Home office library (2 rows deep each shelf)

I enjoy reading, a lot.  And that love of reading spans a diverse collection of subjects, both fiction (few) and non-fiction (90%).  One of my hobbies is to read books about organ transplant/donation and to write reviews to help those authors get the word out about their books to the wider audience.  This hobby has an added dimension in that I reach out to each book’s author and thus have created a large network of really special people.  Often I can link that network to a family or patient facing a life challenge similar to their own, a real blessing at a time of often painful need for such a connection.  Over time this has grown into an on-line transplant resource, a database of over 100+ books/reviews offered on-line on the TRIO web site at http://trioweb.org/communications/bookreviewshome.shtml – check it out, it grows monthly.  Eventually this library will be donated to the local Gift of Life Transplant Family House to make it available to a wider audience of people facing the transplant challenge.

But I digress.  At any one time I find myself reading several books at once.  One left in the car for when stopping for lunch at the local Taco Bell to read while eating, or while Pam is in a store shopping, or stuck in traffic, or at a doctor’s appointment (having a book along always makes the wait in a doctor’s office non-existent, a law of nature, same for waiting in line for a plane).  There are usually several books under review, another a new release just arriving from Amazon of my favorite author begging to be read as soon as it arrives – like Nicolas Sparks’ The Best of Me which arrived recently – pre-ordered for the future release date – and was all engrossing for the next 24 hours and finished that quickly.  Some so deep in their technical content that it takes months to read through some fascinating topic that for the most part is challenging beyond my comprehension, but enough stays to keep me interested – like From Eternity to Here: the Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (been into that one for almost a year now).  Others of a religious bent while some are self-improvement, like Discovering the Mind of a Woman (I strongly recommend that for all men in relationships).  Many delve into some area of medicine, like Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What is Right for You, still waiting to be opened (I confess).

So I ask you, is this a sign of ADD, jumping around on so many subjects before finishing any one?  Or is this the sign of a healthy mind, eager for a lifetime of learning, fascinated with the world around us, one open to so many interests?

To make matters worse (or better), recently with my wife, Pam, taking on a new job that allows her to enjoy a daily train commute affording a full hour of reading time, I gifted her with a Kindle.  She is enjoying it immensely and offered to leave it home one day for me to try.  I really felt the need to have a hard paper book in my hands, but interested in seeing what this Kindle we hear so much about was like, I tried it.  Imagine browsing Amazon’s immense catalog of growing titles from anywhere with that Kindle interface.  Select one, usually at 50% off (or more, many for just $1, not to mention the availability of spoken books by Audible.com too) and just like that it is charged to your credit card, downloaded in about 60 seconds to that reading device, and now you have yet another book in this less than 6 ounce, 6 inch screen, with adjustable font (I don’t have to use my reading glasses!), that can keep track of where I left off and can be read on my office PC, my laptop or that Kindle in the car (or at Taco Bell).

Ok, so now I have my own Kindle and currently am reading A Short History of Nearly Everything (what a fascinating read!) along with (an audio book) Thinking, Fast and Slow, and three other fun books along with three audio books (with ear buds for “reading” while I drive or while I eat lunch each day), and of course still working down that hard cover stack of reading (seen below).

Yes, I am hooked  and find myself using that Kindle everywhere (you would be amazed how much you can read each day while on the toilet).  Science tells us that constant learning and using the mind is key to staying young.  Wish that worked for my aging knees too, but I guess that’s what they mean by “physical exercise” too, huh?.

So that “ADD challenge” described earlier can be seen in the “current reading pile” some of which are just waiting for that writing of their review.  Here’s what that looks like today, with the Kindle in the lower left corner holding another 10 books in its “almost 6 ounces”:

Books awaiting read, note the Kindle with another 10 books in that small profile, left bottom

Is it any wonder that I’m not getting our new book written, or keeping up with regular postings on this blog?

PS: Did I mention that the Kindle battery charge lasts for 2 months, so I still haven’t had to plug it in for a recharge yet despite extensive daily use.  Amazing technology.