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Printed Books, Audio Books, and E-Books

Do you have a favorite? Some of us grew up going to libraries and reading. Others only read what they are assigned at school or at work. For me, I’ve always loved books. My mom read to us as we grew up. I love the smell of a library. About half of the books that sit on the shelves in my home came from Friends of the Library sales and second hand stores. The other half are brand new books and you can hear it in the binding when you open them for the first time. In case you didn’t know, I’m a tactile and visual person.

Publishing and the way we get access to books is changing, as you all are well aware. I treasure holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. Then, after hours on the computer five days a week, my eyes got tired and I wanted to read at night but my eyes bothered me. I’d heard of audio books but had never listened to one. After a trip to the Amarillo Public Library branch closest to me, the world of audio books opened up. A whole section of classics and new releases sat on the shelves and I’d never noticed. Audio books go on road trips, flights, and act as bed time stories. They are even in the yard with me sometimes while I get the garden ready for planting in the Spring. My mother-in-law lost her sight in the last few years of her life and she listened to audio books. She’d been a voracious reader all her life.

Enter E-books in all their forms. At first, many thought it wouldn’t be much more than a flash in the pan. However, it is revolutionizing the publishing world for all of us and opens up options for authors.

Now, I realize none of this is news to any of you, but as the industry has diversified, so must we. Keep a finger in all the pies. Versify your writing and use all the wonderful ways to get your writing out to others. I’ve learned this lesson over the past year and a half and am working on just how to get it all implemented. That’s where time management comes. The next post will address some time management tips for the busy writer.

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Mid-Summer Reading

It’s mid-July and most of us are spending a lot of time outside and at the pool. Reading by the pool or on a swing in the backyard are great ways to pass a few hours and get away from it all. If it’s too hot outside for you, then stroll the isles of a local bookstore or visit your library. If you haven’t been to the library lately, you might try it.

With a tight economy, most of us are watching our budgets. Unfortunately, that might mean a decrease in the number of books that we purchase. (not something I like to think about as a writer) Have you read all of the books you own? Most of us have an ongoing list of books on the “to read” list. So many books, so little time. lol

I think there are many reasons to see what your library has to offer. Children reading programs for every age encourage them to read books instead of spend all their time playing computer games. My grandson loves computer games, but his mother limits his time each day. He plays outside with friends, goes to the pool with his parents, and loves to read. At ten years old, he is not afraid of tackling Harry Potter or any other book. We have taken him to the library since he was two years old for story time and read to him. Love of reading is something that I believe is a wonderful legacy to leave our children and grandchildren.

Other advantages at the library?

The New Book Shelf – watch for the latest releases

Looking for a popular book? Put a reserve on it so when it comes back you’re next in line to read the hottest new release by your favorite author.

Most libraries have online catalogs that you can use at home. Search for what you want and make a list, reserve them and go pick them up at your convenience.

Your library may have book clubs, programs, and author events that you could attend for free.

Our library has movie nights, reading festivals with authors appearing for Q&A as well as reading from their latest book.

The Friends of the Library probably have a used book sale in your area. I’ve picked up books for as little as $5.00 a bag (grocery bag). The proceeds go back to the library for new books and reading programs.

Read all the books in a series.

Borrow movies or books on CD. I listen to books on CD in the car.

As a writer, one of my best friends is a reference librarian. They can help you with any kind of research you’re doing. They know sources you may never think of and are diligent in their search.

Many libraries provide book downloads and audio book downloads through their websites.

The best thing? It is all free (in most places) and all you need is a Library card.

Enjoy your summer!

Stop by the VBT – Writers on the Move website to find authors and books. It’s a great place to go!

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Reading and Writing

Fall isn’t in the air yet, but schools are starting up soon. Teachers are going back to work in a few days and children are getting registered for the new school year 2009 – 2010. The stores have isle after isle filled with school supplies, backpacks, and other necessities. For those young people leaving for college, there are options for dorm decor in every shade of the rainbow and more stuff than you can probably fit into half of a dorm room.

When I was growing up, we always participated in the Summer Reading program at the public library. I did it with my children when they were growing up also. Many people get so busy with family, vacations, and sports during the summer that they put books aside until the school year begins again. I invite readers and writers to pick up a good book and read. It may not be below 100 degrees where you live yet, but cooler days are coming. There are a lot of wonderful books out there – newly delivered to your local book store or oldies but goodies. In a challenging economy, try visiting your local library. You can get books, audio books, and movies with your card at no cost. Enjoy! I hope that when you pick up a book you’ll include in your pile one of mine. Keep an eye out for news about my novel that will be released Fall 2009.

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