365:77 (the yiddish policemen’s union)

by sam on 11/16/2009

In anticipation of the arrival of my nook, I’ve been trying to make my way through some of the backlog of hardcover books that I’ve got laying around. I used to have a habit of going into a bookstore and just buying whatever looked interesting, and then putting those books in a big “to do” pile to be read later. Of course, my buying habits far outpaced my actual reading habits, and things that looked interesting at first glance in the bookstore would often lose their allure once I started sifting through the pile looking for something to read.

So now, since I’m getting a nook for Chanukah (and also for helping my dad out a bunch with his startup company, unpaid), I’ve changed methods. I created a sub list in my iphone to do list application for books, and whenever I’m at the bookstore and a book catches my eye, instead of just buying it, I instead jot the title and author down on my list. If, when I get home, there is an ebook version available, I add that book to my ebook wish list on barnes and noble. when the nook arrives, I can start going through that list one at a time and only buy what I’m actually interested in reading at that moment. This way, my “pile” is now a virtual pile, and I won’t actually pay for a book until I’m ready to actually read it. Makes much more sense. Of course, this doesn’t eliminate the problem of getting bored by a book part of the way through, but it’s still a financial and living space improvement (and, unlike dead tree books, you can often read the first chapter of an ebook without buying, further reducing the risk of buying something that sucks).

In the meantime, i just finished another book off of my dead tree pile, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon. I very much enjoyed it (although it took me a while to get past the first chapter). Alternative history, murder, and a whole lot of yiddish. Kavalier and Clay is still my favorite Chabon book, but this one held up pretty well through the uncertain end.


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