I fall asleep reading every night. If there’s a book (or magazine) in the room, be sure that I’ll take it to bed with me. Every night I curl up under the covers with a book propped up against my pillow and read until my eyes refuse to stay open (I lead a glamorous twenty-something year-old lifestyle, no need to remind me) and then I wake up 4 hours later blinded by the fact that all of the lights are still on.. And then I shift around and think, yes, I am in fact lying on top of my book. And yes, of course a few of the pages are now irreversibly creased. And on good days, my glasses are strewn on the floor; on bad days, I have no idea where my glasses are and I curse myself for not putting some sort of tracking device on them because it happens way too often to be funny. So there you have it. Friends, I am a reading slob.
Fortunately, the world has prepared itself for me and my night-reading inadequacies. I stumbled upon this very cool ”gadget” recently:
It’s a bed reading lamp that will automatically shut off light when you hang your book on it. Lamp + bookmark + electricity saver? Yes, please! Designed by French designers Jun Yasumoto, Alban Le Henry, Olivier Pigasse and Vincent Vandenbrouck, you can get it at coolgadgets.com. Now if I could somehow get over the $290 price tag…
“The number of books in print in 2008 rose 38 percent from the year before (which itself was up 38 percent from 2006).
Where are all those books coming from? Both mainstream and self-publishers have contributed to the flood. But the real answer lies in university libraries, which are suddenly hawking publishing rights to the contents of their stacks—or at least what’s out of print or in the public domain. Latest example: the University of Michigan (partnering with Google for the digitization and with an Amazon offshoot called BookSurge for the printing) plans to offer more than 400,000 titles for sale on demand. Cornell plans to do the same with 500,000 titles, and the University of Pennsylvania plans to add another 200,000. Publishing’s obituary may be, much like Mark Twain’s, premature.”
Volunteer: Does it matter if one of these dollar books is signed?
Staffer: Probably not. The truth is, most author’s autographs aren’t worth anything.
Volunteer: Oh, okay. Does it matter that it’s signed by Robert Frost?
It’s not official or anything, but according to “I Write Like,” Jack London is my celebrity author doppelganger. Yep, I’m wild like Jack. “Call of the Wild”, “White Fang“… all me. (Joke)
Check it out. Simply insert a few paragraphs of your writing into the sample text box and wam bam thank you ma’am, your celebrity author doppelganger pops up like magic. The website uses software developed by Coding Robots and analyzes similar words and writing styles to match you up with a famous author. Pretty cool, though far from precise, as I was paired with Jack London (I can kind of see it), Dan Brown (I can definitely see this one), Charles Dickens (not so much) and Stephen King (HOW?!) based on my past few blog posts.
So… is this a sign I should read Jack London?
My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease.
Another view of man my second brings;
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!
But ah! united, what reverse we have!
Man’s boasted power and freedom all are flown;
Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.
—Jane Austin, “Emma”
You know the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too?” Well that’s exactly how I feel about good books and their indubitably disastrous and sequentially inferior counterparts, the “movies based on books” genre. It’s one thing to watch the movie without having read the book, but to read a book that you love and then watch the movie? That’s, hands-down, a total and utter complete waste of time. Negative utility. A pure set-up for disappointment.
Which is why I know I’m being the world’s biggest hypocrite when I say that I’m dying to see Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love.” Julia Roberts = movie magic. That winning smiling. Those sparkling eyes. That carefree laugh. Oh scissors! I can’t even take my own advice. Please don’t ruin the book for me, Julia. Please…