Why Can’t I Share My Kindle Books?

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Ok today’s topic, nay rant, is about Kindle book “sharing”. I use quotation marks because Kindle is all like, oh yeah, you can totally share books you purchase from us. And then they have that shady fast-talker come on with a ** side note about only being able to share about 30% of all Kindle books, for only 2 weeks at a time, and each Kindle book can only be shared once.

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Ok. There are so many things wrong with this. I am a big reader. I have bookshelves and boxes of books. Just ask my family, who have helped me move said boxes into a myriad of apartments and townhouses over the years. I have a Kindle. I love my Kindle. But if someone is offering a hard copy book, lending to me, throwing books away, I am happy to nab them. Hence = book hoarder.

I love the Kindle in concept and in action, but their sharing has got to be updated. In real life, we pass books on to friends. We give them, lend them, etc. For as long as we want. To as many people as we can before the well-loved spines break and we cry over the loss of an old friend. I digress.

I should be able to lend out any Kindle book, not just the 30% they deem old or classic, and therefore no longer receiving royalties or something. They don’t receive royalties for all the people I lend books to, either. So suck it. And let me distribute books I PAID FOR however I want.imagesthe-kindle

The end.

Juggling Stimuli & Connectedness

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We have all heard about our “ADD Nation” or the generation of young adults who are “too plugged in.” I was thinking about how, at all times, I am focusing on one of many distractions in my life, a book I am reading, an audiobook I am listening to, a Netflix series I am marathoning, etc.

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I would not consider myself ADHD. I am not hyperactive, I do not have trouble with attention, but the argument could be made that, in today’s pop culture and society, there is a certain amount of hyper-multi-tasking expected; hyper-attention to numerous concurrent pieces of your life. At work, with friends/family, social media, cell phones keeping us connected to each other and available to each other at all times…

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There was a time when I only read one book at a time, but we don’t just have one work assignment at a time. We don’t have one friend at a time. But I figured, focus on this one, power through, then move on to the next. I’ll go through books faster that way, won’t get bogged down, won’t forget what was going on, etc. That doesn’t work for me now. Part of that is a technology shift, part of that is a life shift. When I was younger and in college, I didn’t have much down time for reading for pleasure. When I did, focusing on one book made sense. But now, I don’t have a whole lot of intellectual endeavors in my life unless I create them. So, I have a book I am reading or kindle-ing. I have an audiobook for the car, the gym, walking the dog, folding laundry, etc. I read out loud with my husband books we want to share. And then there are the shows. I am a master at the art of a Netflix marathon on slow weekend days, freezing winter nights, or background noise for working from home; and I also watch shows live on TV or DVR’d with my husband.

Hard to juggle/keep straight, you ask? No. They’re all different and engaging my brain in different ways. I try not to mainline two shows about similar topics at the same time, because it does get confusing (Scandal and House of Cards, omg so hard to keep track of which is which). Historical fiction and sci-fi, easy to keep separated.

When at work, I stay tuned in to Twitter for news and updates about the world, funny links, and so on. It is my link to the real world while I sit (now stand – just got a stand up desk) at work and stare at a screen all day.

So when is my brain’s time to be creative, flow naturally, take a break? I was thinking about this and realized that really the only time I am not tuned into something is when I am hiking or with a friend / family / husband. Do I need to force myself to slow down, to meditate, to do more yoga (omg, yes, I am so not bendy)? Or are these pieces of my life what enriches me now? I am 31, recently married, don’t yet have kids, like my job but am not obsessed or working overtime or anything. I have great family and friends, but I spend a lot of time on my own, as is the nature of working and living in the suburbs.

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I really think that having these distractions, alternate realities I can enjoy, and sometimes share with others, really make me a more interesting person, give me things to talk about, to suggest to others. Some people follow international news, fashion trends, real housewives… I follow books and shows and my friends/family. I have a GoodReads account to track books I have read, books I want to read, suggestions from others, so that when people say, hey any book suggestions for me, I can say, why yes, let me go through my lists. I like sharing that with people. And I like reading others’ suggestions to better understand them, their preferences, and to engage with them.

In another life, I was a Hobbit in a reading nook…

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Random Distractions While I’m On Vacay

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Heading to the beach for a few days for a last minute beach trip. Very excited. When we get back, heading off to go camping for a few days.  Should be an interesting week!

So I wanted to share some funny things with you before heading off:

  1. 12 GIFs That Perfectly Sum Up a Moment of Instant Regret

  2. Huge Meter-Long Lizards Are Crawling Through the Bangkok Sewers and This Guy Caught One on Video

  3. 10 Pics That Prove The Struggle Is Real When Running In Real Life

  4. 10 Music Genres Perfectly Explained

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An Ode to Panera Bread

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No one has ever called me a poet.  So just go with me.  I was inspired.  

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Oh, Panera, how do I love thee, let me count the ways….

You have bagel yumminess at all hours, fresh from the oven.
Your pumpkin sammies swim through my veins with joy and powdered sugar.

Fresh veggies, avocado, and melty cheese, yummmm.
Branching out for pasta and wraps, always up for a change.

Giant chocolate cookies, smoothies, baguette, and more!
I could eat every meal there and be satisfied.

