Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hunt for the E-Book Reader

As you may know, e-readers have soared in popularity. They are the newest technology trend (even thought they have been around for years) and are one of the "it" items to get for Christmas.

Several months ago, I started to think about getting an e-reader. And as a future librarian, I did a lot of research on what would be the best e-reader for me. I also looked at getting computer tablets at one time, but changed my mind. One reason was because I just bought a netbook right after Christmas 2009. I got it for a very good price (thanks Wal-Mart!) and it came with Windows 7.

Another reason I ruled out tablets was because they were either too high or they were from companies that I had never heard of. I would research some of these "no-name" tablet computers and reviews would call them pieces of crap. An iPad was too high (despite my coworker rooting for me to get one) and I was waiting on Dell to come out with one. They will be coming out with one in a few days, but the price was still high for my taste. Remember, I got a mortgage to pay once a month.

Some of e-readers were also being reviewed as pieces of crap. Since there are a lot of professionals who reviewed this stuff for a living, I took their word for it.

So, a few weeks ago, I narrowed it down to two e-readers: the Kindle and the Cruz Tablet Reader. The Cruz is being sold by Borders and I wanted to see it before I would consider purchasing it. I called Waldenbooks (because there is no Borders in SC) to see when it would arrive. A few weeks later, they called to say that it arrived. I never got there, mostly because Waldenbooks is at the Charleston Place and for those who know what Downtown Charleston is like, traffic and parking is not easy.

On my birthday, which was almost a month ago, I decided to get a Kindle. I like Amazon, so I figure this would be a good purchase. So I went to Target with the hopes of leaving with a Kindle.

No Kindles of the $139 variety at the store.

Then it dawned on me that Best Buy is down the street and they sell Kindles. So I went there.

No Kindles - at all.

I knew I was going out of town, so I held off on my Kindle search.

So while I was out of town, I heard about the Nook Color. I will admit that I am not the biggest Barnes and Noble fan (and I really don't know why). But all of the features (children's books, Internet and COLOR) really did get my attention. And what also got my attention is that the Nook Color will be the official e-reader for Books-A-Million, which I am a fan of.

So for the last few weeks, I have been deciding over which e-reader I was going to get. And Sunday, I finally made my decision (and a phone call from the store and a $25 gift certificate helped).

I decided to get a Nook Color.

This e-reader is so neat. I am getting used to the touch screen and trying to figure out how to use B&N's Website. But I feel that I have made the right decision. Let's hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Capital Bookfest Recap

The first ever Capital Bookfest in Charleston was a HUGE SUCCESS!! Between 4,000 and 5,000 people showed up on a chilly Saturday to the Charleston County Public Library's main branch. This was really good considering yesterday was the last day for the Coastal Carolina Fair. I would like to commend Kwame Alexander and the Capital Bookfest staff and volunteers for coming to Charleston and making the event the great day that it was.

It was great to see many of my friends, neighbors, coworkers and other people from the community at this event. This shows that Charleston loves their authors (if they live in Charleston or not). Many authors and poets including Nikki Giovanni, Haki Nadhubuti, Bret Lott, Mary Alice Monroe, Tina McElroy Ansa and many others shared their talents and works with the Lowcountry.

Here are a few pictures from the event:

Entering CCPL's Main Library

Author A. C. Moore and myself

Haki Madhubuti

Nikki Giovanni signing books

Victoria Rowell and myself (and I was over the moon, being a big Y&R fan)

Tina McElroy Ansa (left) and Tananarive Due during their presentation

The Post and Courier's take on the event can be found here.

I hope that this event will bring attention to the fact that the people in Charleston would like to see authors, even if it is just only at a book store (I saw you, Books-A-Million publicist). With the success of this event, I hope that many literary events, including this one, will come to the Lowcountry.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do I Really Have To Think Like a Man?

Every weekday morning, I listed to the Steve Harvey Morning Show on my way to work. So when he started to promote his first book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, I was interested in reading it. I reserved it from the library and was one of the first ones to get it when it finally arrived.

The next thing I know, this relationship book on how to think like a man was getting big. Right after it came out, my friend tried to find it in the store with no luck. Then people started talking about it. And once Steve was on Tyra and Oprah, I knew there was no turning back.

