Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Break with Cannons, Another Great Beverly Cleary Audiobook, and Why Nooks Are Cool but Libraries Can Be Better

Howdy Ho, all reader guys everywhere! I'm feeling GREAT today because I just came back from spring break vacation. Saw a lot of cool stuff but one of the best things was Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. It was an especially good time to go because it marked the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. For those who don't know, the CW began on April 12, 1861 when Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard fired his cannons at Union Major Robert Anderson, who was in Fort Sumter. After enduring 34 straight hours of bombardment, Major Anderson surrendered and the Confederates moved in. (Interesting side note--Anderson had been Beauregard's artillery instructor at West Point!) When we got there, they had Confederate reenactors inside, occupying the fort as the real soldiers had done 150 years ago. They gave musket firing demonstrations and artillery drill.(Couldn't fire the real cannons, though.Too bad!) Here I am with Lt. Rhett and his South Carolina gun crew.

Of course, my family never goes on a road trip without lots of books and at least a couple of audiobooks. After that last post about Beverly Cleary audiobooks, I checked out Henry and Beezus and, man, was if funny! There were several times when we laughed out loud. Especially when Henry's dog Ribsy steals the neighbor's main dinner course! Or when Henry tries to make enough money to buy a bike by selling bubble gum. Or when Henry wants to become famous by eating dog food. Or, most especially, when Henry wins a prize no guy would ever want!! Want to know more? Then you gotta check it out!

And one more thing--last Christmas I got a Nook Color, a truly great gift. We took it with us and found that it's a great way to pass time in the car or even when sitting around the house.You can download books, of course, and read a lot of great stuff, but if there's wifi available, you can hook up to the Net. We used it more for reading but actually got on the library's homepage at one point and put The Throne of Fire, the next Kane Chronicles book, on hold! We all agreed that the Nook was a good thing to have along, but I found a couple things irritating. First, there are a lot of books you can't get. I tried to get the second book in the Raising Dragons series by Bryan Davis but they didn't have it. Or ANY of the books in that series! Or any of the Tiger's Apprentice books by Laurence Yep. Or any of the 39 Clues books!! Now how is that possible?? NONE of the 39 Clues books, one of the hottest series around? It was really frustrating not to be able to get things we wanted. The good thing about the library is being able to get the books you want, especially those that are out of print or that the book companies don't think are worth selling anymore.
Secondly, we found out that we'd spent money for things we liked but may never read again. It was fun but now we have to pay the bill for books that we may or might not want to read a second time. That's another advantage of the library; you can get books for free and then turn them back when you're done. Then you don't have extra books cluttering your bookshelves or taking up memory. So, all in all, the Nook is wonderful but the good old library is better in some ways.
What about you? Do any of you have a Nook? Do you like and dislike the same things about it?
And did you read anything good over spring break? If so, write in and tell us! (Just put it in the handy Comments section under this post)


Ms. Yingling said...

Netgalley, Netgalley, Netgalley! There are a lot of good titles (the sequel to Higson's The Enemy!) that you can probably get free if you are willing to review them. There are also some libraries that check out e books, but it's been a pain. I like my Nook for the Netgalley stuff, the pdf files some authors will send, and the free things I can get through the Barnes and Noble web site.

Iron Guy Carl said...

Netgalley sounds interesting and several people in the kidlitosphere use it. I'll hold off on it for a while, though, because I can barely keep up with the few new books out there--you'll see that this week when I review The Lost Hero after 5 months! I like getting free stuff through B and N also but do you find it has all sort of weird formatting? Like numbers put in randomly or other things inserted in the middle of a page or word?

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I agree that it can be frustrating to not have access to every book on the Nook, like you do on paper (although more books are going e-book only!). I think that will get better with time, as publisher stop resisting the whole e-book phenomenon.

Things I love about the Nook: being about to download without a trip anywhere; carrying a bunch of books on vacation for all my boys and me, but in the size of a paperback; being able to download my friends' new e-books (or manuscripts) and carry them around with me (not tied to the computer).

And coming soon: more content-rich e-books with media and links that will enhance the reading experience (especially for non-fiction).

Iron Guy Carl said...

Yeah, Susan, those are the things In like too.