February 13th, 2011

rereads on the kindle

I've read _The Black Moth_ a few times over the years. I think I first encountered Heyer when I was in college. I was at Twice Sold Tales on Capitol Hill in Seattle with friends of mine and one of them was getting a recommendation from the proprietor. I was not, at the time, a big fan of romance novels for a variety of reasons, but I decided to give Heyer a try a while later when someone else recommended her. And I was sure glad I did. I picked up a lot of her romance novels, and a few historicals, used in paper, but didn't bother with the mysteries after I tried one and was bored by it (a fairly typical reaction on my part to mysteries which therefore should not be taken as a dis-recommendation of Heyer's mystery novels).

As my paperbacks fell apart, they were replaced, sometimes new in paper, sometimes another used copy. I had favorites, that I reread often, and others that I probably only read a couple times in total. When I got to a point in my life where I was buying a lot of genre fiction new in hardcover, I only reread genre novels when I was sick, so I got out of the habit of rereading Heyer. Not dislike -- just that I remembered them all a little too well and only very occasionally reread anyway.

Last night, I engaged in a very rare burst of shopping for kindle books on the kindle, and even weirder, I bought books on the kindle that I already owned in paper. Several things contributed to this event: first, it was _possible_. More and more backlist books are available on the kindle (that is to say, books which were published long before the kindle existed, but sell consistently enough to keep in print, at least part of the time). Second, we've all been sick, thus putting me in the mood to reread old favorites. Third, I've had a really hard time getting access to an iPad or laptop while the kid's are awake. But the kindle I can get hold of. And most importantly, I was too damn lazy to go up to the third floor to retrieve the paper copies. Yeah. That sad.

And I'm really glad I did it.

_The Black Moth_, Georgette Heyer

I'm not sure why, maybe because I'd just read LaFoy's novel, but a lot of the mechanics of the plot of this novel really stuck out in my mind is just insane. In a way, it was a disappointment -- it wasn't nearly as good as it had once seemed to me. But in so many other ways, it was even more impressive than it had ever seemed before: it was published when she was _19_. I expect I'll be rereading more Heyer (I've got _Frederica_ lined up) with an eye to understanding the books in the context of Heyer's age when she wrote them; I just never paid attention before.

_Deep Waters_, Jayne Ann Krentz

This may well be the third copy of this book I've bought, or at least owned. I'm fairly certain I had a paperback at some point, and there was also a hardback from a library book sale. I was nevertheless willing to pay $7.99 for an e-copy, partly to save the trip upstairs, and partly so I can permanently get rid of any physical copy or copies still floating around without thereby losing the opportunity to reread it on a whim.

This is one of Krentz's contemporaries, and has some familiar motifs: a couple of corporate types who quit the rat race to run little shops, a murder (or two), a small town, other misfits forming a chosen family, the loner obsessive guy and the somewhat artistic anxious woman, vegetarian foodies, etc. As usual, 95% (or more) of the fun is in the banter between the romantic leads. Krentz does such a lovely job of setting up caricatures and then poking fun at them in a reasonably compassionate way.

My life is very interrupt driven (kids, particularly since B. was out sick three days this week). One of the beautiful things about interruptions when reading the kindle is I don't have to keep track of a bookmark or put the book down open or dogear a page. Very, very, very convenient. I don't know that I will ever make a concerted effort to re-buy books in e-form that I already own in paper, but buying them as I want to reread them may become a new policy.