Calories counts, so I make good choices. Or don’t.
Free wifi for “working” or posting online.

Pick 2, you say?  Don’t mind if I do!
Choosing just one is so hard, I like variety.

And how could I ignore the rewards card? So nice!
Surprise! Points for free coffee, soup, and treats!

Thank you, Panera, for the carbs in my life,
And for the veggies to make me feel better about them.

I salute you.

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Artscape & Beards

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I sit in the corner of my office out of view of most people. Sometimes I just want them to know I am here, so I type with extra ferocity, making me feel like the Whos in Horton Hears A Who. Yes. Dr. Seuss reference. Handle it.

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Artscape

Artscape is this weekend in Baltimore. If you don’t know, it’s a huge arts festival in the city, with all sorts of art mediums, food, bands, etc. I used to go as a 20-something, but I am a) not a hipster, and b) not a fan of crowds. I want to want to go, I just don’t know if I care enough about seeing weird, old cars decked out in toys from the 70s, paintings that looks like someone sneezed paint onto a canvas, super expensive hemp / lilac / dandylion soap that most likely doesn’t clean you, so many beards, hula hoops, fried food everywhere… nope nope nope, I just can’t. There was a time when I thought off beat / weird stuff was cool and fun, and now I think it’s annoying and self important. So no. I cannot make it. I have books to read, hikes to hike, wine to drink, naps to snooze.

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Baltimore, Md -- 7/15/11 -- ae-artscape-dinsmoor --- Artscape, the biggest free festival in the country, kicked off yesterday in Bolton Hill and Charles North. Kelly Jo Stull, aerial artist and street performer, swings numerous hula hoops at Artscape.     Gabe Dinsmoor [Sun Photographer] #0073

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(See, I wasn’t kidding about the goofy shit on the cars…. WTH is the point of this….)

Also, can we go back to that beard thing for a second? I am not a huge fan of facial hair. (Yes, my new husband promptly shaved his head and grew a goatee right after our honeymoon, but he looks more like a pirate. And he was going bald anyway, so it was a pre-emptive strike.) I know some guys look good with TRIMMED beards, but some look like bushmen, other like pervs. Mustaches look good on no one! Unless you are an old British professor. But here’s the thing, never again will I be ok with a beard. Poop in beards. It’s official. Nope.

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Beach First World Problems

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Because I cannot afford to go to the beach this summer, I am writing today about all the horrible things about being at the beach, to make myself feel better. Sure, you get to listen to the relaxing sounds of the waves, read your book, and not be at work… but…

  1. Beach bodies  –  None of us has the one we want, but when at the beach, we have to view everyone else’s poor body decisions – whether it’s their size or the skimpiness of the suit.

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  1. Sunburn  –  OMG, PEOPLE, USE SUNSCREEN!! Didn’t you listen to Baz Lurhmann? The pales get bright red and sunburned. Peeling. Blisters. OUCH!!! And there are the people who get super tan, and then look so leathery you could turn them into a couch (it puts the lotion on the skin…)

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  1. Sand gets everywhere  –  Some sand is easy to rub off. But super fine sand never leaves…. Especially if you’re wearing sunscreen. It sticks to you like an exfoliating paste, burning your already sunburned skin to a fiery haze! And then when you shower, no matter how much soap, the sand and the sunscreen, stays and gets everwhere, in your sheets, on your couch. Everywhere.

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  1. Hot  –  I know what you’re thinking. It’s summer. It’s supposed to be hot. You complain about cold all winter and then about heat all summer. No, I like heat and I like the summer. But sometimes on the beach, when there is no AC (obviously), the sun beating down, blistering your skin, blinding your eyes, sweat dripping down every curve of your body, dehydrating you by the second, I just think, would a little wind kill ya? YES, YES IT WOULD. Wind on the beach equals a giant sandstorm stinging your skin, blinding your eyes, getting in your mouth, in your hair… oh in your hair!!!   You cannot win.

  1. Over Crowded  –  SOOOOOOOO many people on the beach, it’s like maneuvering around a minefield of kids digging holes, runners/walkers, burning hot sand, dodging umbrella sprockets blinding you at every turn. It is NOT relaxing to be on the beach with 400,000 other people! Kids screaming, kicking up sand as they run by and STEP ON YOUR CLEAN TOWEL! I need a bubble!!!

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  1. People pee in the ocean  –  I’m not saying that I haven’t done it, it is convenient. But when you think about it, you’re swimming in a giant toilet bowl. It gets in your mouth. It gets everywhere. Best not to think about it.
  1. Sunscreen  –  Now, I am really good about wearing sunscreen. Like every hour. But I am also a sweaty beast. Which means it drips off me. Drips into my eyes. Spray sunscreen is ok, if you don’t’ mind losing ¾ of it in the wind, and it rubbing off it you touch it, but it’s great for sandy spots, feet, hard to reach spots.   Not that I have kids, but I hear trying to put sunscreen on  a kid is like wrestling a slippery cat. And takes forever. And you have to reapply every hour or so. Especially if they’re in and out of the water. HA! Have fun, parents.

So, to all of you who get to enjoy restful, beach vacations this summer, I am green eyed. But I shall sit in my sand-free AC, and do my best not to hate you.

HAPPY SUMMER!