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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

    My name is James Black. I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Friend and/or follow me if you like.

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My 2010 Book Picks

As a rather slow reader, I don’t get around to reading every book I should, nevertheless during the year it’s released. Instead of offering you a best-of list, I’ll simply comment on what I got around to reading. Keep in mind: it’s not the size of the list but what you do with it that counts.  Continue reading

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What Makes Real Books Real?

I’m about as weary as weary gets from all the complaining about how ebooks aren’t real books. You can’t feel the smooth-but-rough texture of the paper or admire your vast, beloved collection of ebooks in the built-ins flanking your fireplace. Yeah, I get it. In other words, to some people, ebooks don’t feel like possessions as they read them, and enjoying an ebook feels like falling in love with a phantom.

Hey, I love the smell of books, old and new. I love to hold them, hear the pages flip. There’s a relationship to physical books, especially during the act of reading, that purists wish to preserve. I really do get it. Okay?

What about our long-term relationships with books? Although I own many books that I’ve enjoyed reading, I also own many that I’ve never read, having bought them for cheap somewhere because they were right there within reach and somehow seemed to fill some need I felt I had at that particular moment. Having those books in my possession hasn’t increased their chances that I will read them. Meanwhile, I learn about other books and, based on their descriptions, feel they’re better for me. I track them down, borrowing or buying them as necessary, but most important, I read them. Continue reading

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