Paperback or Hardcover?

I love to read, no, really, I do even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. Now granted I will concede that in the past few years I haven’t had the time I used to have to devote to reading but regardless I still love it. Now as far as what I prefer to read, that changes depending on my mood, I mean I have my favorite genres of course but as far as what I feel like reading that is dependent on my mood for sure. Now more often than not I’m usually reading either Science Fiction or Fantasy, but there’s also been a Biography or two that I’ve enjoyed, Horror, and of course Humor books as well (I’m a sucker for the Bathroom Readers), but no matter what I’m reading I always prefer reading a physical book. I know, a lot of people say print is dead and whatnot in favor of the digital age but nothing, to me, beats holding an actual book in my hands, taking in the scent of a new book almost like a new car smell, and just opening it up to get lost in a new adventure.

After thinking about this, I must admit that I’m curious for those who may be reading who feel a desire to share, but what is your preferred format for reading (if you read that is). Is your preference that of a good old-fashioned physical book and if it is, hardcover or paperback? How about audiobooks? Or what about kindle, or rather digital books? For me personally it’s hardcover books, I love them, everything about them to be honest. I love the weight of a hardcover book, and while the dust jacket is usually hit or miss for me as far as design goes but it’s what’s under it that I really love. To be completely honest, while I would never actually destroy or get rid of a dusk jacket on a hardcover book, I would much rather my shelves just show the books as they are, name on the spine and in all their simple, colorful, glory.

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A personal favorite of mine.

Obviously, the biggest downside is the price, a hardcover book is generally anywhere between $10 to $20 more than their paperback counterparts (at least in my experience) and while that’s the biggest downside to me there are obviously other issues that present themselves for various other reasons. For instance, usually hardcovers are of course bigger and take up more space, I believe I mentioned that they are also heavier which for me isn’t a huge deal but for some I can understand it being an issue especially since on cheaper shelving they can warp those a bit. Even the dust jackets themselves have their own problems since they can get caught if you aren’t careful and rip then there is the issue of buying them from a bookstore (yes they still exist) and depending on which one you have to deal with price tags that can ruin the dust jackets as well.

Now just because hardcovers are my favorite, I of course have a large collection of paperbacks as well for various reasons, price is obviously one of them followed closely by space, but still, it’s a physical book and I’ll take it any day of the week. Now to be fair though, I only own I think two digital books through Kindle and one audio book which I haven’t listened to yet and I am by no means knocking either. Kindle and other e-readers offer an entire library at your fingertips and on the go which is amazing  without question and audio books as well offer the same advantage as well as allowing you to listen to it as your own personal story time and I can certainly respect both mediums and quite honestly I would love to experience them more but right now, in my own case, time seems to be my biggest limitation.

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A stack of lovelies before they sadly had to be stored temporarily

I know, I’ve droned on a lot about how I like to read so I’ll stop there but I will end with mentioning a couple of my favorite books of all time (because I know you’re looking for recommendations after all). For starters, while one of my favorite authors is R.A.Salvatore because of the various Drizzt books, my favorite book (or rather books) of his fall under the Cleric Quintet, an epic story crossing five books about a cleric on a mission to essentially save the world which just happens to fall into the Forgotten Realms. Next, and another favorite author, is Christie Golden and while I have not read a lot of her books, my hardcover of Arthas ranks as one of my top three books ever and the only reason I don’t read it more is not so much time but the fact that I don’t want to ruin my signed copy of it and am waiting for when I have the extra money to get it in another format and quite honestly the book was so good I don’t even care what format that is. Finally, The Fall of Reach, out of all the Halo books this one was my favorite because it was more than just about the Master Chief but about the Spartan program itself. Yes, it still focused on the chief, but it offered so much more backstory which really fleshed out the Halo setting to. Written by Eric Nylund I honestly couldn’t put it down and I’m fairly certain, if I remember correctly, I finished it the day I got it.

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While I didn’t mention it here, this one was a bit of a sleeper favorite. It surprised me with how much I loved it.

Okay one more, mostly because I love talking about the books I’ve read, but the Resident Evil series by S.D.Perry, these novelizations of the games were out of this world and I loved them. I loved them so much that the first one, the Umbrella Conspiracy, is actually falling apart as the pages are falling away from the spine from reading them so often. I take care of my books I promise, I don’t throw them around and I’m careful when I read them but still…sooner or later a book just starts to deteriorate. Honestly the Resident Evil books are high on my list to replace with new copies but again, monies is usually the reason I haven’t yet.

So, let’s see, I covered genres I love, the medium I prefer to read, and some of my favorite books and authors did I miss anything? Probably. Regardless I want to hear from you as well, favorite books, favorite medium, favorite genre…lay it on me cause I wanna know!

~Fallyn Aingeal~

Story Time: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)

Well…not my memoir, who’d wanna read that? No, this particular memoir was written by one Felicia Day (I’m sure at least a couple of you have heard of her). Star and creator of “The Guild” as well as “Geek and Sundry” she has managed to become an icon of geekdom in more ways than one but the biggest part of her appeal is the fact that she is who she is without trying to be something (or someone) she isn’t or at least that’s why I’ve always had a great deal of respect for her. I realize that from a review standpoint (and I use the word review very loosely as we all know I have absolutely no grounds for reviewing anything) this is a little late…or a lot late, but I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and never had the money to actually buy it recently. Okay granted I found it in a bookstore that basically buys books that are damaged in some way and marks them down a bit, but I bought it damn it!

