The overwhelming theme of my week is “overbooked.”  I am overbooked in almost every possible way right now and not in a good way, like “I’ve been asked out by so many gorgeous guys, I can’t find enough days in the week to accommodate them.”  And not, “I have so many book signings and appearances on talk shows like Ellen and The View and the requests keep coming faster than I can book my first class flights.”  Those kinds of overbookings, I would cherish! 

Work – My day job is so busy right now that I had to have a meeting with my boss regarding my backlog and how long it would take me to get to it.  I am confident enough to state publicly that anyone who has ever worked with me in my trademark paralegal capacity knows that I am always on top of things.  I work very efficiently and am consistently one step ahead.  Lately, however, assignments have been coming at me faster than I can get to them.  The attorneys with whom I work usually do not require things on an urgent basis and so I have been trying to deal with stuff on a priority basis but even stuff that is not “time-sensitive” cannot sit unfinished indefinitely. A little backlog is actually a good thing because on slow days, I always have something to do.  I cannot remember my last “slow day.”  Currently, I have emails that I reviewed, determined as low priority and marked as “un-read” to be dealt with at a later date crowding my email inbox and causing that annoying “Your mailbox is almost full” warning.  We also assumed responsibility for a new client a few months ago and I have twenty boxes of files to go through and this is on top of my long list of deadlines and work that is generated from clients and attorneys on a daily basis.  I’m doing the best I can, but there were a few times over the past week when I wanted to run to the bathroom and cry. I haven’t done that since I was in my early twenties and a newbie at juggling so many assignments at a time.   My workload is officially “overbooked.”

Plans – I’m a social person and I love to make plans with my friends for evenings and weekends.  At the same time, I require a certain amount of downtime and don’t like to go out every single night.  I couldn’t afford to anyway.  Most importantly, I’m a writer if I’m ever going to make a dent in my fourth novel, continue to promote A State of Jane and Just Friends with Benefits and work on launch plans for Blogger Girl, I need to make the time when I am not working as a trademark paralegal.  Because of this, I often book my plans in advance.  At this time, I can’t really afford to be spontaneous since for the next three weeks, I already have plans booked for several times a week. In that same vain, my friends and I are suckers for all of those deals offered by such vendors as Amazon Local, Blackboard Eats, Thrillest, Bloomspot etc.  I currently have three unused deals that will expire in the next couple of months, along with several more that my friends purchased.  I’m not complaining about having a fun life, don’t get me wrong.  But damn, it’s exhausting sometimes and I wish some of my friends weren’t so cool – it would be so much easier to ditch them if they were lame!  (On a somewhat related note, to those friends who I owe emails, Jenny, Elke, I mean you, I’m sorry!  I’ll get to it.  At some point.)  My social life is seriously overbooked and I just don’t have enough time for all of those gorgeous guys who are asking me out on dates.

Books – I remember when I bought one, maybe two, books at a time and was able to read them immediately.  Those days are long gone!  I have so many friends who are talented authors and I want to support them by buying, reading and reviewing their books.  I’m not friends with Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, Helen Fielding or Lauren Weisberger but I can’t resist buying their books when they come out.  And then there are the sales.  As if $2.99 wasn’t cheap enough, I subscribe to both Book Bub and Ereader News Daily and barely a day goes by when I am not compelled to purchase a discounted book.  I mean, when a book that sounds good is only 99 cents or even free, how can I not buy it?  I have 49 unread books on my Kindle.  49 books!!  How does that happen?  I think I might need an intervention.  So, yeah, my TBR pile is so overbooked, it might bury me!

What about you?  Are you overbooked like me?  Feel free to share.  Unless you are overbooked with dates with gorgeous men.  That, you can keep to yourself! Show off… 

Kindle – first impressions

My dear friend Alan bought me a Kindle for my birthday.  My birthday was in December and, so far, the only book I’ve downloaded is Just Friends With Benefits.  (Don’t roll your eyes and make like you wouldn’t download your book first too!)  Of course, I haven’t read JFWB on the Kindle because, at this point, I’d rather stick toothpicks in my eyes than read that book again.  Seriously.  I’ve read it so many times, I can act out all the parts in a one woman show.

Anyway, since I went to town (twice) at the Border’s ‘going out of business sale’ and purchased quite a few print books, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out my Kindle.  Until now.  The book-club I organize has chosen Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger for the April meeting.  Although I really enjoyed Weisberger’s Everyone Worth Knowing, the back cover blurb for Chasing Harry Winston has never particularly appealed to me.  Although I could be mistaken, the three main characters seem like the type of women who wear only expensive designer labels, gather only in the most “seen and be seen’ types of places, date only rich and/or famous men and are just kinda snobby and I prefer reading about women to whom I can relate.  Aside from a few ‘cliquey’ years in college, I don’t think anyone has ever described me as snobby and since I try not to associate with snobby people, I had no desire to spend my money on a book to read about them.  Not to mention that I am running out of room in my apartment to fit all of these books.  (Yes, I know that’s what the library is for, but I’m sort of addicted to buying books.  I do have a library card and have actually used it (once) but I like to know that the book I want to read is available to me when I want to read it and I don’t have to wait for three strangers on the waiting list ahead of me to read and return it first.)

At last, the opportunity to use my Kindle had finally presented itself and I downloaded Chasing Harry Winston on Sunday night.  Correction – I paid for Chasing Harry Winston on Sunday night.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown when I clicked “Buy now with one click” on the Amazon page and received a confirmation receipt in my email account but no book appeared on my Kindle.  I tried to ‘sync and check for items’ but my Wi-fi password was rejected.  When I plugged the Kindle into my computer instead to avoid the necessity of a Wi-fi connection, I received an error message that I could not download and read books on my Kindle while the device was plugged into my computer.  So, I unplugged the Kindle and tried, once again, to do it wirelessly and once again my password was rejected.  Fast forward a half hour and I’m ready to throw my Kindle across my apartment. I dropped the f-bomb multiple times, sent frustrated text messages to my sister and Alan and finally, after succumbing to Tylenol PM, went to bed.  I used my firm’s Wi-fi password the next morning, the book was finally synced to the device and all was right in the world.  (I know I will likely suffer the same frustrations the next time I try to download a book from my apartment but hopefully I’ll have restocked my Tylenol PM by then, assuming I can’t get my hands on anything stronger (jk).)

Although JFWB was published by an e-publisher and, therefore, I should be all ‘Rah-Rah”, “Goooo E-books!”, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to like reading on my Kindle.  I like the feel of a book in my hands and the ability to physically turn the pages and watch my progress.  I also like the ease with which I can go backwards if I find myself confused.  Oh, let’s be honest: I’m just not that comfortable with change and I am simply accustomed to reading books in print.   

With that said, I started reading Chasing Harry Winston on my Kindle yesterday and am currently 20% completed.  I rather dig it!  It is definitely less bulky than a regular book.  I also like that I can only see one page at a time.  I’ve always liked writing on my Blackberry because the screen is so small that the task of filling it with words seems much less daunting than filling up a full-sized computer screen.  The same can be said with reading on a Kindle.  With each page I read, I feel like I am accomplishing something and I never felt that way when reading a regular book.  Finally, I tend to read ahead and, as a result, I have removed the surprise and suspense from the ending of many books.  You can’t simply flip through the pages in a Kindle book without completely losing your place (or at least I haven’t figured out how yet) and so I might actually be surprised by the ending for a change!   

In sum:  my first impression of reading on a Kindle is a positive one.  And my first impression of Chasing Harry Winston is pretty positive as well! 

What about you?  Are you Team Kindle, Team print book or a little bit of both like me?