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Reading

Books you know you’re never going to read
July 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

booksOur friends at Book Riot have another fun booklist up today---Susie Rodarme writes about the 12 books she knows she's never going to read. From the article: "Obviously, if I don’t think I’m going to like a book, I won’t put it on my TBR; sometimes, though, there are books that are super-popular and thought very highly of and that look really good that I will unfortunately never get around to reading. And sometimes? Even though the books and I match on paper (heh), I just don’t want to read them, for reasons. Maybe irrational reasons. Probably irrational reasons." She thing goes...

Balanced Bibliophilocy: a new paradigm for reading
July 14, 2014 | 4:25 pm

e-booksOur friends at The Passive Voice linked to another of those tedious 'smell of paper' screeds the other day. You know the kind of article I mean: she bought a Kindle (for work! It's totally defensible!) but got seduced but the feature set and the convenience aspect, and the free public domain books and the one-clickiness of it all, and now she feels guilty. She is single-handedly killing the bookstores of the world, her ability to focus has gone out the window, her cat doesn't love her anymore and so on... And I got annoyed. And then I got bemused that...

Kids vs Paper Books: Two Stories
July 4, 2014 | 12:25 pm

paper booksI have written about kids’ books more than once for this blog, and my feeling has always been that eBooks are fine for grown-ups like me, where how it looks doesn't really matter. But for kids, I still think that how it looks does matter. And while I have seen my share of them muck around with reading apps on the iPad, I think that there is still something special about bonding with a tiny child over a printed, paper book. And two book-ish encounters this past week have inspired me to start building up my paper library again, with...

2014 Reading Challenge: June
July 2, 2014 | 10:25 am

reading challengeWe are officially halfway through the year---and my challenge! Time for a reassessment of my goals. What is working for me? What is not? Are there any goals I need to modify so that I can make the most of of the rest of the year? Let's take these one by one... Goal 1: Read 100 Books I am way behind on this---about 20 books behind! I had assumed I would make it up over the summer, when I am working less, but making up 20 books is a bit of a daunting task. I am going to let this one stand...

iOS vs Android reading habits via Oyster
July 1, 2014 | 12:25 pm

ios vs androidOyster has published an infographic on their blog showing iOS vs Android reading habits. There are a few interesting observations. Android readers are fans of J.R.R. Tolkein while iOS readers favor C.S. Lewis. iOS readers are often reading at noon and midnight while 8:00 PM seems to be the favored time for Android. iOS users read slower than Android, and for shorter periods of time. Check out the rest of the infographic and feel free to make your own observations in the comments.  ...

Three very different booklists to start your summer reading with
June 26, 2014 | 6:25 pm

summer readingIt seems that someone has unofficially declared today 'booklist day' because trhee very different booklist posts crossed my RSS feed this morning. Happy reading to you, whichever list you prefer! 1) Amazon's Top 10 Books of the Year So Far For the more traditional types, GalleyCat has this eclectic yet somewhat predictable list, led off with a John Updike biography, then covering all the genre bases with a literary novel, short story collection, historical fiction, an account of the Edward Snowden affair and some genre YA. 2) Six Indie Titles About Baseball For a more specific genre focus, IndieReader has this round-up of six...

Are books substitutable?
June 24, 2014 | 2:25 pm

booksKaetrin at Dear Author poses an interesting question: are books substitutable? She discusses the example of a patron searching for a book to read at the library. Absent a special circumstance (such as a new release by a favourite author) would one do as well as any other? Kaetrin's conclusion---which I agree with, but for different reasons than she does, is yes. While she does ascribe a higher value to books she truly loves, she doesn't know that such books will have that value until she's read them already. So, at the browsing stage, they really are all truly equal to...

High school reading 2.0
June 23, 2014 | 4:25 pm

reading on a tabletI've been sitting on this fabulous post from Book Riot for a few days because I wasn't sure I was smart enough to respond to it. The several contributors, all Book Riot regulars, pose an intriguing question: what contemporary books would you add to the high school reading curriculum to round out the classics-laden choices being taught already? As a book-lover---and a teacher---I have struggled at times with the question of what the high school English curriculum should do. I was horrified when my then-16-year-old brother told me his class had foregone the original Shakespeare in favour of a graphic novel...

Only 17% of parents say reading is a top priority this summer
June 20, 2014 | 10:25 am

man reading on grassFrom GalleyCat comes this depressing survey, from a group called Reading is Fundamental, and Macy's. They surveyed 1,000 parents and found that only 17% of them feel that reading is a top priority this summer. I am not sure what to make of it. The sample size is pretty small for this one, and the survey does also point out that parents who do make reading a priority are more likely to have kids who read. But it stuck in my mind because I had read only yesterday a thought-provoking question on Ask Metafilter that struck close to home on this...

I tried to read through Tim Parks’s article on attention deficit and literature, but …
June 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

yawning-puppy-275... my attention wandered when I realized how sententious, hidebound, and just plain unconvincing his argument was. So I went on Facebook instead. And one I'd heard before. Parks's "Reading: The Struggle" in his regular New York Review of Books blog complains of "the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction" in tones very familiar from here, here, here, here, and here. (Wow, some of them are over five years old - amazing people had the attention spans to keep coming back to this tired...

Should I read these books?
June 9, 2014 | 12:25 pm

readAs part of my spend-less-money year, I have been trying to go through my backlog of unread books and prune a little more vigorously. I want to be able to buy new books guilt-free---when I want to read them. And that means I have to have time to read them by not having 500 unread buys sitting in my library, taunting me. So I have been clearing out the Kindle freebies, considering carefully which free classics I truly will read, deleting off the library wishlist and archiving some past buys I know I'll never get to (the defunct Fictionwise was...

C.S. Lewis: Reading children’s literature is anything but ‘childish’
June 7, 2014 | 3:24 pm

So, someone else has come out with the whole stupid “you shouldn’t read young adult books because they’re beneath you” argument. Earlier this year, we saw that kind of thing with Lynn Shepherd blowing off J.K. Rowling’s children’s books and declaring Rowling should stop writing to leave some success for everyone else. The latest idiocy to come down the pike is Ruth Graham in Slate, telling people “Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.” She claims children’s fiction is too simplistic and maudlin, and only stuff written for adults...