I blame NetGalley.com for my fall from grace. I was introduced to this little demon as part of a Librarything Early Reviewers win, and it's hooked me quicker than black tar heroin. The basic idea is that the website matches up reviewers and readers with publishers to provide advance reviews and other buzz for upcoming titles. You fill out a profile with a link back to your blog or wherever you post book reviews and then put in your requests for the titles being offered by the site. A representative from the publisher will review your request and profile and determine if they want to give you a copy. Once you're approved, you're free to download your book. It's pretty similar to the Early Reviewers program that I already participate in, except for two key points: 1) you're not limited to just one book a month, and 2) the books are delivered almost entirely as ebooks. You can get them in whichever formats the publisher has made available, but mostly that means Kindle and Adobe Digital Editions format.
For those not in the know, Adobe Digital Editions is another type of e-reader software that, among other things, has a feature that allows ebooks to expire after a given amount of time. I guess publishers like it because they don't have to give away complete copies of their books, and of course you can go back and download the thing again if you didn't finish it in the allotted time, so it's not that big of an inconvenience. Not all of the titles given away on NetGalley expire in such a way, but 2 out of the 3 I've downloaded so far have turned out that way, so that could be a fair representation of the general demographics.
Anyway, those of you who know me know that I'm very much a pen and ink type of guy. I like to have the physical book in my hands, to feel the words under my fingertips, drink in the literary deliciocity through my very pores. I never anticipated going the e-reader route, but damn it, I've been sucked in. It was NetGalley that did it. They gave me access to titles like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré and Harbor Nocturne by Joseph Wambaugh, two authors I freakin' love and titles I never expected to be asked to review. I've been reading some of these other ebooks using my laptop installation of Adobe Digital Edtions, and I just can't read as fast or as easily as I'm accustomed to. I long to be able to hold it in one hand, to lay down and read it, to--God forbid--take it with me to the bathroom. And therefore I'm left pining for something I never thought I'd want: a Kindle.
Yeah, a Kindle. Don't ask me why I didn't choose a Nook. I really don't know. I didn't research the two devices, the pros and cons between them, prices or customer reviews. Call it brand loyalty, I dunno. But that's what I've decided to go with, and now the means of my undoing is winging its way to my doorstep. Probably the best news in this scenario is that we were able to use points from our credit card in order to finance the whole operation. Therefore, not only did I get my luxury purchase, but I didn't have to spend a dime to do it. Well, not exactly. There were quite a few dimes spend considering the cash that had to be forked over in order to build up enough points. But we're not counting that, are we? That'd be way too depressing.