends aren’t we?

This week my friend visited from DC and we spent a lot of time roaming around Austin eating, walking, shopping and drinking a lot (and I mean a LOT) of coffee. We probably visited 4 or 5 different coffee shops in the two days we spent together. On the first day we were making our second (or third?) coffee stop and my friend started to roam around the backseat of my car. Why you ask? Because I always have 10-15 books laying about back there, waiting for some lucky person to read them. After all, my car might break down, work might get cancelled, lunch might be solitary, I may have a sudden doctor’s appointment or need to get my oil changed… so I’m always prepared. She sifted through my books and eventually decided on a Harry Potter (excellent choice) and as we were walking into the coffee shop she said “Thats what I love about spending time with you, there’s always coffee/reading time built in.”

I miss that a lot. Not that people in Texas don’t read, but I used to have at least one day a week where we would go relax at a coffee shop (or the common, oh how I pine for you Boston!) on a book date. I feel a little more uni-bomber here because I tend to spend my dedicated reading afternoons alone. I’d stalk someone at the library or sidle up to someone at the local bookstore, but it is often misconstrued. No, I don’t want to sell you drugs, take your picture through a darkened window at night or date you. I just want a reading buddy. (A quiet one.)

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The new Social Site for Kindle users

We all read a lot of book blogs, tweet with #FridayReads & #LitChat, post on GoodReads & LibraryThing, swap on BookMooch and download ARCS on NetGalley. And here comes another website to help us talk about books. The question is, is it worth it? Book lovers who take advantage of online social media are already spending a lot of time on the sites listed above and numerous others.

Well as an avid Kindle user, I can say that I will be visiting https://kindle.amazon.com/  for a while to check it out and play with new developments. So far, it is decently designed. It is a simple, straightforward site with enough options to keep you entertained, but not so many that you feel lost. I like Your Highlights where I can see all the quotes I’ve highlighted in my kindle books on one page. I can then cut and paste into my blog, tumblr or twitter as I wish. To me, that’s quite useful.

The Daily Review option threw me off at first because I thought it would be a daily book review. Instead, it is a ‘review’ in the sense of the word that it is reviewing a book you have in your library by posting “Flashcards” of significant highlights and quotes. I’d prefer for Amazon to change this option to actual book reviews about books that the user might like based upon their current kindle library.

Also on your kindle.amazon page is quotes from books in your library, highly followed people, book suggestions and twitter/facebook buttons if you want to add everyone you know onto your kindle page. I like the Want to Read feature on the right under Public Stats which pulls books from your wishlists to show you what you’ve coveted lately. You can also make certain features public or private, so you can control what your new amazon followers will be able to see.

The Most Highlighted of All Time shows the passages and the books that people are highlighting feverishly at home. In Passages: 

Mockingjay (no surprise) is currently #1 with: “It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” – Highlighted by 5396 Kindle users

Pride and Prejudice is #2 : “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Highlighted by 5201 Kindle users

and Catching Fire is #3 : “Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.” – Highlighted by 4932 Kindle users

Overall, I’m enjoying my time at https://kindle.amazon.com/ and I am looking forward to watching how it grows and changes. Feel free to share your thoughts with me! I’d love to hear what other kindle users are thinking of this site so far.