Tuesday, February 7, 2012

eBooks! A Whole New World!

In this post, I am sharing information on products and book titles that I actually use and/or am interested in. I have not been given anything for free, nor been paid to "review" anything. This post is NOT a review, but instead is a "share".

Umm... OK. Satan's my homeboy!
For Yule, I was given a Nook Color and I have been using it daily for all kinds of awesomeness (reading, games, the internet, video streaming). Now before I dive into the Nook, I want to state for the record that I am a book person. I prefer print over pixels and I collect books that are meaningful to me. I have quite the collection, actually. I resisted digital books even as I used my iPod for digitizing my music collection and giving away my CDs. There is something sacred and amazing about a book, and that cannot be replaced by a machine. When I buy witchy and occult books, I usually get them here, at Field's Books. It is an amazing resource.

But I am learning to see the Nook as something new- and to value what it has to offer. I can cheaply read lots of books that I always meant to (Google Books has an amazing list of FREE classics that I have downloaded.)*, but never got around to.

Doncha hate all the new age nutjobs obsessing
over this year? As I read somewhere else on the web,
"Maybe if columbus hadn't slaughtered them all,
the Mayans would have had time to finish their
damn calendar!"
I am an avid reader that is usually in the midst of three titles at a time. I can read any of those books, anytime anywhere with my Nook. While I still obtain print copies of titles that I consider worthy of being part of a permanent collection, many many books I read are never worth that honor. And now I do not have to waste resources (trees) by simply reading a title.

“On the one hand, a Kindle or a Nook is perfect for reading a 1,000-page George R. R. Martin novel,” said Eric Simonoff, a literary agent. “On the other hand, these devices are uniquely suited for mid-length content that runs too long for shrinking magazines and are too pamphletlike to credibly be called a book.” (Funny, one of the books I am reading now is the boxed set of Game of Thrones! Ha!)

I also have been finding some of my academic titles (for grad school) available on Google Books, and it saves me money and time (no waiting for the books to arrive!) using the Nook. Many of these books I also do not intend to keep, so using the Nook is perfect for such a purpose. Just today, I bought a Carter Heyward title for one of my classes.

To counteract those boneheads above...
My biggest issue right now is finding titles that I would want to read available in the ePub or Reader formats. I am a picky reader, and most of the time, the New York Times bestseller list does not reflect my tastes. I like high quality books on Witchcraft and the occult, and most of the titles out there (both in print and in digital editions are in my opinion, crap.

As with everything driven by capitalism, what becomes available digitally is the best selling stuff. And Witchcraft is NOT a religion of the masses. Many smaller publishers that I love are taking the plunge making their books available in this way, yet many of even the bigger publishing houses are scared of what this change means for their profits. Many digital only houses are starting up like Smashwords, The Atavist, and Byliner.

So sorting through the Witchcraft section of the Barnes and Noble site, there are a few titles that I would be interested in exploring. They have titles that I know, love and possess already (and those I will not buy for the Nook), but I am always looking for more information and new things to read. So here are some titles that I put on my wishlist this week:

Voudou: Zora Neale Hurston's Tell My Horse and Mules and Men. These are fabulous resources for studying Voudou folk practices in the American South.

Indigenous Peoples and their Religions: Walking in the Sacred Manner by Mark St. Pierre and Tilda Long Soldier. This is all about women healers, dreamers, and leaders in the Plains nations of what is now the United States. It isn't released yet, but it looks like a good book! Bradford Keeney has a book called Bushman Shaman: Awakening the Spirit through Ecstatic Dance that I may check out. And I think Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul sounds pretty decent.

Old Occult and alchemical books and tracts: The Philosophy of Natural Magic by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (originally assembled in the early 1500's), THE DIVINE PYMANDER of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, Jacob Boehme's SIGNATURA RERUM; THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS, Francis Barrett's The Magus, Crowley's Temple of Solomon the King, and A.E. Waite's The Hermetic Museum, Volume One and his The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.

For equality, diversity, and all things right and just,
buy LOTS of Girl Scout cookies this year.
Euro Traditions and Lore: The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies - Illustrated is a scottish title about the fair folk published in 1691. James Bonwick has a tract on Irish Druids, and Old Irish Religions that also looks interesting. I also may pick up a copy of Raymond Buckland's Book of Gypsy Magic.

Other: The new edition of Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon and Lon Milo DuQuettes Low Magick: It's All In Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is. I used to have a copy of the tract Witches, Midwives, & Nurses: A History of Women Healers, but now there is a (Second Edition)

All those titles, and I only got to page 4 of 18 in that category! Not bad!

*I specifically asked for a Nook over a Kindle because I value cooperation over competition. Nook uses Adobe technology, which means you can download eBooks from all kinds of places, not just Barnes and Noble. The Kindle you must use through Amazon due to proprietary technology. B & N has more titles available, too. Including newspapers and magazines! And Barnes and Noble have taken the love of information further by offering their PubIt! service.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Lord, I envy you your books--digital and otherwise!


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