Tag Archives: ebook

A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

8721893974_1f51cdfb67_zFor Mari’s Sherlock Holmes reading challenge, I’ve read the first two books (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of course) so far.

I honestly can’t remember if I’ve read any Sherlock Holmes books before. I mean, surely I have, at some point, especially given my love of mysteries? But at any rate, I’m reading afresh now.

The first one, A Study in Scarlet, introduces the reader to Sherlock and we see him meet Watson. I did get a bit confused when a new second section started and, instead of the familiar London, we’re abruptly in Utah. It took me a long time to even feel confident the chapters of my ebook hadn’t gotten jumbled with another book somehow! It all became clear in time, though.

The second, The Sign of the Four, also had a somewhat similar detour, but it was much less abrupt and I didn’t get confused nearly as much. 🙂

Each is less than 200 pages (somewhat significantly less, actually). They read very quickly. Despite the (very rare) French or German quote that aren’t translated (a sign of a true classic, maybe?), the language is flowing and easy, not too stilted or old fashioned.

Reading these, I’m appreciating the adaptations I’ve been loving (both BBC’s Sherlock and Elementary) even more, both as treatments of the books and as their own, individual works.

I just love these stories!

On to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes!

(I got these ebooks from Project Gutenberg.)

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Free e-book: The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English

official dictionary of unofficial englishGrant Barrett released his book The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English: A Crunk Omnibus for Thrillionaires and Bampots for the Ecozoic Age as a free PDF download this week.

I haven’t really started reading it yet (I think I should finish one nonfiction e-book before I start another, don’t you?), but I’m excited to dive in; I downloaded it immediately. Seems like a good read for anyone interested in language and words.

I’ve been reading and enjoying Barrett’s blog for quite a while.


Don’t forget about my giveaway of The Night Watchman!

Reading via laptop part 2

This series of posts is about my experience reading a book on my laptop, for the first time.

Start with part 1 to know fully what I’m talking about here.

I was surprised how slow it seemed that I read on screen. Perhaps it’s that I don’t get to physically turn pages that I was missing? While reading with the laptop not plugged in, my standard screensaver / battery saver options didn’t work well; I wouldn’t get through a whole page before the screen started dimming, so I had to move the cursor around, which effectively pulled me out of the story.

While this could be easily remedied (and I may), this was part of the experience for me.

Eyes often tired enough (I look at a computer screen long enough while working, blogging, twittering …) that I found myself putting off this book in favor of a paper book.

Another obstacle: I filed it away. Put it in a folder, with other e-books. Logical enough, but once it got closed, I wasn’t reminded to read a page or two when I was sitting at the computer trying to remember what I came there for (or whatever).

My progress on this book is very slow. When I scheduled this post, I was on page 47 of 246, and I’d already been “reading” it for a month.

Any questions?


Don’t forget about my first ever giveaway! It’s only open for a few more days.

Reading via laptop part 1

I’m making my first attempt at reading an e-book.

Back story: Device-wise
I’ve nabbed a few e-books when I’ve seen them and thought I might be interested over the past year or two, but none of these has enticed me to actually attempt to read them onscreen. See, I have no e-reader. No Kindle, no Sony Reader, no iPhone (alas). While I may not be entirely happy with this situation, it appears to be part of a larger situation that we’re still collectively waiting to see how it unfolds.

I’ve written before (more than a year ago now) about how (free) e-books are great publicity for the author and the title but aren’t necessarily read much. My thought process goes something like this: Great, a free book! Ugh, I don’t really want to print this tome. Besides, even if I did — well, first it wouldn’t actually be free anymore — do I really want to read a finished book, which I’m not marking up, in unbound galley form? Not the most pleasant reading experience. Then again, neither is reading an entire book on the computer, either. This, for the reader, is an impasse. That free book doesn’t really do anything, except take up hard drive space.

Back story: Book-wise:
Just recently, though, an e-book found its way onto my hard drive that I decided I’d at least attempt to read. This is the first post in my ongoing attempt to chronicle this effort.

The book: Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson, 2006), 246 pages

Although this book was published in 2006, I don’t recall hearing anything about it — at least not anything that made me think the book might be for me (That is some subtitle, though, isn’t it?) — until February 2009. In February, while preparing for my writing hermitage, I asked for suggestions of books to read. This book was recommended over and over, by a barrage of friends, readers and non-readers alike. When I came upon an email offering me a free e-book of it a week or so ago, I decided to give it a shot.

Reading experience:
I started reading right away, and I made it to page 14 of the 246-page PDF document in the first day. I read that page count spread out over the course of the day, some while sitting at the desk and some at the couch, where I’d taken the laptop for that purpose specifically. The story pulled me right in.

After looking at the screen all day, though, I was happy to switch out the e-book for a different title, this time in real-life book form.

This is the first in what I’m planning to be a series of brief (much shorter than this!) journal-type posts about my experience reading an e-book. On a laptop. Hope you enjoy it. I’d love feedback.

Anything you want to know?