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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

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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