As I mentoned before, I personally felt that it was not the best relationship book since sliced bread (like most people made it out to be). Some of the advice did make sense, but I just didn't feel that wonderful feeling about the book that many people came away with.

As turns out, I wasn't alone. I've heard a variety of comments about the book, from "This is for people your age" (my hairdresser) to "What does he know? He's on his third wife" (a fellow book club member). One of my male friends suggested that he could give me the same advice for the cost of the book.

One day, while I was catching up on my Twitter feed at work, I found out that someone wrote a response to Steve's book (and promoted it on Tom Joyner). After listening to the interview that was recorded, I decided to check this book out. The library didn't have it and when I saw that Amazon had the book for $10, I figure I didn't have much to loose.

Why Do I Have To Think Like a Man was written by Shanae Hall and her mother Rhonda Frost. This book gives an interesting response to Steve's book.

Shanae and Rhonda both talk about their experiences with men throughout the book. Shanae married her high school sweetheart, who eventally became an NFL player. Things went down hill and they are no longer together. Rhonda is also single right now and out on the dating scene. Some of their stories about their dating experiences and others may me sometimes want to say WTF (which is used a lot in this book)?

But in between these stories, the book does offer some good advice. Notice the red flags. Ask questions (the cereal one was very interesting). Set standards in a relationship from the start. And the most important one, LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.

So I guess this book is part relationship, part self-help. It is nice to hear from women who are having the same dating issues as many of us are (including myself). If women take care of ourselves and and demand what we want from the beginning, we may find luck in finding the right guy. And that we really don't have to think like a man after all.

P.S. I do also plan to read Steve's new book. And Shenae and Rhonda already have a response to that in their book.

P.P.S. You can read another review of this book here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's almost here: Capital Bookfest!!

It seems like yesterday that I had just heard about a new book festival coming to Charleston. That was back in February. Now the Capital Bookfest, which will be at the main library of the Charleston County Public Library is now 5 DAYS AWAY!!

I am so excited because this is the first time I can go to a book festival and not have to travel for it. And there are so many big-named authors (several that live here in Charleston) that this is an exciting time to be in the Lowcountry!

Some of the authors include:

Nikki Giovanni: I admit that I love Soror Nikki. I saw her speak at the SC Book Festival several years ago and she is AWESOME!! She will be reading from her new book Bicycles. She will also take part in the annual meeting of the CCPL Friends of the Library, which is the next day.

Victoria Rowell: Until a few years ago, I was a huge fan of The Young and the Restless. And of course, one of my favorite characters was Drucilla Winters. Who can come up from stealing jewelry from Fenmore's to helping run Jabot? Even though she is no longer on the show (and it hasn't been the same since), Victoria still is out doing her thing, writing and bringing awareness to foster care. She will be there promoting her books, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva and The Women Who Raised Me.

Mary Alice Monroe: Not to be confused with the author who writes the God Don't Like Ugly series, Mary Alice Monore's books are about strong women who find their way in the world.. And they have been very successful. She will be promoting her new book, Last Light Over Carolina.

Sonia Sanchez: This amazing poet, playwright, writer and activist has been sharing her works for more than 40 years. She will be at the festival promoting her new book, Morning Haiku.

Bret Lott: I remember it was a big deal when Lady O picked his book Jewel as a part of her book club selection, because he was teaching at College of Charleston at that time (he left and came back to C of C). And she did a good job with that selection.

Jenny Sanford: As many of you know, she's South Carolina's Former First Lady who left the Governor after it was discovered that he didn't go to the Appalachian Trail after all. She will be signing copies of her book about her marriage, Staying True.

Tananarive Due: When I told a soror that Tananarive was going to be at the event, she could not obtain her excitement. Most of Due's work is about the paranormal (including Blood Colony), but don't sleep on the Tennyson Hardwick series, which she writes with husband Steven Barnes and actor Blair Underwood.

The Capital Bookfest will be Saturday (November 6) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The first 1,000 people will receive a free book! For more information, visit their Website at . They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

Hope to see you there! :-)