Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Love Affair with Books

February 11 2012,

I love doing things with my hands, especially appliqueing and quilting. There's a sense of relaxation and celebration with every stitch getting closer to the finished product.

As always, I am making a new piece. Two different Batik fabrics, a white and a red.

Chinese New Year has inspired me to make a red quilt or quilts for the new year.

This past week, I have decided to give audio books a try.

In my younger years, I remember the days when I would spend hours reading books whether it be J.K. Rowling, Amy Tan or John Grisham, it was to get away from the real world. I could distance myself from my nagging mother, pass away the boring summer school vacations, and make the time fly on the forty minutes subway ride to work and repeated again in the evening. It was alone time with me and my book.

Reading satisfied my mother, because I wasn't watching the television, and I was doing something productive. To me, it was always better than practicing on the always tuned piano. Reading made the subway rides more bearable.

Since I started quilting, I have stopped reading. I have stopped reading for many years, 10 years or so. The last "real" book I read was the fourth Harry Potter book. That was published in the summer of 2002, I never did finish it. I wonder where I have hidden it.

With the introduction of both hubby and the library many moons ago, I checked out books for hubby (he reads one book every week and a half) and quilting instruction books for myself. I call the quilting books picture books. I would flip through the pages quickly and stop only at the ones that were interesting.

My method for choosing books for hubby is by the cover. Remember that phrase, "Never judge a book by it's cover"? I do, and it has worked many times over.

Over the years, I have learned hubby's taste in books. Elmore Leonard, John Sanford, Carl Hiassen and most recently, Alan Bradley. I have created an excel list just for him. Keeping track of all the books he has read (522 total since the list started), arranged by author, the list of the books that they have published, and their website. I would put a "X" next to the ones he has read, or the words "On Order" if I had ordered it from the library, but weren't physically available yet. I would also put notes next to the title and author like, "Book Sucked", "Ok, go for it", or "Long and windy". I even have a tab that writes, "Authors that Suck", that includes, Daniel Silva, Brad Meltzer (even though I like his series on the History Channel), and Robert B. Parker (no offense to these authors, it's just not hubby's cup of tea). has made my life easier when there is a dry spell on new books from existing authors on the excel list. I would glance through the list of "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" and other reader's "Listmania!" to get ideas of other books that hubby would like. The excel list in total has 1054 rows, which means I am all set for another 532 books, unless hubby does not like a particular author, that section of books gets deleted.

Audiobooks. I realized that I have been watching too much T.V. Reruns from "CSI NY," the new season of "Only in American with Larry the Cable Guy" or one of the many Kardashians series. When I started watching the Kardashians, I started realizing that, I was wasting my time with no real substance being inputted into my brain, but gossips.

Why not re-try audio books? I had tried audiobooks about a year ago, but had no luck with getting the books onto my phone. A year ago, the audio book software from the library was clunky, I couldn't figure it out, it was too hard, so I gave up.

This past week, I tried again. This time, I was successful and downloaded a book called, "The Friday Night Knitting Club". Two days later, I was done with the audio book and am now listening to, "The Piano Teacher" by Janice Y. K. Lee.

So when I am not working, tending to the domestic chores, or planning for another party (another story), I am sitting on my couch, with the T.V. off, my phone playing the book, and my hand busy with making another quilt creation.

Quilt & Bitch


p00lriah. said...

Only in America is a great show! larry the cable guy is fall-out-the-chair hilarious.

audio books are really cool, especially for folks on the go. some people who travel extensively for work rely on audio books to pass the time, since they don't have a spare moment to read. and libraries are making the check-out process much easier now; even the non-tech people can easily download the program and check out audio books. (of course, you guys are not the non-tech set. you'd be the high-tech set.)

i think the best part of the audio books from the library is that you don't have to return them. great if you have busy schedules.

Quilt+Bitch said...

I would love to watch Larry the Cable Guy live, but he is rarely in this part of the country.

You've brought up a great point about not having to return them. That never occurred to me. No more late fees. I've also noticed that I can't check them back in either so that the next person can have it quicker. Weird. I'll ask a Librarian about that the next time I'm at the library.

p00lriah. said...

i think with the digital audio books (basically a bunch of mp3 files) you can technically have a lot of people download it simultaneously, and the library's DRM system will control how long you can listen to the files. but some libraries limit how many people can use a title at the same time. i guess the digital check-out works differently with the physical process. libraries are also going to the ebook route where you can check out books on your nook/kindle/ipad, & i think that's a very cool feature.

of course, you can just borrow the CDs or the standalone audio book players. but then you'd have to make a trip to return them.

dominobunny said...

I regularly listen to podcasts and audio books while I quilt. The Harry Potter audio books, read by Stephen Fry are great for quilting (he's a great reader) as well as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I'm listening to Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje right now.