Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spotting Kindles in the Wild

Last weekend we went on a little family trip to Puerto Rico. At the last minute I decided to take along my neglected company Kindle, just to give it a trial run. I charged it up and downloaded Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, thinking it might be hedonistic and fluffy enough reading for such a trip. I also discovered that you can download the complete works of Shakespeare for 99 cents, and a fairytale tome for free. So those came along too (maybe in case we ended up stranded on an island and I needed reading material for a decade or so? and the Professor [or Macgyver] would also be there and charge up the battery with coconuts and pennies?).
We also brought along my new laptop so that Cate could watch videos. A trip to the lavatory revealed that close to 75% of my fellow passengers were also passing the four-hour flight with an electronic gadget of some sort. But the only Kindle I saw was a first-gen model in the possession of a guy sitting just ahead of us in first class. (And he used it for nearly the whole flight.) Personally, I felt more like listening to my iPod and looking at the clouds.
One day at the hotel beach/pool, my husband asked: How many people here do you see reading Kindles? Practically everyone was reading something, but it was always a battered paperback thriller or a hardback borrowed from the towel kiosk. Of course, I thought. Who would risk getting sand in their Kindle or having it swiped while they were out being buffeted by the relentless waves?
One night Cate was horrified that I had not brought along any books to read to her at bedtime. Jason stepped in as the hero with the Kindle full of fairy tales. (She found Hansel and Gretel somewhat upsetting, as did I.)
Going through security on the way back home, the TSA agent in San Juan was quite taken with the Kindle, noting how handy it was. The implication was that she didn't see many of them in a day's time. Switching planes at the purgatory that is gate E35-A-F at Miami International, I saw a guy reading a Kindle DX. Now that was exciting!
Our last flight of the trip was again consumed with DVDs and iPods (as well as leftover Halloween candy I had taken along to appease our young traveling companion). So the Kindle got only brief usage. Maybe if I were on a business trip and had a different mindset, I might have used it more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

JIST Book Gets Library Journal Review

Nothing dulls the pain of having to return from a beach resort vacation to the frigid Midwest like a big publicity coup. I was excited to learn just now that one of my books got a coveted review in the latest edition of Library Journal. You can read it in its entirety here (scroll down to the third review). But the money quote is this:

Covering all the basics, this work is recommended for job seekers, including those who have been laid off, and is especially appropriate for professionals and management-level workers.

Many thanks to Diana Lekus of the Queens Library for her excellent insights!

It's been quite a while since we got a Library Journal review. It will be interesting to see whether this will translate into increased sales. This really is an excellent book and the authors (father-daughter duo Richard and Terri Deems) have a distinguished history of helping people get jobs and deal with the emotional aspects of losing a job. Plus, they are so very nice! I'm thrilled to see them get this recognition.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Review: Bent Objects

Yesterday, after finishing my freelance editing project for Frommer's, I ran out to B&N to buy (oh the irony) a travel book. See, we are leaving for Puerto Rico in less than a week and I have done very little in the way of preparation. (Note to my Frommer's friends: I gave all the competition proper consideration and still walked out with a Frommer's book.)
But once I get into a bookstore, I get lost among all the wonderful ideas, colors, paper textures, and trends. On a table near the middle of the store, I happened to see the picture book Bent Objects. I was drawn in by its cuteness (ha--a cheese doodle with arms and legs!). But when I started to absorb the jokes behind each photo in the book, I realized its true subversive and many-layered genius. There was even a most wonderful scene involving a Kindle and Gulliver's Travels--but you will have to look for that yourself.
I vowed to find the author, Terry Border's, blog (and here it is) and to come back to buy the book as a gift for someone (or maybe more than one person) on my list.
As I rifled through Terry's posts, I made the startling realization that he is a fellow Hoosier and lives someplace nearby. And then I saw that he will be signing books and doing a hilarious presentation on December 5 at the Indiana Historical Society's Holiday Author Fair (details here). Oh, what could be more fun? I love Indiana history and authors and books and shopping! So I plan to be there. Can't wait!