Saturday, October 18, 2008


I've been a reading machine lately. Last week over the course of three days, I finished three books. For some reason, this made me feel quite accomplished.

You may recall that I read several books at one time, so it's not like I read 700 pages in 60 hours or anything like that. Here's how it went:

A week or so ago, I received Dinner with Dad in the mail from a blogging buddy, Kim at Mom in the City. When I commented to win it on her site but didn't, she offered to send me her copy, which was quite nice of her. When I received it, something made me open it up just then and read the first chapter, and I was hooked.

In the meantime, I received Much Ado About Anne from the amazon Vine program.** I like to get those books read and reviewed (so I can request the new products that are offered!), so I started on that a few days after I got it, and read it quickly -- within two days. My review of the book (which I enjoyed very much) is at 5 Minutes for Books today.

Then Saturday I started Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream, and Adam Shepherd's story and writing pulled me right in, so it resulted in another book finished in two days. The book will be reviewed on 5 Minutes for Books in early November, but it was the best kind of memoir -- a book that offers a peek into a life that most of us won't experience on our own (homelessness and a climb out of poverty), well-written (like someone telling me his story), without too much self-congratulation or focus (this is a tough line in memoir).

Does finishing books give you a feeling of accomplishment? On the flip side, does not having time to read books make you feel frustrated and like you shouldn't even bother to read at all?


**Amazon Vine is a by-invitation-only program in which certain companies and publishers send out products for review. Twice a month, I get a list from which I can select a product, but I can't request any more products until I post reviews on amazon for 75% of them. I am so happy to participate in this, because I love the reviews on amazon -- not only for books but for other things. You might ask how I was selected, and no one really knows. You have to be a fairly regular reviewer, and I do post fairly frequently.

Speaking of amazon (and the many things I love about it) -- I finally bit the bullet last year and paid for amazon Prime, the program that allows you free two-day shipping on almost all your purchases, and $4 overnight shipping. I wasn't sure it was worth it, but after my one-month trial, I realized it was. Whenever I ordered from amazon, I would always scoot my purchases up to $25 to get free super-saver shipping. There are three problems with this:
  1. In the beginning, I still usually got my super saver packages in a few days, but then it happened more often along the lines of what they said -- a week or so, which is a long time to wait.
  2. If I really just wanted one $14 book, the extra $11 to get "free" shipping quickly adds up, right? I'd rather pay for product than pay shipping, but still. I figure I've paid for my Prime membership simply with these savings. Love it!
  3. If I was sending a gift, I was always slapped with that shipping charge, and this way I'm much more likely to send some a little happy something when the urge strikes.
If you sign up now for a trial membership, you could still cancel it at the end of your free month if you haven't been completely satisfied. If you like it, you will be shipping your Christmas gifts for free and will probably come close to breaking even on the fee. If you click through and sign up through my link here, I get a little kick-back from the associates program (yet another reason that I love love love amazon -- my little associates gift certificates).


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I don't remember the last time I started and finished a book in two days! Right now my sense of accomplishment comes from having my laundry/dishes washed and put away. I keep telling myself it's the season of life I'm in and one day I will also have time to read for my own enjoyment (as opposed to reading to children). = )

Katrina said...

I love Amazon Prime, both for me, and -- like you said -- it's perfect for gifts. And because it's "two-day," you can make sure birthday gifts show up on the right day.

As for reading, I don't seem to be having much time lately, except for my consistent bedtime reading, but yes, when I'm finishing off books regularly, I do feel that sense of accomplishment.

Dianne said...

I've been thinking I should post reviews on Amazon more regularly than I do. I tried Prime already but since Mike freaks out everytime an Amazon package shows up, I tend to stockpile my "picks" in my cart and order $40-50 worth every other month or so.

Dianne said...

Oh and I do feel great when I finish a book. Especially since somehow I always manage to have six or seven in progress! I try to cut back but somehow I'm always into something else. There's my bed book, my TV book, my car book, my purse book . . . and on it goes! And now I got a super neat Lands End tote for my bday that holds oh gosh, like 4 books ;)

Lee said...

I need a book. What should I read? I would like a good novel.