Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Posting for me lately has been like pulling teeth! My interests have been elsewhere. I might as well fess up. I've reverted to old childhood habits this summer.

Way back then, my summer days could be summarized in a list that went something like this -- swimming lessons at the pool, eat, ride bike back to the pool, swim, ride bike home, ride bike to library, stop at drugstore for a cherry ice, ride bike home, read a book, eat, read, sleep, and get up in the morning and start the pattern over once again.

The summer after fourth grade, I read the entire teenage romance section of the library in less than a month. Mrs. Potter, the town librarian and my neighbor across the street, became alarmed when she discovered a ten-year old not only had read all the junior romance novels the library had to offer at the rate of one to two a day, but was starting to reread the same tawdry books a second time. The next afternoon, she nabbed me from the bench in front of my favorite shelves and led me to the autobiography section, explaining that I really needed to expand my horizons a bit.

Yesterday morning when I was floating on my back in the pool, it struck me that I've reverted back to the rhythms of my childhood summers. My days have been going something like this -- ride my bike round and round the circle, swim in the pool, eat, read my book, eat, swim in the pool, read some more, sleep, and get up in the morning and start all over again. My summer schedule is supplemented somewhat with cable television breaks. I try not to miss any episodes of Househunters International, Anthony Bourdain, and my favorite reality television shows. I admit to a wicked Bravo housewives addiction. (Mrs. Potter would be so proud!)

And all this brings me to confess my newest obsession. I've always been a technology holdout. I've avoided the whole Kindle craze because I don't buy books. I use the public library. I'd sworn on a stack of library books that I would not purchase an e-reader until I was convinced I could acquire the latest bestsellers in e-book form from the library. Recently, I started noticing that almost all the books I was reserving were also available as e-book downloads, so I caved.

I love it! There's something especially satisfying about loading that Nook up with library books from the comfort of my sofa. No more car trips to the library to browse shelves and pick up books. (You didn't really think I was riding my bike to the library on these 110-degree plus Phoenix afternoons!) And since books expire automatically on their due dates, no more library fines.

I've got Girls in White Dresses, One Day, The Confession, Maine, and The Art of Racing in the Rain in the hold queue. Everyday in Tuscany and Metro Girl are loaded, and I'm currently in the middle of Life's a Beach. I saw that title at Sam's Club recently and knew I had to read it! It's a light laugh-out-loud read about a 41-year old woman with a cat named Boyfriend who moves back into the apartment over her parents' garage. Take note Jana. Her cat designs seaglass jewelry. Yesterday, I finished Summer People, a quirky read about a college dropout who spends his summer caretaking an elderly woman in a wealthy beach enclave on the Maine seacoast. My current reading theme seems to be lightweight beach reads. (I fully expect the ghost of Mrs. Potter to grab me by the neck at any moment to steer me over to the classics shelf.)

I'm also arming my Nook for our trip to the real beach in another two weeks with some free downloads. Most have been acquired through the Free Friday's links on the Barnes and Noble Nook Blog. Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Stuck in the Middle, Pride and Prejudice, Untouchable, and The Murder at the Vicarage are my finds from this last week.

Today, we stopped at the mailbox on the way home from eating lunch (that trip was wedged in after my morning swim) and a package had arrived. It was the cute little red leather cover I ordered from Amazon (see any irony in that?) for my Nook. So now my new toy has an outfit?

I'm hoping this whole reverting to the patterns of my childhood summers' thing isn't anything to worry about? I guess we'll know it's trouble when I start gluing macaroni to coffee cans and spraying my homemade sculptures gold?


Katalina said...

Oh boy, I REALLY miss Anthony Bourdain! Great post, Beck. The more you reveal about yourself, the richer the blog becomes.

drgeo said...

Mrs Potter wants you to read Dickens, Twain, and Steinbeck for FREE on Project Gutenberg:

Here's more freebies:
Online Books Page
Free Ebooks

Ann said...

I've been sticking to light beach reads most of the summer, too. I'm hoping our library will get on board with ebooks soon--one of the drawbacks of a small town ( it's being talked about at least. i have the same NOOk & bought a turquoise cover!

Life's a Beach! said...

Katalina, I've been emerging from the closet slowly. LOL

drgeo, I've actually downloaded a couple of Project Gutenberg books, but they didn't load into my Adobe Digital Editions? No clue what I'm doing wrong, and the files are lost somewhere in lala land on my laptop. I think I need to read their instructions?

Ann, our library is fortunately linked in with a Greater Phoenix Digital Library which makes more offerings available. But I still find a few titles that aren't offered in the proper format for my Nook. I love turquoise too!

drgeo said...

Google is your friend:
Converting formats for Nook

Janet said...

Beck, I have a kindle and LOVE it. Just ordered a waterproof/sandproof cover online. Used a zip-loc baggie for it in June, but not perfect. Here's a way to multi task, read while your floating in the pool! Haha haven't done that with the kindle though. Great blog,... oh yea I am a TOTAL housewives fanatic!!!

krisla said...

reading, swimming, eating, biking--so, that's why you like Isla!
me too...for same reasons...
like your list, inc. Househunters, -housewives, tho. and the red bookcover--got it at great clearance for Masha w/her 'Boko' reader from Border's. I caved for a Kindle last Dec, just before leaving for Isla :)

Life's a Beach! said...

drgeo, thanks for the extra links, and I finally figured out the error of my ways! Janet, not sure if I'll be brave enough to read while floating in the pool! I caught a new episode of Beverly Hills Housewives last night and it looks like it's going to be another screaming season. LOL And Kris, that is why I love Isla!

Linda said...

What a nice summer!!!