Books Books and More Books!

I have a kindle. I wrote about when I got it, nearly a year ago, here. I talked about how the world wasn’t quite ready for a kindle, because the world was still in a place between new technology and old technology, the book being a pretty rad piece of technology that’s been holding strong for centuries.

And though I have barely used it since Kamel bought it for me last Christmas, I am a huge fan (mostly because I had a towering pile of books to work through before I felt comfortable loading up on a bunch more, even if they were electronic copies). I’m really a huge fan of Amazon, period. In college I used to order fist fulls of books and then choose to have them shipped in bundles so the shipping would be the least expensive and sometimes one bundle would arrive in a week, another in 3 and another a month out. I was in college and still gobbling down books for fun, forgetting what exactly I had ordered until the boxes would magically appear on my door step. And then Amazon expanded into so much more than books and I started buying kitchen appliances and running shoes from there. Amazon is a magical, magical online shopping place.

This is why I am so excited to announce my amazon box over at the side bar. I will list 4 books I think are noteworthy for whatever period of time, then I’ll switch it up! Maybe I just finished one, maybe it’s one of my all time favorites, maybe it’s one I’ve heard good things about and is sitting on my nightstand right now waiting for its turn. I know from the awesome comments left on yesterdays post about sticking happy notes inside books, I have a lot of word nerds happy for suggestions lurking out there. I’m here to feed your addiction, my friends. If you hover over the individual book icons you can see my little endorsement.

I know that buying books second hand, and rocking the library are how a lot of readers roll. But! I strongly believe in supporting living writers with my cash money – since one day I hope to join their ranks and somehow pay my bills from my (many, many) book deals (ahem). And guess what? By supporting these authors – who all happen to be alive thankyouverymuch – you’ll also be supporting me (at no extra cost to you). If you would rather spare a tree (and hence your love of second hand and library books), you can opt to buy the kindle addition – which may actually be cheaper (until the publishing industry has its way, of course).

AND! Because I’m kicking this off right before the lovely holiday season – every week until Christmas I’ll be highlighting 4 new books, so you’ll have lots of stocking stuffer options, or just self indulgences to read on planes while heading toward family (who may or may not make you want to rip out your hair. Escape in a book, you’ll feel better). So ta da! Amazon! Welcome to Better In Real Life!

22 thoughts on “Books Books and More Books!”

  1. Woot! Book recommendations! I’m always down for those.

    Also … good lord do I understand the Amazon obsession. Magical place, indeed. But you can’t POSSIBLY be as bad as Jon … the boy has had a Prime membership for 3 years now. I’m scared to look at his purchase history… ::winces::

  2. Ohhh…… Lauren!!! Can I just tell you how excited I am about this right now? I NEED book suggestions. I dont usually buy books until I start hearing people around me buzz about a particular one, OR unless i walk by the book section in Target and it sucks me in….but THIS…YOUR suggestions…and then having the button already there for me to click instead of going hunting and gathering on my own….YAY! So excited! And I’m browsing your picks….NOW =D

    1. YAY I’m so glad you’re excited!! Hopefully my suggestions work. I had my mom read A Year of Magical Thinking and she really was not a fan. But I think for some people it’s very hard to read. Hopefully people get as excited about this books as I am. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  3. Ahhhh, I am so torn on how i feel about the Kindle. I am a lover of the earth, but I am also a lover of pretty books, sitting in my purse, on my nightstand, stacked on a shelf against my wall, in my hands- turning the pages, sticky noting the bits I really like…I don’t know that I can convert!

    1. Here is how I feel about e-books vs books. I feel as though books are on the way to becoming akin to records. People collect records, they have beautiful record art, etc but not one collects CDs anymore or tapes. Records are beautiful and vintagy. So with books. I buy books that I do not care about sticking on a shelf for the kindle and I buy all the books that I really really want to own from the bookstore. πŸ™‚

  4. What a fun idea! And while i took a BIG step last week in getting rid of one of my bookcases (I now only have 3… in my 1 bedroom apartment…), i have 60+ books on my kindle. Love it.

  5. My mom recently took over her husband’s Kindle and loves it. She spent like half an hour on the phone the other night talking about it. I’d actually like to try it out, but I’m sort of torn. I don’t like supporting Amazon when it comes to book buying. I certainly have in the past, but in the big picture I don’t think Amazon is good for book sellers, independent bookstores, independent presses or authors. They are like the Wal-Mart of the book world, concerned with slashing prices to beat the competition and not caring much about community or if anyone is making money besides themselves. So I have a big problem with giving all my book buying business to Amazon.

    I do not, however, have any qualms about book talk. Books! πŸ™‚

    1. No way, Amazon is amazing for independent sellers, independent authors and book fans! They’ve created something amazing for all groups.

      Indie sellers can use Amazon Marketplace and sell their inventory via Amazon’s own product pages. With minimal efforts too. Most of the time I purchase from these since they always have better prices than amazon. I’ve even sold items this way. Its easy.