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My copy, fortunately the only real damage is the dust jacket is slightly bent at the bottom.

It’s actually been a long while since I’ve read anything if I’m being completely honest but like I said, I really wanted to read this and once I had it I could barely put it down (I mean I did still have to go to work and sleep and stuff…stupid sleep) and it reminded me of just how much I love to read. Also, I should probably mention this is the first book I’ve read that wasn’t Sci-Fi or Fantasy so there is that. I mean biographies, memories, autobiographies, really non-fiction in general really isn’t my cup of tea so the fact I wanted to read it at all is kind of impressive on its own.

Alright I’ve gotten away from the actual book, coming back around now. Obviously for a memoir it’s going to be short, she’s still young and has a lot of life left to live but as a telling of her life so far and how she got to where she is, it’s a wonderful…if emotional at times, adventure. Telling of her upbringing as a homeschooled child along with her brother (well, what would equate to homeschooling) and finding herself in the online and gaming communities as she grew up, every anecdote and story is a joy to read. A lot of her humor is shoved in there but I will admit there were times I felt sorry for some of the stuff she had to go through, being an outcast at times, the rough go at becoming an actress, and I won’t lie I never realized just how hard it was for “The Guild” to happen even to the point of essentially breaking her and wanting to give up.

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Also, I love seeing books without their dust jackets, I like the way they look…and I can totally feel you judging me as I type this (shame on you).

For me I related to it a lot, my friends know me as outgoing and funny I know, but inside I’m always fighting a battle, wondering if people are judging me, feeling terrible about the things I like and hoping people like the same things and it’s usually why I try not to be outgoing so that I don’t have to worry about it. In that regard I always found refuge in games and books, at least there I never had to worry about judgments though I will say that regardless of my love of gaming I’ve always stayed away from forums and online communities for the same reason I stay away from people in general. Honestly it wasn’t until I decided to stream as a way to tackle these issues that I became more involved with both Twitch and Twitter so yay there. I know, I drifted again…I do that, sorry, it happens…stop judging!

Once I finished, I’ll admit I wanted to start reading it almost right away but I had a biography of George Lucas I wanted to start as well (sorry Felicia), but once I was done there was at least one very important lesson to be taken from the pages. For anyone who deals with a little nagging voice in their head, that isn’t always so little, the hardest part is pushing through your own negativity to continue especially when it comes to creative endeavors (but not exclusive to it) but if nothing else that’s the one thing that you have to do especially when it isn’t easy. There just comes a time when you have to say “screw this shit” and move on, to fight for your dreams even when you yourself say it can’t be done and if nothing else I know I personally have drawn a bit of inspiration from that very mindset.

While her memoir may (or may not) have been intended to be inspirational I know I for one felt inspired to continue with my own projects, my comic, my writing, streaming, things that I’m passionate about. Should you read this? How should I know! I mean I don’t normally like reading about other people’s lives, but I would definitely consider myself a fan and I loved it from beginning to end and while some of my friends wouldn’t get much of the gaming references included I would still recommend it time and again and whenever possible.

~Fallyn Aingeal~

Story Time: Resident Evil Edition

I love reading, there, I said it. Seriously though, the smell of a new book and fresh pages, the feel and weight of it in my hands as I sit back and flip page after page, even the texture of the pages, everything about the aspect of reading is a magical experience and I treasure it whenever I get the time to sit and enjoy a good book. Sadly, I don’t have the time like I used to so settling down with a real and tangible book has taken a backseat to a lot of things but I want to take a moment to share my thoughts on one of my favorite book series and that being the Resident Evil series (no not the novelizations of the movies *shudder*)

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Original cover art for the first novel.

Originally released beginning in 1998 there were seven books covering five games and two original stories and all of them written by S.D. Perry and quite frankly I doubt I can accurately describe how much I love these books, so much so that more than one of them is falling apart no matter how much care I take in reading them. Now the five novels that represent the games are as follows, and in order of publication and not so much story order;

The Umbrella Conspiracy

City of the Dead

Nemesis

Code Veronica

Zero Hour

And the two books that stand on their own;

Caliban Cove

Underworld

Where to even begin really, without question my favorite of the series would be both Umbrella Conspiracy and Zero Hour as they both cover two of my favorite games in the series. Umbrella Conspiracy takes you along with Bravo team as they first enter the infamous Spencer Mansion but it does much more than just follow along with the game it adds more depth to the characters and shows the deeper struggle they go through as they fight for their lives. Zero Hour takes place during the time of Resident Evil Zero, one of my personal favorite games out of the entire series and just like all the others it brings a new level of depth to the characters and the story itself.

Now obviously since they are technically adaptations of the games it’s not a scene for scene description, some of the puzzles are omitted while different ones are introduced but all of it retains the feel of their respective games. Another thing to note is that while each novel is based on the games they aren’t canon to the games directly but are canon within their own universe (if that makes sense, and I can’t vouch 100% on that claim just what I had found with some digging). Regardless, canon or not, the game-based novels are amazing reads that really make you feel each member of Alpha and Bravo teams struggle.

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The updated cover art for the first novel.

Now on the flip side there are the two novels that are completely independent in every way and, I must admit, I loved them much more than I thought I would. Both carry along familiar faces but add new ones as well on top of adding new levels of terror along with a deeper understanding of exactly how disturbed of a company Umbrella is. I honestly can not push these books enough and I encourage any fan of Resident Evil to take a look for themselves.

~Fallyn Aingeal~