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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bogged down in Email (and BTT)


I've just been sorting through my email. When I first started blogging, I wondered how to get the free books everyone kept talking about. Now I'm wondering how to find the time to respond to the offers I get, and manage to read the books I do actually request.

I not only sorted through my home email, but I also spent a good deal of time at work sorting through work emails. Does anyone else feel like sometimes email makes you almost less productive? Our phone and emails were down this morning for a few hours, and I was actually quite happy at the thought of not having to deal with it for a while.

On another happy note, I finally got my hands on Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. Finally. I'm almost finished. Oh yayness.

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question:

Suggested by: Thisisnotabookclub

What is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audiobooks — which of these is reading these days? Are they all reading? Only some of them? What are your personal qualifications for something to be “reading” — why? If something isn’t reading, why not? Does it matter? Does it impact your desire to sample a source if you find out a premise you liked the sound of is in a format you don’t consider to be reading? Share your personal definition of reading, and how you came to have that stance.

(Two weeks late for Reading is Fundamental week, but, well…)

Reading traditionally included novels, so let's set those aside for now. We can all agree that those are reading materials. Comics, graphic novels and manga involve written words, and they are in a format similar to a book. I would say that makes it reading. Exasperated moms who want their sons to put down their comics and read a real book aside.

E-books are reading, too, just a slightly different format.

Audiobooks are really the only ones that we can't technically read. However, I wouldn't differentiate between reading a book and listening to it on audiotape. Yes, they are both different experiences, but in essence, I'm absorbing the material that the author wrote. So are they exactly the same? No, but close enough. I really should read (I mean listen to) more audiobooks. I need something to keep me sane while driving home through rush hour!


Trish said...

I tried an audiobook, but I think I need to try something a little lighter where my mind can wander in and out and not lose too many details. And my mind does this too when reading, but I can just flip back to where my mind left off. I know that people really love audiobooks, though!

And yes, sometimes email can make me less productive. I read an article in the Dallas Morning News a few months back (I think it was DMN) about email and lower productivity.

Lezlie said...

The only time I really feel audiobooks don't count is if they're abridged. My own prejudice. I won't listen to abridged books. Otherwise, I feel I get just as much out of audiobooks as I do from reading. Though Trish has a good point. There are times I need one that I don't have to think too hard about.


Melody said...

I've not tried audiobooks yet, and I find ebooks not as convenient as reading a physical book - too straining to the eyes!

And I agree with you that email can sometimes makes us less productive... but yet it's a necessity in our work. *sigh*

Andi said...

Yep, it seems like I'm a slave to e-mail sometimes. I really enjoyed my vacation with no 'net access in that way.

Kim L said...

trish-yes, audiobooks are better when they are lighter reading. Too heavy and I forget the important details.

I think I need to just check email at certain times of the day. That might lighten my load!

lezlie-agreed! I don't like abridged audiobooks either. It seems like cheating!

melody-you would think they'd be the same, but they're not for sure! Email is a fact of life, but too many times it seems to control our lives.

andi-I'll bet that was nice! I'm looking forward to a vacation soon too.

Alice Teh said...

Audiobooks are cool, Kim. I've been a subscriber to before and it was a great experience. I'm also big on ebooks but the best is of course, a physical book. :)

John's comments said...

interesting reflection on the medium of reading...and if you count emails then I must read a book a day worth :-(... but I took the tack of reflecting on what was reading

DesLily said...

you will like Stardust!... glad you got a copy.

it seems that along with "free books" comes obligations to read and review them quickly. (too much like pressure!)

Rhinoa said...

Argh I hate that "put down that comic and read a real book" attitude! I hope when I have kids I let them read what they like.

Kim L said...

alice teh-I've heard of, and thought about it, but I suspect it would be one more thing I'd run out of time to use.

john-I hear you on the emails! I feel like I'm pretty organized with emails, but it is easy to get behind.

deslily-stardust is great! I finished it already. Yes, I feel the pressure sometimes. But I try to only request books I'd actually enjoy. We'll see what happens!

rhinoa-agreed. I didn't read comic books when I was younger, but I would have probably liked them a lot then. Too bad.