• A new take on binge reading?

    Binge reading. Okay, I love to read, and by extension — write. But, binge-ing? Though I understand the editorializing on the “joy of reading”, why can’t someone engage in one of the most pleasurable solitary activities in recent times that doesn’t require a screen, without having to acknowledge some kind of condition be met to make it happen?

    One night a couple of summers ago, the power went out and, unable to watch Netflix or engage in my customary internet fugue, I lit a candle and picked up a thriller by Ruth Rendell. For the first time in as long as I could remember, my sole source of entertainment for an evening was going to be a book.

    Okay, I’ll roll with the context. The reader is forced to entertain himself with what he hopes is the right kind of fiction. He starts to read, but then something weird happens. The physical book becomes a sort of extension of an autoplay feature that somehow the reader incorporates into the method by which he consumes the book. (Hello 21st century metaphor for protracted media consumption?)

    Now this may all seem a bit rich, coming from a fiction writer. You aren’t enjoying reading? Then read longer! Read faster! The problem is you! But the corollary to this way of reading — of taking books down in gulps rather than sips — is that you will discover much more quickly when a book isn’t for you, and you can then set it aside without the nagging suspicion that you might have sabotaged it by your method of ingestion.

    Sigh. I just like reading with a rhythm that’s on my own terms. | LINK

  • Book subscription services

    The race is on to be this century’s take on the old Columbia House model of (instant) gratification. Of course, it’s not that instant, but the subscription model of book purchasing takes out much of the musing over how and when to purchase your next favorite novel. Book Riot presents 30 of ’em.

    Me? I’ve only tried one service — Powells. Nothing wrong with it, but, alas, life — and a busy medical practice — managed to get in the way.

    Every six to eight weeks, Powell’s Books delivers the best new books, with special attention to independent publishers. Powell’s promises signed first editions, exclusive printings, and tons of other exciting surprises. For a peek at what Powell’s has featured in past boxes, check out the impressive list here. …
    Past books have included: The Mothers by Britt Bennet, Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, and There There by Tommy Orange. The next book, shipping out on December 18, is A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne.

    Check them all out!