I’ve been a self-confessed book nerd since the day I learned how to read. Actually, probably since the first day my parents read a book to me. Last night I sent out a tweet saying, “Paying my library fines online. Yup, library fines.” and I started thinking… How far have books and reading come, while at the same time, staying so traditional? I mean, I’m still going to the library, but now I’m paying my fines online. Luckily, there hasn’t been much of an inflation in library fees… My library charges 30 cents a day for overdue books!
I always longed for a job where I could just sit around and read. Which is pretty much exactly why I went to grad school at Emerson College to get my Master’s in Writing and Publishing. And while I do currently do some editing work, I became much more of a writer… and a pleasure reader.
These days, I get most of my recipes off the Internet, but I still say there’s nothing like a good old hardcover (or paperback, really) cookbook. That’s why I’ll continue getting most of Martha Stewart’s cookbooks, even though I can get every single one of the recipes online.
A long time ago, I posted about my parents’ love for cookbooks… And you can clearly see where I got my addiction from:
But I read so, so much more than just cookbooks. And I absolutely love how reading has come to the Internet and social media. People are simply talking about books more online, whether it’s sharing what they’re reading or writing book reviews. I recently joined the social networking site Shelfari, and there are even more book sharing sites, like Good Reads, where you simply share what you’re reading with your friends. I started a “what I’m reading” series on my tumblr, where I just post a photo when I start reading a new book. Like so:
I utilize my library , independent bookstores, and all they have to offer. Boston has a totally beautiful public library, along with tons of branches, making it always easy to get to one (making it somewhat confusing why I’m always paying late fees).
The awesome thing about libraries in this age? You can sit at home and add the books you want to read right from your computer. Since a lot of the books I like to read are in high-demand and are never readily available in the library, I simply request the book and wait until my library emails me to tell me I can come and pick the book up. Does it get any easier than that?
And while I admit I’m Amazon-obsessed (I have an Amazon credit card and have prime membership, 2-day shipping!), I try to shop at my local bookstore when possible. My independent bookstore of choice is Brookline Booksmith and I’ve been known to hang out here whether I’m in the market for a book or not.
My favorite thing about the Booksmith (besides the books!) is the author events they hold. And they get some pretty awesomely, huge authors. Last year Chels and I attended an event with Chris Kimball of Cook’s Illustrated where we got to listen to a presentation and meet Chris Kimball and the cast of America’s Test Kitchen. So, I urge you to check out your local independent bookstore; you never know who’s going to be there! Take advantage of it.
The future? I’m at the point now where I have way more books than I can handle. I’ve lived in the same apartment for 5 years… One of the reasons? How the heck will I ever move all my books with me? But, even now I don’t have enough room for all of them and they’re scattered all around my apartment:
School books have been sent to a storage bin. I’ll likely never read most of them again and should probably just sell or donate.
And this is exactly why I’ve been doing my best to utilize the library more. Someday I’ll have a house with a room like this (Ladders are a MUST!):
But for now, I’ve forced myself to only buy the books I need and to borrow all the others. Tomorrow, I’ll be the lucky owner of an iPad 3G (thanks to my amazing boyfriend, Chris!) which has me seriously thinking about tablet books. I’ve always been pretty against them (there’s nothing like holding a real book in your hands!), but I’ll definitely be giving them a try. And of course, I’ll report back.
I’ll also certainly be pulling up tons of recipes and uploading lots of cooking apps on the iPad and bringing it into the kitchen with me (don’t worry, Chris, I will keep the case on and won’t let oil splatter on it… Sheesh). Check out how Helen of Foodista is using hers in the kitchen:
Of course, I’ll continue buying the cookbooks I really want to have in my library. But this is going to be pretty awesome, too. I’ve heard really fabulous things about the Epicurious app and can’t wait to check it out.
How have you changed your reading style over the last few years? And more importantly, what cookbooks do I absolutely need to own? And what novel should I read next?