      Indie Authors can self publish and use Amazon to sell their work without needing an agent or publisher. For Example, you can go to, build your physical book, get an ISBN and list on AMZ. They can use all the community tools as well to help generate more sales and exposure too.

      Indie writers can also e-publish their own work for on the kindle store and earn 70% of all sales. This is much, much better than having an agent/publisher, all thanks to AMZ. They make this easy and transparent too.

      Finally, for book lovers each book has it’s own discussions/community page where fans can talk about the work itself. They can also share note, photos, and some even do video critiques too. All for free. Not to mention the ability for fans to create their own lists, recommendations.

      This community has helped many indie writers reach higher sales and exposure. Publishers and agents should worry….

      Walmart is nothing like that. If anything the evils ones are Barnes&Noble and Borders. Who offer nothing but their own products. =)

      Give Amazon a shot! You might like it.

      1. Oh, Kamel! I really wish that were true.

        Self-publising isn’t the same as indie presses. I’m talking about small presses who publish MAYBE a dozen books a year. Who want to give their authors advances and work with editors and do publicity. Amazon offers none of that. No one who “publishes” on Amazon has to so much as spell check their work. It sounds better, getting 70%, but you give up a lot more. And for new writers and debut authors (hello, Lauren!) it’s a truly awful idea, as she’d have no one experienced to help her make her book the best it could be, submit it for prizes/awards, organize a book tour, send galleys and review copies to influential book reviewers, etc.

        If indie booksellers are selling through Amazon with lower prices it is because they know if they charge another $3 for the book it won’t get sold. Which is what all of Wal-Mart’s compeition has to do- drop prices to meet Wal-Mart’s/Amazon’s but without the mega-corporation safety net to do so.

        There’s no way to say that Amazon isn’t elbowing out neighborhood bookstores and taking money out of the pockets of people who love books. Amazon loves money, not books. (Which is why they sell vitamins and pants and pedophile pamphlets along with books.) And I don’t want to do that, if I can help it. I’m not saying anyone is a bad a person for shopping at Amazon. I’ve done it! And I still would for a lot of things.

        Just not books. It is as just as easy to order online direct from publishers or through independent bookstores like Powells or at Indiebound.

      2. ooh, this is an interesting debate and I’ve learned a ton! I am a lover of small, smell-good, beautiful-book-display independent book stores, and have in the past 5 years have had my heartbroken by the closing of several of my all-time favorite bookstores. I always blamed it on B&N, Borders, and and the race to the cheapest price. I still can’t stand walking into a B&N or Borders (their book displays seriously kill me).

        1. I meant to add, it’s still really important to me to support independent bookstores, but oh so hard to pay twice as much for a book that I could order from Ah, the dilema!

  6. Yes, I’m a huge reader, but I’ve always felt so lost when you mention your favorite books, so this is my chance to get on the same page (Ba Dum Chhh!). And I have even read one of the books you’ve suggested so I don’t feel that far behind, woo!!

  7. LMAO–both C and I have Prime accounts. And buy essentially everything from Amazon. I actually have Amazon open in another tab and am looking at a) vitamins and b) how to use my three free mp3s!

  8. Mmmmmmm, boooooks.

    It’s the perfect time of year to highlight book recommendations, as well . . . blustery cold outside, curling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book, a steaming mug of something delicious in front of you and the fire crackling in the background . . .

    Have you guys heard of I just found it the other day, and it’s a site where you can connect with your friends and see what they recommend, what they’re currently reading, etc. I’ve already picked up a couple of new ‘to-reads’!

  9. I used to feel the same way about the Kindle. Then I started looking at the clutter in our apartment, and ways to downsize. I worked at Borders for a little while a few years ago, and accumulated MASSIVE amounts of books. That was when I started thinking that the Kindle (or something similar, though I am a big fan of Amazon as well – they’re not perfect, but they are a good corporations overall) may be a better option for me.

    I thought about utilizing my local library more often, but the weekend hours are less than accommodating. It was a lot easier to go to the library when I was a student and had a more flexible schedule. Now? It’s far easier to pop into a bookstore (which have longer hours than libraries with slashed budgets), ooooorrrr … if I get a Kindle, RIGHT AWAY DOWNLOADED!

    Also, if I’m traveling, and I finish a book? I’m not confined to the crappy selection at the airport bookstore. I lucked out this last time and found The Year of the Flood, but I’m usually not so lucky.

  10. So, I thought this was a fantastic idea, and I decided to do it myself … spent an hour developing the widget, only to discover WordPress doesn’t allow them to be published on their blogs. BOO!

    (Great idea, Lauren!)

    1. I have word press!! I can have kamel help you do it. Shoot me an email and I will lend you his services. You do have to become an associate for amazon and all that in order to become approved though.

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