Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chapter 3: How Magic and (Dare I Say) Karma Resulted in a Spur-of-the-Moment Indulgence (Or How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love Purchasing My Nook)

Introduction and Prologue
Chapter 1: The Rise of the eReader
Chapter 2: In Which Dinah Veritably Salivates Over the Nook

Not everyone who reads this will know me, so for those who don't, I have a tendency to keep very busy. I almost always have something going on and some plans in the works. What this has meant recently is that I have some rather expensive plans in the works coming up and, in addition to buying a car and the upkeep on that, all of my spare money was going toward trips I would be making in the future. For every new thing I had to pay for, I realized it was going to be yet another month until I could afford to purchase a Nook. In mid-September, by my calendar and financial planning, I determined that I would finally be able to buy myself a Nook sometime in mid to late November. By then I would have finished paying for my trip to China, I would be back from Wrockstock, and I would be caught up on my bills. In the meantime, however, I was living on the extra $30-40 per paycheck, and that wasn't going particularly smoothly.

One night, a friend told me a story of his good fortune to find hundreds of dollars in his account when he anticipated very few. To this, my immediate response was, "If the $3 in my account magically turned into $300, that would probably be the most amazing thing ever." Little did I know, things were already beginning to turn around for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chapter 2: In Which Dinah Veritably Salivates Over the Nook

Introduction and Prologue
Chapter 1: The Rise of the eReader

At this point in the story, you may be thinking about just how fickle I seem to be. Why did I give up on the idea of an eReader with the Kindle around but immediately transfer my former feelings for the Kindle to what amounts to a different version of the same thing?

It sounds petty, but I can’t deny that a major attraction for me was the Barnes & Noble name. I have been going to Barnes & Noble stores my entire life and have always loved the atmosphere, the new book smell, the chairs provided for sitting and reading, and the overall helpfulness of the employees. Most of their employees are also great lovers of books and tend to provide fun and interesting suggestions based on what I’m browsing, carrying, or reading a few pages from. I have rarely been disappointed with a recommendation from a Barnes & Noble employee.

Another aspect of it being a Barnes & Noble eReader that made it so attractive is the fact that there are plenty of physical locations that I can go to at a moment’s notice. Once the Nook was officially released, there were tables set up in almost every Barnes & Noble store where there was an employee waiting to answer your questions and there were Nooks on display waiting for you to try them out.

Oh! The glory of that first time I held a Nook in my hands!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chapter 1: The Rise of the eReader

View the introduction and prologue here

When eReaders were first announced, I was intrigued. I had no particular desire to own one, but I certainly had an interest in playing with one to see what they were all about. This was made difficult by the fact that the only well-known eReader on the market was the Amazon Kindle. Since Amazon is a purely online company, there were no brick and mortar locations for me to drop by to see what this Kindle thing was all about. Despite that, I continued to keep an eye on the progress of the Kindle, reading about updates, improvements, and (after not too long) the rising competition. The only real draw these eReaders seemed to have for me was the fact that I could put so many books on it at once (there was also the little gremlin in the back of my mind jumping around shouting, "New gadget! New gadget!" in a shrill voice). All the eReaders I had seen at that point seemed a bit on the bulky side (with a surprisingly small screen), none of them looked attractive to me, and I didn't even want to think about the prices on them. The e-ink display was intriguing, but I'd have to see it to believe it and, as already discussed, that just wasn't an option.

After a while, I think the aforementioned gremlin in my mind worked his way forward enough to convince me that I should assemble an Amazon Wish List containing a Kindle and all the accessories that appealed to me or seemed necessary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Introducing a Short Series

As many people already know, I recently purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook eReader, which I absolutely adore. Not long ago, I read a short article titled something along the lines of "An Avid Reader Who Loves His Kindle More Than His Real Books". While that is certainly not the actual title, it is reminiscent. After reading that, I felt inspired to write up my own story of why I love my Nook so much for my blog. To say the least, I got a little carried away and now I have quite a long story. Due to its length, I've decided to release it in pieces. Today I present.... the Prologue.

