01 July 2011

Sometimes Free Is Not A Good Price

One thing I've discovered about owning a Kindle reader is that I tend to read much more now.  I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's that I can cart it around with me and have any number of books at my fingertips no matter where I am.  Unless you have unlimited funds though, you soon find yourself making the foray into the shadowy world of free e-books and the Kindle loan program (at least, until they roll out the public library loan system later this year).  The Kindle-to-Kindle loan feature is pretty neat, but whether a book is loanable is completely up to the publisher, and so far the truly great books remain locked up.  So that's kind of a bust, unless you aren't that discriminating.

Then we come to the free books out there.  Now, every once in a while a publisher will make a book free for a limited time to generate interest and ratings on a book that they think could be big bucks for them eventually, or sometimes they will make the first in a series of books available for free so they can capture more sales for the series.  Good marketing, no?  It's how I got caught in the Sookie Stackhouse spiral and a few others.  So occasionally there are some good, quality books you can get for free (check out http://kindlenationdaily.com/kindle-nation-daily-free-and-bargain-book-listings/ for a listing of available books).  BUT (and notice the all-caps), in delving into the world of free e-books I've come to an inevitable conclusion: Most of the free e-books out there are horrible.  Just that.  Plain and simple.  No real need to go into why, because I think the "free" kinda explains it all.

There is something interesting I've noticed though.  It seems to me that a huge proportion of free e-books are either erotica romances or religious non-fiction.  Huh.  Well, I've got 4 years of religious studies under my belt and a stack of theologian's tomes on the shelves, so of course I've checked out the erotica.  Hey, free porn books, remember?  Anyway, I've just got to say, how bad does erotica have to be to earn a one-star rating on Amazon?  The answer, obviously, is really bad.  It's erotica, after all...it's not like they are going for the Pulitzer.  I'm telling you though, those writers live on the razor's edge.  One playful spank too many (or too few) and it just becomes silly.  Much more than the books themselves, I enjoy reading the Amazon reviews.  I never knew people had such strict (ok, get your mind off the "spank" part) criteria for their pr0n.  Better yet are the people who download the books and then get all upset that there are so many sex scenes.  Nearly all of them start with "I'm not a prude, but...".  Lady, the cover has a half-naked man on it holding a little whip, what did you think it was going to be about?  Also, if the first name of the author is "Tawny", it's a dead giveaway.  I read a review (though not the book) where the woman had no problem with the masses of kinky boot-knocking happening, but strenuously objected to the F-bomb being used numerous times in the book.  How dare they?  People make me giggle.

Anyway, where was I going with this?  Oh yeah, free e-books.  Go ahead, take a peek at what's available.  Every once in a while you will come across a gem among the dross.  As more and more writers self-publish it may become more of a slog, but you can keep your eyes open for the better known publishers.  And what the heck, since they are free it's not a big deal to say "Okay, no. Bad. Horrible. Get off my Kindle!" to a lousy read.  Just remember, before you download, look at the cover.                                                                                          

If whips and silk ties ain't your thing, the cover picture can save you an aneurysm.  You've been warned!

Happy summer reading!

30 June 2011

No They Di'int!

Seriously, Auto Ad Placement? 

I totally feel ya, Sookie.

In case you're interested here's the article

14 April 2011

I'm Moving to Costa Rica (Maybe. Someday.)

I'll become a professional surfer and plantain farmer.  What?  I could if I wanted to.  Shut up.

Whatever, I fell in love with this country.  The people are warm and welcoming.  The vibe is supremely mellow.  The weather is good.  The beauty is immeasurable.  Start eating more plantains so I can make a decent living, okay?

See? Even the crocodiles are pretty. That adorable little scamp!

26 March 2011

I Wish I Had Talent

Lucky for me, there are plenty of people out there that do.  This is one of them.  Darin is a friend whom I reconnected with on the Facebook (as certain mothers call it), who to my delight I discovered had taken up a life of travel and professional photography.  His photos are stunning and I particularly enjoy the pictures of the people around him.  Lots of soul there, brother.  So if you are in a mood for beauty, some of it of the terrible variety, please visit his site and blog at http://www.darinrogers.net/

05 February 2011

Courage & Brotherhood

One of the images I most like coming out of the protests in Egypt.  Egyptian Christians forming a protective circle around Egyptian Muslim protesters as they pause for prayer.

Originally on Al Jazeera's blog.

How Do You Like It?

Don't be dirty, I mean my new blog stylin'! Let me know what you think. Be gentle with me.

When Charlie Sheen Was Cool

And Jennifer Grey had her (better) real nose.