The Library

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After reading George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, I found myself wanting to check out other works of modern fantasy. Brandon Sanderson, the author who took over for Robert Jordan on his The Wheel of Time series, wrote a book last year entitled, The Way of Kings. This particular book, priced out at $12.99 (e-book price), was too expensive for me to justify buying as a digital copy–I won’t do it!–. Remembering that there is something called a library, a place where books are free, I quickly made a visit of acquisition. Upon check out, I learned that I hadn’t checked anything out since 2007. One could have called this trip quite overdue.

The Way of Kings is a massive tome clocking in somewhere near a 1000 pages. Hardbound, the book is heavy and hard to situate when reading in bed at night. Now I have to confess that my Nook has made me forget what it is like to have to wrangle a 1000 page book. Weight and size have no meaning in the digital form. I could be reading a 2000 page book on my Nook and never know the difference. This is where the e-reader and the e-book shine. The other thing I had forgotten is how nice it is to have the Nook save my place every night. Bookmarks have always failed me with physical books. Somehow, someway, the bookmark always ends up falling out. Utter frustration ensues.

So how is The Way of Kings so far? At this point, a few hundred pages in, I am enjoying it immensely. Unlike Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, Sanderson has not seen the need, thus far, to throw-in gratuitous amounts of sex and language. Brandon Sanderson is slowly restoring my faith in modern fantasy.

Time Killers

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The age of the Internet is slowly changing the way we consume media. Over at Confessions of  Tech Addict, @jacobingalls has come to the realization that brick and mortar stores are quickly becoming places to kill time (for more, check out his post: In Order of Obsolescence). What is sad about this realization is that I think he may be right.

Last year, I purchased a Barnes & Noble Nook as a birthday present to myself. I had been hearing a lot about e-readers and so I decided it was time to get into the game. The Nook was priced cheaper than the Kindle, which isn’t the case now, so I went with the cheaper option. After learning how to navigate the Nook, I was soon purchasing my first e-book. Touch. Bought. Downloaded. The ease of use, instant access to content, and pricing has sold me on the Nook and e-books in general. No longer do I have to take a special trip to the store to purchase a book. On rainy days now I can simply relax and read.

The days of the brick and mortar bookstore may be numbered…but I doubt it. Stores provide a place to physically interact with whatever it is your planning on purchasing, as Jacob pointed out. They also provide a place to congregate and immerse ourselves amongst people and community. The Internet brings with it a price, instant content and lower prices made possible by the lack of a physical place and actual human interaction. While I enjoy reading on my Nook, I also enjoy browsing a good bookstore…even if it is essentially a place to kill time.

Surf Report – 10/9/10

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Welcome to the Sunday edition of the Surf Report.

.: God :

Our motto here at JBG is, “because there is more to life than just games”. The individual sections of God and Life exist in an effort to explore the world beyond the flickering screen. In addition to venturing into topics outside of video gaming, such as faith and life, we have also pushed an overall agenda of moderation. Video games, as with any other hobby, are meant to be consumed in a healthy manner. I have personally witnessed, both in my life and others, the impact of excessive gaming (late nights, lost jobs, and loss of friends). The results of embracing gaming as a lifestyle are certainly destructive when taken beyond normal levels.

Recently, I got thinking about how JBG’s mission extends just beyond the gospel of moderation. I quickly came to the conclusion that we are also here to preach against distractions. For me, gaming can be a distraction; for others it can be something as simple as trolling Facebook. All the noise and media we intake on a daily basis can lead us to neglecting the spiritual sides of ourselves. Basically, distractions can cause us not to hear God’s voice –I am not saying that He speaks audibly, but I am also not saying that He can’t!-.

The question I want to ask you, on this wonderful Sunday, is this: What is distracting you? If it is video games, why not take some time away from them; if it is Facebook, why not take an extended vacation. A thought to ponder on.

.: Life :

What have you been reading lately?

Over the summer I happened to purchase a Nook for my birthday. This delving into the land of e-books has caused me enjoy all sorts of fantasy books. Everything from the first book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series to more recently, First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks. At first, I found the Shannara book to be wordy and the story cliche. As I have progressed, however, I have been suddenly surprised by where the story is taking me. Perhaps Brooks isn’t a Tolkien hack after all.

Syp, over @ BioBreak, posted last week on what books he is reading. I don’t know about you, but I love hearing about new books! Check it out.

.: Gaming :

When I have had time for gaming, I have been diving into The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Absolutely amazing! If I hadn’t had my nose buried in the 90’s, with a SEGA Genesis, I probably would have discovered this gem! So far, I have managed to obtain all of the pendants and the Master Sword. Until next time.

That’s it for this weeks Surf Report. Make sure to comment below and have a good week!