31.1.05

Notable Quotes

Before you criticize your Brother, walk a mile in his moccasins. If he gets angry, he will be a mile away and barefoot.

24.1.05

Notable Quotes

"Yet, my praise for libraries will be a little more optimistic. I belong to the people who still believe that printed books have a future and that all fears a propos of their disappearance are only the last example of other fears, or of milleniaristic terrors about the end of something, the world included."

20.1.05

On reading

A while ago, OGIC posted about "demonstrative reading", and yesterday she posted a follow-up. It all ties into the whole question of the Reading Child vs. the Child Reading, doesn't it?

Reading Children (or Teens or Adults) don't usually think about being "demonstrative" in their reading - they're too busy getting on with the actual joy of the words and the book. At least, that's what I was doing. The idea that someone would be watching what I read, or impressed by it, never crossed my mind. It also never crossed my mind that others might be reading differently than I (I knew people read slower, or that some very strange people didn't like to read but different didn't occur to me).

When I take the subway, I see people reading. Until I read these posts, I assumed they were reading because it gave them pleasure. Now I wonder.

17.1.05

LOL! Metrosexuals, bling-bling and embedded journalists banned

This floated through one of my discussion lists today: the 2004 Banished Words List. And, you know? I wouldn't miss one of them.

11.1.05

Notable Quotes

Of course, you could level the same charge of myopia against a project that seemed pure lunacy until it became a huge hit: "The Passion of the Christ." ... If you're not a believer, Mr. Gibson is not trying to convince you. He doesn't explain his hero's importance any more than Mr. Stone or Mr. Spacey does, but then his hero was a lot better known to begin with.

9.1.05

What Child Were You?

The Inter-Galactic Playground has an interesting post about the "Reading Child" vs. the "Child Reader".
The Child Reader is all children who are being "encouraged" to read. These children read artificially in that they read because they are given books. They may do so willingly (and move themselves into my other category) or they may read only the books they are given and never read a book independently after the age of ten. It is these readers who critics discuss when they see children as something different in the market, a group for whom books will be chosen by adults.

Then there is the Reading Child. You know who this child is. If you are reading this blog you probably were one. You were the child who went from non-reader to reader almost over night (this often happens young but I know of one person for whom it happened at the age of ten). You don't remember the stage where you halted over words, because you were too busy falling over the next one. Francis Spufford writes of this brilliantly in The Child that Books Built and incidentally suggests that checking children understand what they read may destroy the pleasure in the act of reading--that reading is not about content but about form.
While I've posted some of my thoughts on that blog, the more I thought about this, the more I wanted to add things.

For example, what about the rush to technology? Is plopping children in front of the computer and encouraging them to blog or play "educational" games going to hinder the developing Reading Child? What about using tv as a babysitter? What about all the learning disabled? How do we work with them so that they don't' become discouraged, when so many have the potential to be Reading Children? And what do we do with all those "potentials" who are in non-reading households? How do we encourage them to buck the surrounding norm and find joy in the pages of "treeware"?

UPDATE: More on this conversation at Over the Sea.

4.1.05

My phrase for the day

I'm suffering from "PTRW (Post Traumatic Return to Work) syndrome". Sounds about right. Two weeks off is both too long and not long enough.

3.1.05

Thoughts about 2004

I've looked over my list of books read in 2004. This summary is a variant of Jessamyn's. The thing is, I don't catalog them monthly, I do it quarterly. So by the time I get around to the actual cataloging, I don't remember when I read it. Still, it's an interesting look at my reading this century. One thing that struck me was that I thought I was reading more than I am. This requires work!

number of books cataloged in 2004: 124
number of books cataloged in 2003: 69
number of books cataloged in 2002: 123
number of books cataloged in 2001: 76
number of books cataloged in 2000: 99

For 2004:
average read per month: 10.33
adult fiction as percentage of total: 14
children's/YA fiction as percentage of total: 35
mystery as percentage of total: 23
non-fiction as percentage of total: 13

Luckily, very few fall into the "dislike" column - most are in the "good" to "very good" range. A few - maybe 5 - (no names, but you can e-mail and ask) are ones I'd like to request my time back for having read. That's pretty good odds, isn't it?

