Is it all about the iPad?

This video is so me. My father-in-law shared this funny commercial with me. While it is not the epitome of my marriage there are many striking similarities with Emma and myself. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and laptop, and yet I prefer paper in so many ways. Yes, I am hard-core about my iPhone. It comes with my everywhere, and I do know why I held on to my flip phone so many years ago. I was against a contraption that did all these things. I did not want to jump ship and get onboard. And then I did, and never looked back. With the exception of a few things.

I am a post-it whore. I should probably buy stock in 3M. I use them constantly at work and at home. A note app is great when you want to track a list of things, and when it pings you, but sometimes having that little sticky post-it on your phone that you touch and feel and have as a reminder is way more in your face then that note app you have to open and remember to check. I still have yet to find the perfect app that does exactly what I need, and so I resort to post-its. I am sure 3M is grateful.

Next, I am old school because I still read books from an actual paper version. I have tried to read from books on my iPhone or iPad and it just is not the same. Sure when you are traveling or on the go it is way more convenient, but there is something real about holding that book in your hand, being able to tell how far you have to go, or how much you have left (especially when it is a really good book). There is just something so sterile about reading a book on an iPad. Which is why I loved this line from “Sex and the City: The Movie” with Carrie and Mr. Big:

Mr Big says: “Are you the last person in New York still taking out library books?” Carrie says: “I love the smell. Mm.”

Ah, I am not one for the smell, or the treasures (usually a bit gross) you find in a book, but I love to know the adventure it has been on. How many times someone dropped it in the bathtub (curled pages), when someone loves the book (dog eared pages), a note or receipt someone left behind, and so many other oddities that tell the path that book has been on.

So when I watched this quick ad for toilet paper, I thought touche when I saw the ending!

Make your world alive

I have those days where I think, why do I still write this blog? Does random olio connect, inspire, or impact any of my readers? Maybe, or maybe not. It is sometimes hard to know, and often I feel I am in this vacuum, diligent to a pact I made for myself to write everyday. Whether or not my writing is stellar or not, when I started this blog almost 3 years ago, I never thought I would go this far or write this long. I will be driving, in a store, or in a meeting at work and an idea will pop into my head and when I finally have a moment to put my fingers on the keyboard the words just flow out, 90% of the time effortlessly.

Now, that does not mean I do not struggle with whether to actually publish a post, or even if it is worthy of the Publish button, but when I started I did it for the discipline, the community, and now I continue to do it because it keeps me sharp, aware, and always listening. When I came across this quote from Chris Guillebeau, I thought “so well said.”

“That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.

Writing needn’t be a formal enterprise to have this effect. You don’t have to write well. You don’t even have to “write,” exactly—you can just talk onto the page.”

Guillebeau is an author and avid traveler with three books out, one of which I have read “The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World” and another which I am waiting for my turn at the library: “The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.”

Often I feel that I “just talk onto the page” — it depends on my life that day, where my head is at, and my inspiration. Regardless, it has kept me curious, hungry to read voracious amounts (books + articles), to explore other blogs, and other writing styles of all the things important to me. My world is definitely alive and full, and I see so much more. This does not mean that everyone has to write a blog, but I think writing in general often breaks out what is within, we learn more about ourselves, and often resolve things in our heart.

Encyclopedias were my Google

I am not that old, but I did not grow up with the Internet at my fingertips. Instead, I had World Book Encyclopedias. They were not cheap either. At one point my mom sold encyclopedias. I always found it kind of odd. However, looking back I have a hunch she sold them so that we could have the sample set in our house. Whenever we would ask a question about something my mom would tell us: “Look it up.” I was never really a fan of pulling out the volumes that were massive like “S” and always wondered what was in the volumes like “Z.” “Q” (like Z) were in mint condition because they were rarely opened.

