Monday, June 30, 2014

Fun with Kindle Comments

Due to a weird nerve pinch thing that affected my neck, left shoulder, and all along my back, I was laid up an entire workday last week. Of course this--and the fact that my being left-handed meant I couldn't use my dominant hand for anything whilst being laid up--meant I had to sit in a recliner reading all day. What else was I to do, aside from complete three books (two of them from start to finish)?


Because of this misfortune I actually cleared my reading pile. You'll notice I didn't capitalize that "reading pile," because my official To Be Read Pile is not some piffling three books tall. Ever heard of the Eiffel Tower? California Redwood Trees?  Mount Everest? Good, then not only have you received a well-rounded education, but you're also getting closer to imagining how high my TBRP measures.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Taking Sides

Reading all the good books is like a conversation
with the finest people of past centuries. 
~ Rene Descartes

It may seem strange to a person who is more extroverted and less of a bibliophile, but I often feel as if an author is a personal acquaintance of mine, and that reading their works is like carrying on a conversation with them. The author may be dead, or even if they’re alive they may not live in the same country or speak the same language. There is a great unlikelihood* that I will ever have an actual face-to-face conversation.**

This very feeling of closeness, even kinship, with an author, is part of what prompts me to want to read so much. When you are friends with someone, you want to talk to them as much as possible, and if reading is a conversation, then you want to read as much as possible for the same reasons. 

A real complication arises from this, though: when you’re having a conversation with a real person, it goes without saying that sometimes this conversation becomes an argument. And if this argument takes place between you and a book—or even worse, between two books—it’s a bit hard to know how to react.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's leave this Untitled for Reasons that Will Soon be Made Clear

Lately I’ve been thinking about titles. To me, books are like their own compact, self-contained worlds. Opening a cover to its first page is like opening a door and seeing the first steps into that world. But what makes you open a book in the first place? We all know “never judge a book by its cover,” and most people who read books know that this isn’t entirely accurate. I have indeed picked up a book just by merit of its gilded letters or some graphics or even the soft feel of its spine against my fingers.

But covers change. Almost every time a book is reprinted the jacket art is different, the font is altered, even the blurb on its back or inside the dust jacket is rewritten. The thing that stays the same—aside from the actual text, and even that is subject to revision, annotation, or abridgment—is the title. 

The title then is the constant that often causes readers—myself included—to pick up a book. After all, most books are stored with other books, not facing out in full glory of their graphic design, but only a sliver of spine showing. Those gilt letters may draw the eye, but it’s what those letters spell out that often clinch the deal.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Little Sister Takeover!

<PROLOGUE: Due to work, family visits and the ever-important Statewide Quilt Shop Hop, I was at a loss as to when and what I would write for this week's blog.  Therefore I am introducing my guest blogger and little "seester," who has often voiced a desire to try her pen at blogging and is ALMOST as much a bibliophile as myself.>

Having a remorseless reader as a big sister is good for when you’re bored—she’ll throw a book right at you and if you’re not concussed at least you’ll have something to do. It’s also good when you are attempting explain a plot point to one of your friends about a piece of literature—I can easily go into “Eng. Lit. Sis’s Lil. Sis Mode” and break down The Three Musketeers into one paragraph, or talk at length about how Victor Frankenstein is really bad at making life decisions.

But having a remorseless reader as a big sister is not so great when she gives you a book to read where the eldest child is the hero and their pesky little sibling hinders their quest/life in some way and if I dare complain about this trend in literature my big sis will brush her nails and chide me on how hard it was to grow up with me!

I understand that literature is filled with annoying little sisters from Lydia Bennett to Amy March to Deryn Sharp! In comparison with Lydia Bennett—I’m a saint. But not all books have pesky little sisters! [Some cut out the little sister entirely and opt for making the protagonist an only child.] In fact there are quite a few awesome little sisters that show how lucky older sibling are. Which is why I decided to make a list.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Groundhog Day

A while back some coworkers of mine were having a deep and involved discussion of the Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day. For those who aren't aware of the movie's main plot, it's about a cynical and mean-spirited TV news reporter who gets stuck repeating the same day over and over (Groundhog Day) and only can continue with his life once he's become a nicer person and "done the day right." This being a Bill Murray movie he also gets away with a lot of pranks and things before he reforms, and because only he remembers the previous days no one else can hold him responsible for those actions beyond the 24-hour "time bubble."