My ebook just died. At least, I’m pretty sure it did. The screen shows horizontal lines. It won’t turn off and the reset button does nothing. I’m hoping if I just leave it alone and let the battery drain that maybe it can be brought back to life the same way my GPS was. I would use it as an excuse to buy a new Kindle, but I just bought forty dollars worth of books that aren’t going to make the transfer.
I guess now is as good a time as any to write my first book review blog.
I enjoy reading… most of the time. If the content is good, and the author isn’t trying to sound like he’s smarter than everyone else on the planet, then chances are, I am going to enjoy the book. I prefer books to ebooks, and ebooks to computer screens or tablets.
I read a lot of non-fiction. I am a currenteventophile and a news junkie. I check my favorite news site multiple times a day. I read to learn, and to expand my own horizons, and escape into stories and lives apart from my own. But sometimes, when the non-fiction is starting to feel heavy… what I really want is brain candy (Stephanie Plum anyone?).
For a long time after some personal trauma, I couldn’t concentrate on a book for anything. I’d try to read and find myself skimming the same paragraph over and again. It was frustrating. I used to devour five books a week from the local library. Suddenly I found myself unable to find any pleasure at all in reading, and certainly unable to escape from my reality into another through a book. I watched a lot of Law and Order reruns during that time. Thank goodness it was a temporary setback, because I’d have missed a lot of really good reading otherwise.
Recently, while I was attending a work conference, someone handed me the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I’d been hearing about this book for a long time. Initially it was from my niece who recommended it in spite its most glaring shortcoming – there’s kissing in it – and then from several Facebook friends. It was in the back of my mind and on my list to read “sometime” but I wasn’t in any real hurry, until it was in my hands. I went to put it in my room and thought to myself, “no one will miss me if I just read the first chapter.” Five chapters later, I returned to work. No one missed me, and if they did, nobody said as much. As soon as we were free for the day, I hurried to my room to devour the story.
Around ten o’clock that night, I started thinking I should put the book down and get some sleep. But I knew I wouldn’t sleep. I was too immersed in the story to sleep. I would have lain awake wondering what was going to happen next. So I opted to keep reading. I have no concrete idea of what time I finished the book; I refused to look at the clock because I didn’t want to know how little sleep I would get that night. I simply closed the book and my eyes and awaited sleep. Except that it didn’t come. I was too busy thinking about what I’d just read.
Somehow Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi just didn’t seem exciting after that.
Unfortunately, I still had several days left before I’d be free to satiate my craving to read more about this post-apocalyptic style world in book two. When I finally got my hands on it, I found the cough from my bronchitis flaring up again along with a new round of upper respiratory infection symptoms. So, before I even cracked the spine, I fell into a deep NyQuil and codeine-induced coma. It wasn’t until I was safely through airport security and seated quietly at the gate the next morning, that I was finally able to begin Catching Fire.
Normally, a delay on an already too long travel day would irritate me. Not this day. I was pleased to hear my flight would be nearly two hours late taking off. It meant I had more time to spend with the new characters I’d been getting to know. When the plane landed at my final destination, I was only forty pages from the end of the story. It took all my willpower to set the book aside until I collected my bags from the carousel, my car from long-term parking, and made the seven-mile drive home.
I immediately downloaded Mockingjay to my ebook. Don’t worry. I finished it before the aforementioned ebook demise, although I didn’t get through it as quickly as the first two. I’m not sure if it was the distraction of being home and settling back in, or if I was subconsciously trying to extend the length of time before I closed the last page in the series, or if it just wasn’t as riveting as the first two, or if it was because it lacked actual pages. Even now, a few days later, I’m not sure. I had no doubt I loved the first book. I was lost in another world on the second one (so much so that I almost didn’t notice the men and women headed home from their business trip that chose to sit right beside me and strike up an extremely boisterous conversation in the terminal driving other, unassuming travelers away… almost). The third book was good. Characters weren’t needlessly destroyed or unrealistically spared. It neatly tied loose ends. So, am I mourning the end of a story, as I’m wont to do, or am I disappointed in something I have yet to put my finger on?
Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? What did you think? Why do we enjoy books like that? Does enjoying The Hunger Games plot make us any better or different than the Capitol citizens who enjoyed the Games? Are we just as sick?
The movie is coming out soon. I am not sure if I’ll see it in the theatre or not. It may be too soon, and I don’t want to be the person in the back of the theatre, last row, left side, saying “that’s not how it happened.”