Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Books vs. Ebooks

I posted this on facebook earlier, so sorry for the repeat. Just looking for more input before my 14 days of ability to return for a refund expire. So I got a kindle for Christmas and after a few days of using it I am considering returning it. Here are my thoughts on the matter. Am I missing something here? Aren't ebooks supposed to be better? Are they? I like it because: 1. It is kind of exciting - a whole world of books/magazines is at my fingertips and downloadable anywhere in the house or anyplace with Wifi at any time within seconds (seriously - 5 seconds or less!) 2. It is convenient to only have one "book" to carry around. 3. I can read in the dark (accomplish-able with just a reading light, of course) 4. The classics, for the most part, are free. 5. Most books are cheaper than buying retail/new. 6. I can get new books whenever I want (ie. Once we had to drive 25 minutes out of our way just to get a book we wanted to read on the road. We were lucky they had it!) 7. It holds my place in a bunch of different books without me needing to use a book mark or deface the book. 8. It will stay "open" on a treadmill, unlike hard copies of books. I don't feel like it is worth the money because: 1. I cannot see the setup of the book the way it is because all the pages are formatted for kindle. For instance, when I am reading Ivanhoe I cannot see where the footnotes go to because they are not necessarily differentiated from the rest of the text. Chapters start in the middle of the "page" and I can't necessarily tell what sections there are (ie. Introduction, Prologue, etc, which may or may not be an essential part of the text) and how they fit in or who they are written by, thus making it harder for me to determine whether or not to read them or from what point of view they are told, or if they are truthful or fiction!) 2. Suppose I just want to finish my chapter (often the case) - I have to flip through all the pages until the next chapter (which starts in the middle of a page) to see how far I have to go, and my place is not held while I do so. So I have to remember where I am in the book while I go searching around. Sometimes I like to look ahead in the book too, just to see what is coming - does anyone else do this?? If I am holding a physical copy of the book, I just hold my page with a finger. 3. There is just something about being able to flip through a book and tell how far you have read etc that is just impossible with a kindle. I mean, they have a little percentage on the bottom that will tell how far, but it is not the same as being able to feel it. Plus, they include all the pages in the book in their page count, not just the content of the book that I would actually end up reading (they include the notes and intros and everything, which does not make it a very good indicator of where you really are in your reading). 4. I would love for our kids to be in a reading mood and just go to our little home library and pick out a quality book. I am not sure how likely that is, and obviously it will be awhile before they start reading my kind of books, but in order for this to be a possibility, we have to physically have the books, not just digitally. Now, at least with the Nook I believe, you could share digital copies of the book. But that is not the same as being able to see how big a book is and read the back and see what kind of vocabulary level it is etc. 5. I am nervous about using it in the bathroom, kitchen, near the pool, etc for obvious reasons. 6. For some reason, perhaps intangible, I am finding it harder to "get into" the books I have got than I think it would be if I had a physical copy. I often read books that I think are page-turners that don't start out that way. 7. I could continue checking out books at the library or buying them used on amazon for less than the kindle copy. Please tell me what you guys think!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It is only fitting that the day after I finished my "running" post, Boo would...LEARN HOW TO WALK!!!!!!! I can't even believe I am typing this. I have dreamed of this day for so long, both literally and figuratively speaking (for those who know my kinds of dreams!). I have so much to do right now, since I have spent the bulk of my day either helping him to start walking (he needs help starting out and then he takes it from there) or announcing the good news, so I do not have time to tell the whole story. We will just say this - THANK YOU to our Shriner's hospital physical therapist, for now our little speed-crawler who, prior to this day had never in his life taken an independent step, has taken a record of 28 consecutive independent steps without stopping. Even our PT didn't expect this! (Today was the first day we saw him). That's all for now. Hopefully I can capture this on video soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