Why I Love Felicity (My Barnes & Noble Nook eReader): A Short Story

Prologue: Why I Love Physical Books
In recent years, since eReaders grew in popularity, I've noticed a development in the book industry. Publishers have been forced to offer their books in a new form: eBooks. Welcome to the digital age. Now the consumers have the option between physical books and eBooks. Note that I carefully avoid referring to the physical books as "real." I believe this would leave the idea, somewhere in your mind, that I consider eBooks as less than real or less than adequate. Since this is the exact opposite of what I'm trying to get across, I want to make the distinction clear. To some, the choice is simple - they love the physical books too well to give in to the digital age. I want you to understand just how much I, too, love physical copies of books before I explain to you why I love my eReader so much.

I'm one of those people who will walk into a used bookstore just so I can breathe in the scent of books that have been handled by no-one-knows for however many years, picking up dust, absorbing the scents of the houses they have lived in, and, without exception, becoming the perfect blend of age and wisdom. Before you ask, the answer is yes. I am still discussing how I perceive the smell of books.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Recurring Theme

I know I've done this before, but I always seem to come back to it. I think it has something to do with the fact that things never seem to get resolved. Or maybe I just can't seem to exhibit enough patience to allow for a real resolution to come about.

Most likely, there is just no such thing as a "resolution" to the way my life works. You see, I can't help but be preoccupied with the status of my love life, if you will. This is not to say that I feel the need to jump into anything. I just feel like it would be nice to get back on the horse and have some kind of legitimate... something. I'm not entirely certain. I'm not ready for anything serious, but I'm getting tired of being so lonely and, when I'm not totally lonely, I feel like my options are, to say the least, limited. Not always in a good way. In fact, usually not.

I went so far as to spend months thinking to myself that, while my options seemed many and varied, my actual possibilities were few and far between. Overall, a pretty cynical outlook. I like to think I've gotten a bit more optimistic (though I admit, it hasn't been much of an improvement).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things You've Always Wanted to Know About Me

I posted this on Facebook as well, but wanted to put it here to get the full spectrum of ideas and topics to discuss:

In an effort to write more in my personal blog, I'd love to hear some questions or topics that my friends would like to hear me talk about (even though I'll actually be writing and you'll be reading, you get the point, right?). So if there's anything you'd like to find out my opinion on, any stories you'd like me to tell, or just curiosities about me you always wondered about... now is the time! Let me know and I should get to it at some point!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Double Post!

Woah! What could I possibly be thinking with this double post!?

I do have a point. I swear... I was just looking through my older posts to see when I last posted and what kinds of things I posted when I realized... I'm not very creative. Seriously. And I seem to drop the ball on multiple occasions. If you don't believe me, look at the titles of my posts from June this year and then look at the titles of my posts this month so far. Also, check out what I'm doing.

I need to actually complete things now.

A Discussion of my Goals

You know, as great as it can feel to finally organize something that you've wanted to have around for a while, that's when you start realizing exactly why no one else did it first. There's just a certain degree of insanity that comes with the territory of being an organizer. No matter how diplomatically try to approach things, there is zero chance that everyone will be happy. Then you'll be confronted with the people who are not only unhappy, but are outspoken about it (even if it's just one out of twenty). That one person will put a damper on the entire experience of starting up something that you've wanted to participate in for years.

I figure the best I can do is take it all in stride and just roll with the punches. I'm excited to have created something awesome like a book club! Even if it's short-lived or breaks down into a much smaller group, I'm happy to say that I accomplished something that brings people together for a social day of book discussion! Heck yes!

Since starting this Book Club is goal number 3 on my 101in365 to-do list, I want to talk a little about the progress I'm making on a few other goals over there right now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who Knew Avoiding Mediocrity Could Be So Inspiring?

I've decided I would like to write updates here more often. Part of what has caused this determination is a nifty little website called 101in365. This is an interesting new take on the "to-do" and "goal" list idea. The brain child of a very interesting young woman named Jenn, 101in365 doesn't just offer the chance to set goals to accomplish, but it provides healthy challenges for all of us.

The first challenge is to come up with a full list of 101 things that you would like to accomplish in the next 365 days. I bet you were like me when I first read approximately the same sentence, "101 items on a to-do list? That seems easy enough!" Boy are you mistaken (as was I)! The 12th item on my list is "Come up with 101 goals" because I could already tell that this was going to be something worthy of marking off.

This first challenge is actually a kind of double-trouble situation.