I had not really thought about encyclopedias in years, until I read this in the book: “Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family” by Kathleen Flinn:

“Encyclopedia salesmen were a fixture of suburban America in the 1950s and 1960s, widely mocked by comedians. Regardless of the brand, the hard sell invariably included an expression of grave concern that a potential client’s children would suffer without having a ‘library in the living room.’ Most offered a payment plan to help ease the impact of the investment, which could be the equivalent of half a year’s rent.” Page 81

Her book is such a great memoir and reminder of so many items long forgotten in life, such as Chef Boyardee (which I wrote about a few days ago). It is actually incredible if you think about how fast the sharing of information has changed over the years. In addition to encyclopedias, we also had issues upon issues of National Geographic. While some of the covers and photos inside horrified me, it was a view into other parts of the world. Now we can do that in just a few clicks.

Today we are spoiled rotten. We do not have to wait to print a new version of encyclopedias and know that the money we shelled out for an entire edition of encyclopedias are old the second they are printed. We can read more than one can ever imagine after a few key strokes. We have instant access to good information and instant access to time-wasting information. It makes it much harder to know the integrity of the details, but there is plenty of it, and it is fast. We never have to worry about having a “library in the living room.”

Paper book or e-Reader?

I am torn. Or maybe you should call me old school. I like to read from the actual book. I have not been able to transport myself into the world of the eReader. The last time I checked my local library they did not have that many options available for eReaders. Call me cheap, but due to the high volume of books I read each year, I cannot justify purchasing every book that I read. Thus, I continue to kick it old school, and read from the paper copy itself. But, I still keep going back and forth, paper book or eReader? Should I convert?

my current library books

my current library books

There have definitely been times when I have opened up a library book and been grossed out. Dead bugs, human or pet hair, food crumbs, and other stains. Yet, what I appreciate about the nasty grossness left from the previous borrower is that the book was loved, enjoyed and used. Someone might have been snuggling with their dog, in their favorite chair while reading the book. Another just made an amazing meal and could not put down their book, wine, and cheese. Whatever the situation, there is a history and a past to each book, and I am a part of that history.

I do often think how handy it would be to have each book on the iPad. Whenever I travel I think about the many books I try to stuff into my suitcase at the last minute. Or when I am out waiting for someone I tend to bring a book along, but maybe I should just bring my iPad. Not to mention the many, many trips we make to the library each month (whether to pick up or return library books). I am often looking at a computer screen all day and have less desire to snuggle up with that novel using another mobile device.

So my dilemma still stands. What are the pros and cons of letting of switching to an eReader? For those of you that have made the leap, what made you do it? Are you glad you have gone to the other side? Do you miss anything about picking up a book?

Please share I am curious what you think!

Books find you.

I am in the middle of finishing my 125th book of 2012. This year I wanted to crush my amount from last year (also 125 books) but moving homes took quite a bit of my extra time these past few months, so I will have to be okay with meeting last year’s amount. 125 is not too shabby. Right?

One of the last books I read in 2012 is called “My Ideal Bookshelf.” It is not a novel or a memoir, but a book that shares the top books of many 100 well-known individuals: authors, chefs, fashion designers, etc. It shares a page excerpt from each person, and then their list of books. The website for this book states the individuals: “…reveal the books that matter to them most—books that reflect their obsessions and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way in the world.” Since I am such a book addict I wanted to read this book before the end of the year so that I could hopefully feel inspired and add many new (or old) options to my list for 2013. Even though many of the excerpts talk you through different books that matter to them, they also share ideas that can uplift and resonate about their own life experiences. I was inspired by this quote from Rosanne Cash:

“I think books find their way to you when you need them. Whenever I feel like I’m not going to live to read all the books I want to read, I remind myself that the important ones find their way to me.”

What a cool idea. Often we think the right people come into our life when we need them most, but many times we do not have these people there when we need them. I like the idea of knowing that the important books find their way to us when we need them, especially if the people in our lives are not there for us when we might need them. I know there have been times when I have checked a book out from the library and brought it home, and because of all the other books I had checked out I had to return it before I had a chance to read it. Yet, many weeks and sometimes months later when I had the book back in my hands and I open and read it, the words were just what I needed to hear, think about, and ponder. In those times I have often thought about how that particular book found its way to me just when I needed it most.

I hope that the books you need find you in 2013.