When I was a kid, I was a seriously voracious reader. I always had a book with me. It was a constant fear of mine to be trapped someplace without a book. I was the kind of kid who would read the cereal boxes when my mom wouldn’t let me read my book at the kitchen table during breakfast. And the milk jug. And the orange juice carton.
The rate at which I consumed books didn’t really slow down until I hit college. And then I merely swapped fiction for textbooks. College was when I discovered that I really loved certain types of non-fiction. I still have one of the collections of essays from those days that made me think as well as opened up a whole new world.
I don’t want to say I gave up reading once I left college and started working full time. But I certainly didn’t read books as much. As my life progressed, I found that I spent more time reading articles and news, first in magazines then on the internet, instead of books.
As a writer, I knew it was important for me to read. Once I was writing seriously, it took some adjustments for me to get my brain to switch off and go from writer mode and being too critical to reader mode and just there for the ride.
However, I still had a lot of difficulty finding books that I wanted to read. I had over a dozen books on my pile next to my bed. What had sounded fabulous in the used book store now rated a “meh.” The reader in me was very frustrated with rarely being able to find the books I wanted to read, when I wanted to read them.
As part of a workshop that I attend every year, I have to read through a large quantity of stories. This last year, I put the stories on my tablet and walked around, reading. I was able to get a lot of steps in every day while I read. It was kind of awesome.
So I decided to get an ereader. I’d had one before, one of the very first ones. I hadn’t been that impressed.
Technology does have this habit of greatly improving. My new ereader is completely awesome. As is sampling.
Now, I can sample all kinds of books. When I finish a book, I can look through my (large) collection of samples and find the book that I want right then. I’m not reading at my former voracious levels, however, I’ve probably read more books this year than I have in the last three years combined.
Why am I telling you this? Because one of the advantages of this new world are ebook bundles, these great deals where you can buy a whole bunch of books (cheap!) and load them onto your device and then read them at your leisure, when you feel like it, when you’re in the mood for a time-travel Western, or hard SF about diving wrecked spaceships, or even a bunch of fairy stories or some urban fantasy.
The reader in me is thrilled by being able to contribute stories to bundles. Because I’ll tell you a secret–I get all the books in the bundle as well and yes, am so excited about reading them.
However, if your deepest fear is to be without reading material when you need it most, then you need to act now. The SF & F Binge reader bundle will be going away soon. If you want a large (huge!) quantity of high quality fiction, go and get the bundle now. Before it disappears and leaves your TBR pile wanting.