Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What are you currently reading?

I was in a bookstore today and was actually proud of myself for not buying another book. I was very tempted to buy a Henri Nouwen book. But I didn't. Not because I won't get around to reading it. I'm just tired of having to move my library around the world. So until I know where home will be next, I'll try to only buy electronic books, as in, books for my Kindle. Except, my Kindle died some months ago. It just died. No clear reason why. Personally, I think it had been x-rayed too many times in Jakarta, since I constantly had it in my bag, and whenever you walk into a mall, your bag has to be x-rayed. For bombs.

I'm glad I no longer live in a place where bombs are a day-to-day threat. But that's besides the point.

I was talking about my dead Kindle... Amazon said I could send it in and get $40 off a new one, but after having weighed all options, I decided to go with buying an iPad instead, download the Kindle app, and voila, all my Kindle books were back in my hands, complete with what I had underlined etc. Just like that. Got to love technology!

I actually prefer the iPad Kindle app far more than the Kindle itself. Funnily, it feels (or rather, looks) much more like a real book than the groundbreaking e-reader does. In my opinion, at least. (The only con is that it's harder to read when you're out in the sun.)

Other than being easier to tote around the world, electronic books are also much cheaper than printed ones. Plus I love that you can just look up a word when you're not 100% clear on the meaning. I usually just guess the meaning from context, not even stopping to think about it, really. But when you know you simply have to click on a word to read its definition, it really isn't distracting at all to look up a word.

So, other than definitions of words, what am I currently reading, you may wonder? Most of my current reading's for research purposes. Someday, I'll get to read novels again. I hope.

I carry two "real" books in my bag (got to have choices, I believe...): Convergence and Stewards in the Kingdom. And though I have a whole lot more, the books I'm currently determined to finish are Leadership Above the Line, The Insider, How I Changed my Mind About Women in Leadership, The Gospel According to Jesus, The Tangible Kingdom, ReJesus, God at Work, and The Forgotten Ways. (I know, you're just dying to read my dissertation, aren't you? Actually, I am, too... It's not coming fast, though, but dissertations never do. And I'm just being sassy about you dying to read my dissertation. Dissertations aren't NY Times Bestsellers, I know.)

When I really get tired of reading the stuff from my research list, I read one thousand gifts. Or I watch a movie... In fact, I watched a movie the other night that made me cry. I cry for odd reasons in movies. Watching Temple Grandin (a true story and a must-see if you like true stories), I simply couldn't stop the tears from welling up as she overcame one obstacle after another. Hers is an amazing story. See it if you can!

In fact, reading up on Dr. Grandin's story makes me want to read her book. I'll simply have to put it on my list of books to read some other time...

How about you? What are you currently reading? 


  1. Hey Adele! I miss you! Love the postings and thoughts as always. I've been looking for some good book recommendations so I'm glad I read your blog in time! I'll be traveling through the states soon, with my Kindle (still alive) in hand, and thinking of you! :)

  2. I currently read one of the best books I have ever read and highly recommend Gain by Richard Powers. More thoughts here:

    I am also reading Obama's first book. While he is not progressive enough for me as a politician, his story is amazing. Well written and worth the read. More thoughts here:

    As for E-readers, as much as I love technology and all things digital, I still and always love my books. There is something holy about the crisp smell of paper. I imagine a cozy library room with all my books surrounding me when I am older. Like old friends. My children.

  3. Jabiz, I do agree with you that paper books trump digital ones. My Kindle app simply makes it so much easier to always have a book (or 50) at hand.

    Winnie, all the best with your reverse culture shock! Back in NY, one of my favourite bookstores used to be the huge B&N in the Village. I hope there are some smaller shops left, though.

  4. Hi Adele,

    Just had 6 wonderful weeks with Crystal and kids. I couldn't find you on face book, read your blog and know why! Which is wonderful story on your life. You need to visit Alaska some time. Wishing you the best,

  5. Hi Adele,

    Will you be passing by Mozambique any time soon? I need someone to show me the ways of the Kindle - I dislike mine, to put it mildly. I just bought two textbooks for this August's classes - and they promise to be rather boring. Research Methods. I bought them on Kindle to give it a go. The easy-reading sort of books for the other class weren't available on Kindle. Anyway, just looking at the books, I cannot imagine I will be able to follow them well on a Kindle. How can that "dumb" highlighting and note taking thing possible compare to highlighting and note taking on a real book? Where you flip thru the book to see what you thought was most important and read a few lines here and there. I can't see how the Kindle features can replace that. I started reading one of the books and can't stand that I can't see what's ahead, don't know how far til the end of the chapter, don't know how far til the end of the section, what the sections even are and if I want to skip around, how to glance thru and find the section I wanted to re-read. I am not a happy Kindle customer and I need to be recruited! If you can read books on Kindle for a dissertation, I must be able to manage for a simple masters! (by the way, sure miss you on FB!)

  6. Laura,

    Nope, I won't be coming to Mozambique anytime soon again... I have definitely found that textbooks are NOT the best to read on a Kindle! They could be better on an iPad, though, since you can see 2 pages as once, just like with a real book, which makes more sense with graphs etc.

    As for flipping through the book, I really do like paper books more! As a visual learner, I can usually visualize where a specific quote was... But that is different on a Kindle, seeing that you can change the font size. But when you view your highlights and comments, you can see everything at a glance, which is something you can't do with a book. ;)

    BTW, you can download the Kindle app for Mac/PC, which should give you the freedom to see more pages and to flip pages to see how far till the end of a chapter... And the app syncs with your Kindle, so if you use it and open the book on your actual Kindle next time, it'll take you to where you last read on whichever device.

    I'll go back to FB after my writing's done.

  7. Jeannie,

    I had missed saying good-bye to Crystal and the kids before leaving Indonesia seeing that they were visiting you in Alaska. I have been to your state, btw. Went there in May 2008. Here's where I went:

    BTW, you'd laugh if you heard the journey I've been on with regards to working in KL! For now, I've decided not to pursue a full-time teaching position at a university, realizing that working full-time at a university will drive me insane. They don't make any decisions fast! There are always more questions to ask... There are some other interesting options that are surfacing. Will have to wait and see what crystallizes.