Anyone who knows me know that I love to read. There are piles of books in all areas of my house, and I have a regular rendezvous with the local library. I also have the Overdrive application on my phone. Overdrive allows me to find and listen to audio books through my iPhone. It is linked to my library account so I can listen to them for free. Most of you are jamming out to tunes while you drive. If you see me driving, I’m probably somewhere far away, in a story from another time and place.
I am a sculptor and work many hours with my hands. The interns who work in my sculpting studio are often subjected to my addiction of listening to audio books. I asked one intern, upon his arrival, if he liked or listened to audio books. I could tell by his answer that he was a little distraught that I might make him listen to someone read. I wondered if he felt like he was in school rather than work. Because I sign his paycheck, he was subjected to the cruelty of listening to the written word. After one afternoon he was hooked. He asked, “I want to know what will happen. Are you going to listen to this when I’m not working?”
I document, or try to document, my reading list through another app on my phone called Goodreads. I love Goodreads, it is a social network of readers. I have, at times, received some great suggestions from my Goodreads friends. I do wish I had a little more interactivity with the app. For example, if someone suggests a book on Goodreads and I like it, I would love the opportunity to click a button and be taken to the Houston Public Library or Overdrive to search for the book and order it. I also wish it had a private journal area, kind of like a common place book where I could jot down my thoughts or phrases that I liked from the books that I read. It does however let me keep a list of the books I have read, see suggestions by others and let me keep a list of things I want to read.
What I read
What I read depends on what is available when I log into Overdrive or am taking my walk through the library. At the library you will usually find me in the young adult section. I read young adult or YA as writers call it, because I like to write for this genre. I have nothing published, but I do have one complete. This is my first choice, along with middle grade MG. I have about 3 books inside of me , yet to be written for MG.
When walking through the library I’ll look for those books with stickers on the cover or spine indicating they are an ward winning books. I exhaust those quickly and will move on to what catches my eye. I will also go through periods of time where I’ll order books from the library. If I’m ordering a book, I’m probably ordering 2 or 3. I’ll also listen to books from CD’s. In the case of audio books on CD I will order what I can from the library . This is usually the case when it comes to award winning audio books. You can find several lists on the internet like the audies. There is nothing like listening to great reader or actors in an audio book. In that same light there is nothing like a really poor reader of an audio book to make you hate the medium. That is why I only revert to LibriVox when I am in desperate need of a fix for audio books. LibriVox is great in theory. Books that are in the public domain are recorded by individuals and put up for free on librovox. The problem is that often one book has multiple readers and if one of these readers drones, or has a strange pitch or rise and fall to their cadence of words, it is murder to my ears.
I read/listen to a lot of novels, and my second favorite is a biography. It is strange because as a young adult and child I was absolutely enthralled with nonfiction and especially “how to” books. Guess as I age, I no longer have the need to know how to, but instead I want to dream.
I must also add that now that I am a grandmother I am reading more books to my grandchild. But children’s books are not foreign to me. I have been studying the writing of children’s books for years. I have about 10 written children’s books, no, once again they are not published. I do believe they are some of the best writings I have ever done. I have not published my children’s books for the simple reason that as an artist I feel like I should illustrate my own books and that becomes overwhelming to me. So, they sit unpublished. I digress from my subject.
So what have I read/listened to this year? Documenting my reading list could be a bit of a chore, however, my Goodreads application has a scanner and before bringing my books back to the library I just scan the ISBN number and my book enters my scanned list on good reads. Here is my list. 70 books in 12 months, though I do believe I haver forgotten a few.