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Posts tagged Reading

Do You Write in Your Books?
December 17, 2014 | 4:25 pm

write in your booksOur friends at Book Riot have another cool 'Reading Life' feature up this week. Johann Thorsson writes about his new year's 'resolution' to write in his books, as a way to engage in his reading more 'actively.' From the article: "You see, my books are usually still in pristine condition after reading. I bend the spine as little as I can while reading, and I get dizzy just thinking about marking books, even with a pencil. But the idea of reading more actively has been swimming around in the back of my head recently, of somehow immersing myself more in the...

Morning Links: What makes a “good reader?” DRM screws blind people.
December 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

drmWhat Does it Mean to be a 'Good' Reader? (Dear Author) Last weekend delivered a hat trick of essays on critical reading, two on KJ Charles’s m/m novel Think of England, and one on Deborah Fletcher Mello’s The Sweetest Thing, in which Liz McCausland also addresses the intertwined issues of “good writing” and “good reading.” *** Instead of Killing Comments, We Should be Trying to Fix Them (GigaOM) Every month or so, it seems, a media outlet decides to get rid of their comments. The latest is The Week, which follows Reuters and Re/code, both of whom shut down their comments recently. *** DRM...

Should Reading Be a Tool for Leisure, or a Tool for Personal Growth?
December 15, 2014 | 7:25 pm

readingWhen I first added this Book Riot article to the Morning Links last week, I only gave it a cursory read. The core premise seemed interesting:  writer Jeremy Anderberg proposed a reading goal for 2015, to read 'less'---he wanted to spend his time on other hobbies too, and felt he was too constrained by making reading his default leisure activity. But in the rest of the article, Anderberg goes deeper, and I found his premise grow more debatable. Yes, I too have found my interest increasingly occupied by other activities, and I too relate to his desire to spend his time...

What device are you reading on?
December 15, 2014 | 2:25 pm

kindle deviceOur friends at Book Riot have been on fire in the last week or so, posting a ton of great stuff. One of my favourite posts of the week was this participation-required roundup called 'What Are You Reading On?' At the time I myself took the poll, 49% of respondents had listed an e-ink Kindle amongst their stable of devices, which surprised me. I was anticipating that more people than not would have abandoned their Kindles for the world of the tablet. So...why haven't they? Why are e-ink devices still holding their share in the marketplace? I think that for many serious...

Alain de Botton tells what literature is for
November 30, 2014 | 6:25 pm

Alain de Botton and his school of savants The School of Life "devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture" (a MENSA equivalent of the University of Life, I guess), has shared with us a fun animation that answers the question "What exactly is literature good for?" And it produces four concise answers: It saves you time; it makes you nicer; it's a cure for loneliness; it prepares you for failure. For the first, the rationale runs: "Literature is the greatest reality simulator — a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you can ever directly witness." And, it...

More on ‘finishing every book you read’
November 14, 2014 | 12:25 pm

bookI wrote yesterday on an article that has been making the blog rounds, about the value (or not) of finishing every book you read. I fell into the 'life is too short' camp; I have no guilt at all abandoning a book that isn't working for me. Many times, I will 'respect art,' as the article suggests, by devoting that time to another book. But I do have other hobbies to spend time on, and people I care about who need me. I just can't spend the time on a book which is a slog. I was delighted to see some...

Must you finish every book you’re reading?
November 13, 2014 | 10:25 am

reading on a tabletI caught this provocative essay during my vacation and wasn't able to respond to it,  but since the fine folks at Book Riot are still talking it  I figure I am fair game to weigh in, even a few days late. The question: must you finish every book you're reading? The arguments Juliet Lapidos presents in the 'yes' camp are briefly, that finishing every book you read teaches you fortitude, persistence and respect. How can I rebut against that? With three words: life is too short. That's it. That's my answer. Life is too short to read bad books. On the 'fortitude...

Reassurance from Franz Kafka: Reading will not turn you into a giant cockroach
November 10, 2014 | 6:25 pm

KafkaFranz Kafka's famous and frightful novelette Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) has spawned almost as many interpretations as any cockroach, but one angle that most of them agree on is that the protagonist Gregor Samsa, very closely identified with Kafka himself, is being judged or somehow weighed and found wanting, through his transformation into a giant insectoid specimen of vermin, and that the fault or sin he has been condemned for is some sort of failure to live or to fully measure up to what it means to be human. And one of the failings often cited is Kafka's own experience of...

Readers being ‘spread too thin?’
October 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

readersHere's one I almost missed, from the fine, and prolific, folks at Book Riot. Josh Corman wrote last week about a topic I increasingly find myself relating to these days---the reader who is 'spread too thin.' We have differing definitions on what this means, I think. Corman explains his readerly anxieties thusly: "The problems isn’t that I haven’t had time to read or that I’ve let myself get wrapped up in other hobbies, work, distractions, etc. The issue is that I have so many quality choices and so much access to books that I’m paralyzed, unable to zero in on one...

Mintel research shows ebooks encourage reading
October 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

eBooks should be more expensiveA just-published research study from Mintel, the London-headquartered consumer market research organization, demonstrates that ebooks are driving up reading levels in the UK. "One in four (26%) consumers who have bought an e-book in the past year say that they read more than they used to because e-books cost less than paperbacks, rising to as many as four in ten (38%) 16-24 year old-book owners," states the Mintel preamble. Cost seems to be one of the key grounds, as "over a third (36%) of UK book buyers buy both e-books and print books and 42% of these say that they...

Morning Links: Nobel Prize a disservice to readers? Judges want to make it harder on patent trolls
October 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

patent trollsDoes the Nobel Prize do a Disservice to Readers? (Book Riot) To sum up so far, the Nobel potentially divides readers along the lines of literary merit and general worldliness. *** Judges Want To Make Life Harder On Patent Trolls: Want Them To Actually Have To Explain What Infringement Happened (Techdirt) A key part of the patent reform proposal that everyone thought was going to happen earlier this year was to change those rules to require the patent holder to have to actually explain where the infringement occurred. *** Amazon's Might Divides Opinion at World's Biggest Book Fair (The Economic Times) "We fear unfair competition on prices...

Russell Brand to give Reading Agency lecture
October 14, 2014 | 10:25 am

The ever-more-serious UK comedian Russell Brand will deliver this year's Reading Agency lecture, "'a manifesto on reading" and the third lecture since the inception of the series in 2012, as well as the first one to be open to ticket-holding members of the public. "The Reading Agency lecture is a fundraising event, proceeds from which support the charities' core mission, to get and keep the nation reading," as The Reading Agency's materials declare. Previous speakers in the series were Jeanette Winterson and Neil Gaiman, who gave a highly praised talk also on the importance of reading. Brand couched the theme of...