Here's an interesting article from Kristine Kathryn Rusch about bookstores. I remember when I could go to a big chain bookstore and find an author's complete backlist, and I remember when that started to not be the case. It used to be that you could go to B&N or Borders and count on finding pretty much anything you wanted, but no more. It happened to B&N first, but now it's happened to Borders as well.
I used to spend hours at the bookstores--it was one of my weekend rituals to go to Borders and spend a couple of hours looking at books, discovering new writers and being reminded of favorite "old" ones. Now the big bookstores are more giftshops and less bookstores, and unless you want one of the half dozen current bestsellers, it's a pretty sad experience. I don't even go to the bookstores anymore. I do all of my book shopping on Amazon, both electronic and paper. It's not that I necessarily prefer it that way, but it seems like it's now the only way. After a few trips to the brick-and-mortar bookstore and walking away empty handed, I just gave up on it.
My local library is now offering ebooks; they only have a handful, but I'm sure that will increase. I enjoy reading on the iPad so much that I've pretty much stopped going to the library, also, except for checking out craft books and things like that. I find that I'm not much interested in reading fiction in paper anymore. It's so much easier to have my entire library on the iPad or Kindle, and not have to worry about returning a book.
I imagine I'm spending more on books now than I used to, but at some point I decided that was okay. I don't have a lot of indulgences, and I tend to think of books as necessities anyway.
My booklist for this year is testament to the fact that I've been reading more than ever -- at mid-June, it's up to 62 books.
Part of the reason for that is that I hurt my back toward the end of May. It was one of those things where I didn't do anything in particular--I was taking a shower actually--but I just suddenly got an excruciating pain in my lower back. It was all I could do to hobble out of the shower and gingerly lower myself onto the bed, then just lie there trying to figure out what to do. It was mid-afternoon on the Sunday before Labor Day, and Bob was working until 7:00. I figured if nothing else, he'd be back then.
Fortunately, I had the iPad upstairs next to the bed, and my phone, so I just tried to stay as still as possible, read, sleep, and wait for Bob to get home. He called when he got off and started home, like he always does, and I told him what had happened, and asked him if he could bring me something to eat. He brought tacos, and I was able to sit up and eat them, but I definitely wasn't going anywhere.
I spent the whole day Monday in bed, and decided to stay home from work on Tuesday also. By Wednesday I was functional, but still not 100%. We had planned to go down to the Lake of the Ozarks that next weekend, and I was taking Friday off, and by Thursday I was feeling pretty good, so we went ahead with the plans. We drove down on Thursday night, getting in pretty late, and went to bed. On Friday morning when I woke up, I could barely get out of bed. I don't know if it was the long drive down or the hard bed, but the pain was back.
I ended up sleeping on the couch the rest of the weekend; I don't know if the bed was the problem or not, but I was afraid to risk it.
I'm still being pretty careful of my back, but it seems to be okay now.
Bob's out of town this week on his annual fishing trip to Minnesota, and I've been trying to take good care of myself and get a lot of rest. Dinah and I have just been hanging out in the evenings, and going to bed early to read or play Scrabble online.
I hadn't expected to hear from Bob all week--there isn't any cell reception where he is--but he called on Monday to say that he was on the way to the emergency room. He had been trying to take a hook out of a fish, the fish jerked, and he drove the hook through one of his fingers. I'm sure that's not the first time it's happened, but this time it was bad enough that his doctor friend who is with him didn't want to risk taking it out himself, and said he needed to go to the hospital. So they were driving in to town to get it taken care of.
After seeing a doctor and getting the hook removed, he said they were going to go buy him a rubber glove so that he could continue fishing. It was, after all, only the second day of the trip.