Then there's Stephanie. She writes about her pile of books to be read (what I fondly refer to as "Mt. Bookpile"). My problem isn't a pile or two, it's a 6' bookcase! However, there's a lot to be said for narrowing it down to a few piles. Which is, in fact, one of my goals for 2005. Of course, that will mean less purchasing of books and I'm not sure I can do that. On the other hand, I could just read more rather than spending time watching tv.

I'll keep you posted.

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Mildly eclectic... only a few clunkers.




TitleAuthorPublisherISBN

A Kiss of Shadows
Hamilton, Laurell K.Ballantine Books0345423399Details
Allies of the NightShan, DarrenLittle Brown and Company0316155705Details
Always the BridesmaidWebb, SarahAvon Trade0060571667Details
The Amulet of Samarkand Stroud, JonathanMiramax Books078681859XDetails
Book of EnchantmentsWrede, Patricia Jane Yolen Books0152012559Details
Calling on DragonsWrede, Patricia Magic Carpet Books0152046925Details
Dealing with DragonsWrede, PatriciaMagic Carpet Books015204566XDetails
Dragon RiderFunke, CorneliaChicken House0439456959Details
Dragon's KinMcCaffrey, Anne; McCaffrey, Todd;Del Rey0345461983Details
The EightNeville, KatherineBallantine Books0345419081Details
Good Morning, MidnightHill, ReginaldHarperCollins Publishers0060528079Details
The Grim GrottoSnicket, Lemony HarperCollins Publishers0064410145Details
How to Read Literature Like a ProfessorFoster, Thomas C.Perennial006000942XDetails
The Inklings HandbookDuriez, Colin; Porter, DavidChalice Press082721622XDetails
Jonathan Strange & Mr. NorrellClarke, SusannaBloomsbury Publishing PLC1582344167Details
Killers of the Dawn Shan, DarrenJane Yolen Books0007137818Details
Killing BonoMcCormick, NeilMTV Books0743482484Details
Leaping BeautyMaguire, GregoryHarperCollins Publishers0060564172Details
Lord of the ShadowsShan, DarrenJane Yolen Books000715920XDetails
Malice DownstreamThomas, GrahamBallantine Books0739430505Details
Mirror MirrorMaguire, GregoryJane Yolen Books006039384XDetails
Mountain SoloIngold, JeanetteHarcourt Inc.0152026703Details
Parts UnknownBrennan, KevinWilliam Morrow & Company0060012765Details
The Prophecy of the StonesBujor, Flavia; Coverdale, LindaMiramax Books0786818352Details
Searching for DragonsWrede, Patricia ; Marino, Krista Magic Carpet Books0152045651Details
Snow White and the Seven SamuraiHolt, TomOrbit1857239881Details
Sons of Destiny Shan, DarrenJane Yolen Books0007159218Details
The Stone DiariesShields, CarolViking Books0670853097Details
Talking to DragonsWrede, Patricia Magic Carpet Books0152046917Details
The Templars' Secret IslandHaagensen, Erling; Lincoln, HenryOrion Publishing1841881902Details
The Lake of SoulsShan, DarrenJane Yolen Books0007159196Details
The Stupidest AngelMoore, ChristopherWilliam Morrow & Company0060590254Details
The Unending MysteryMcCullough, David WPantheon Books0375423060Details
The Truth Behind a Series of Unfortunate EventsGresh, Lois H. Griffin031232703XDetails
Winter's TaleHelprin, Mark Thomson Learning0156001942Details
The Year of Secret AssignmentsMoriarty, JaclynArthur A. Levine Books0439498813Details

1/3/2005 8:20:17 PM

Notable Quotes

History buffs have a mania for applying "Age of" labels to epochs gone by: the Age of Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, the Age of Aquarius. When historians look back on the current age, what label will they choose? Some psychologists are already suggesting that the Age of Anxiety would be an appropriate moniker. (They're also suggesting Century of Stress, proving, if nothing else, that the joys of alliteration are not lost on the psychology profession).

Word Spy, Paul McFedries