So this year was a big one for me, exercise-ically speaking. I have taken up running! Again. Ever since my mission (2004) I have run off and on and enjoyed it. I started running again in Feb of this year for the first time since CeeCee was born. My goal was to run a half marathon by the end of the summer. Luckily, I have a great neighbor down the street who also happens to be a personal trainer and who also happened to be in need of a running partner. We ran together, starting short and slow, in the mornings in February, March, and most of April. Then we had to part ways as things began coming up in our lives such that we could not consistently run together. Sometime between February and April, I somehow was convinced, albeit not wholeheartedly, that I could actually run a FULL marathon. Crazy? Yes, I think so. I mean, I was always the last person to finish the mile run in middle and high school, walking most of the way because I could not breathe, with 20 minutes being a good time for me. I have struggled with sports-induced asthma basically my whole life, and I have sometimes needed an inhaler, or struggled big time without one. I always thought there must be something wrong with people who run. What is chasing them? Plus, I didn't really know any runners growing up - running wasn't a big activity in my hometown.On my mission, out of necessity (due to my companion being an avid runner who, of course, needed me to be with her while she ran every morning), I came up with breathing exercises that made running for more than a minute or two possible for me. They still work for me now, even though I don't usually need to use them anymore. Long story short, I started training for, not a half marathon as I had originally planned, but a full - 26.2 miles. After my personal trainer friend and I stopped running together, I found a marathon training plan on the internet and decided to go for it, but without my whole heart and soul. At one point, after an extremely exhausting 14 mile Saturday run, S asked if I really thought I could run 26.2 miles, since I had so much trouble with 14. I told him, no, at that point I did not think I could run 26.2 miles - that is why I was training. Silly S. Essentially, I just stuck to the plan like glue until I got within about 5-6 weeks of finishing, and then I figured that I needed to sign up for one - of course, by then I had to pay a late registration fee, but I didn't want to pay at all until I knew I could do it! The week before my marathon, I decided to take the kids to the finish line of another marathon nearby and cheer for the runners (even though we didn't know any). All runners know how nice it is to have even strangers cheering for them. Anyway, it's way silly I know, but it was definitely an emotional experience watching all the people cross the finish line and accomplish such a lofty goal. I was there at around the time I figured it would take me to finish, and I was pleased to discover there were still many people finishing at that time. I knew I would finish, but I had been worried about possibly being the last. Of course, finishing last was still a possibility, since the marathon I signed up for had about 1/10 of the runners that the marathon I watched did. But I didn't mind finishing last anyway, I just wanted to finish, and preferably within my time goal.Can I tell you that my first marathon was one of the greatest experiences of my life? I chose seriously one of the most beautiful marathons I could have chosen (email me if you are interested) and at the end of July, I ran it! I felt totally great for the first half, and I even ran faster than the pace I expected (I had not been accurately timing myself during training, but my trainer/friend lent me her Garmin watch for the marathon). In fact, I felt great for the first 20 miles. Then I started to slow down a little, about 1 min/mile slower. I still felt great though. At mile 23, the farthest I had run during training, I felt pretty good, but about a half a mile later I really started slowing down. Like 1-2 min/miles slower. I was able to pick up the pace a little bit around mile 25, and a little bit more around mile 26, but I definitely crossed the finish line quite a bit slower than I was running at mile 20. But I finished! 42nd out of 65! S was volunteering at the finish line and my trainer/friend, who had run most of the last half along with me, ran ahead and took some pictures of me crossing the finish line. Ultimately, I have only two pictures of the whole thing, but I am glad to have even those because we had a lost camera scare which I am glad to forget. :) It is a beautiful thing to discover that my body is capable of doing so much more than I ever imagined! The marathon recovery period lasted from Saturday to the following Tuesday, after which I would never have known that I ran a marathon by the way I felt. In fact, just hours after running a marathon, I found myself at home with my husband, children, brother, and sister, with all of the adults sleeping but me, leaving me with my sore little body to chase the babies around. That night, we went to a tourist site about an hour away and walked around. I was pretty tired, but, again, surprised and thrilled that my body was handling all of this. Now, nearly 5 months later, it all seems like a dream. Isn't life just like that? I still look at people who have run marathons and think they must be crazy - only now I am one of them! Ha.