Just some personal stuff…

Ok, Ola has spilled the beans, so l decided to write a few words about a big event that is taking place this very Saturday. Friends of the blog should not be surprised, I did start referring to my muggle girlfriend as fiancée last year, and I’m a serious guy – I proposed with every intention of actually getting married 😉 Now, and it’s still a bit difficult to believe in, it’s going to happen and so very soon!

The pandemic situation in Poland isn’t bad right now, with less than a hundred new cases daily and most restrictions lifted. Everyone who wanted to get vaccinated – had a chance to do so. There are troubles ahead, as we have a lot of anti-vaxxers and Delta variant is already here. Still, we have time enough for our wedding and a short honeymoon on Santorini 🙂

We had our stag/hen nights, and both were glorious, big thanks once again to all the people involved – and some of them are actually reading Re-E occasionally… I got a genuine sword (made recently, but to medieval specs, a heavy, 1.5 hand piece). Perfect gift, something I craved but would never buy myself!

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Two months with Kindle

Kindle broke me! Or, to be precise, it broke my reading habits…

Not my finances, I’ve spent roughly the same amount of money I would spend on books anyway, only I got (YTD) 124 ebooks and 8 paper books… ebooks were, on average, under 1 Euro apiece, thanks to Humble Bundles (and their Polish equivalent, ArtRage). So, I got 15.5 ebooks for each regular book.

This is not as wonderful as it looks, because I’ll never read all the books from the bundles I got… and I sometimes buy ebooks from the peripheries of my TBR only because there is a nice deal on Amazon… I need to devise some new metric measuring book cost. And stop automatically buying all the bundles. Perhaps also unsubscribe from Amazon alerts, I literally just bought Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, while writing this ($3.14 for the whole thing, how could I not?).

But how is my reading broken? Well, the book I read in paper is “Deadhouse Gates”, second volume of Erikson’s Malazan Books of the Fallen. It’s great, but heavy. And requires high concentration, to follow all the names and plot-lines. It’s almost a ritual, to sit down and open it to read a chapter or two.

Kindle is light, and all sort of books are waiting there that I can easily read whenever I have a spare moment. I’ve read 17 titles since Feb 19 that way. During that time I’ve only read one full book on paper and listened to two audiobooks. The ebooks are mostly non genre, and many of them only available in Polish. Or public domain classics.

What I mean to say is, this post is going to be a series of mini-reviews 😉

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Going Kindle…

I know it does not make me an early adopter in 2021, but I decided to buy a Kindle this month. It was a decision long time coming, so I decided to make use of a special offer on Amazon.de – one that we need to use in Poland, to get our stuff quickly, cheap and duty free. Curse you, Brexit…

Why an e-reader? Why Kindle? Why now?

I’ve been observed to loudly preach the superiority of paper books. The feel, the smell, the look of these physical objects are unmatched by anything the devices might offer. The books that are really important to me, I will always want to have on my shelves. My library is more than a source of reading material. It’s the extension of my self, my identity, a statement you can’t fail to notice when you enter my flat.

And I don’t even need e-reader on my vacation, I happily carry huge volumes to the beach.

But lets face it, I’ve read an occasional epub on my phone and it wasn’t super-comfortable, but I still had fun. That’s how I read a few Warhammer novels in 2020. And, full disclosure, I actually was a relatively early adopter, buying a Barnes & Noble Nook almost exactly 10 years ago. There weren’t many e-readers in Poland back then. I read a couple dozen books, buying some from Kobo, and receiving a disc with free e-books from Baen, with my first Honor Harrington hardcover.

In the long run, it did not take. Most of the e-books were not priced significantly lower than the proper versions, not all were available to me. I could not buy them from Barnes & Noble, my device’s producers, as they did not sell to my country. Kobo was the only option back then, and they were ok, but I preferred to pay for physical object, not files..

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Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country (2016)

Author: Matt Ruff

Title: Lovecraft Country

Format: Paperback

When Atticus Turner, a Black ex-soldier fresh from the Korean war, gets a mysterious letter from his father, he goes back to Chicago, and later to a small town of Ardham, Massachusetts. Along with him goes his childhood friend Letitia and his uncle, George, publisher, writer and researcher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide, and they have to fight both the cosmic horrors straight from the Cthulhu Mythos and the no less real horrors of their fellow human’s prejudices. It’s a bit like a crossover of Call of Cthulhu and Green Book.

Ok – it’s political. My next post after Ministry for the Future, and another unashamedly political novel. Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country is a subversive pulp horror, just as Guardian quote on its cover claims, and I’ll try to say a few words on whether it’s smart further in the review 😉 I would also like to emphasize it’s solely about the book, I’ve seen only the first episode of the TV show, liked it enough to stop and order the novel, and I’m yet to go back and watch the rest of it.

Let me start with some praise for the cover – I just it. Pulpy, lovecraftian, with some KKK undertones – fits its contents perfectly, even the “now a major HBO series” sign does not make me angry. I’m happy I own a physical copy!

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