The Center for Fiction has a lovely series called “The Book That Made Me a Reader.” It features acclaimed authors sharing their gateway books—the ones that inspired them to become readers. I love discovering what books moved authors as children and trying to find connections between that work and their work.
As for me, I can rattle off long lists of my childhood favorites, books I read and re-read so many times that their plots are more familiar to me than the events of my own life. But when it comes to the title of the first book that turned me into a reader, I find myself at a loss. I cannot remember the name of the book. What I remember is the moment reading became fluent for me, when the lines and squiggles lined up neatly on the page coalesced and bloomed into meaning, scenes, ideas. Continue reading “Do you remember the book that made you a reader?”
Last month, I worried a mild reading slump had me in its clutches. Holding on by its fingertips, but still. It’s not a desirable state. Even a “mild” cold inconveniences. Continue reading “Making time for reading in the age of distraction”
My journey to embrace audiobooks has been a rousing success so far this year. Granted, we’re not quite three months in, but I’m hopeful.
I’ve been thinking about the degree to which this may be a case of necessity being the mother of invention: My committed desire to really, really find an audiobook I could stick with created the favorable conditions for that to happen. Continue reading “Do some books make better listens than reads?”
Earlier this week, I wrote about a big book that I doubt I will ever read cover to cover, in the process arguing, essentially, so what? Since I don’t want to give the impressive that I believe it’s always okay to abandon or only partially read big books, today, I want to argue for reading them all the way through. Continue reading “What I learned from reading a big book”
Barnes and Noble made an alarming announcement on Tuesday: They’re closing all versions of their online Nook bookstore in the UK, according to the BBC. This news comes on the heels of a February report that e-book sales have fallen for all five of the UK’s largest publishers. Continue reading “Ode to my Barnes and Noble Nook GlowLight Plus”
My February reading roundup included almost as many DNF titles as it did completed ones. Typically, DNF implies a book and reader failed to connect on some level. Conventional wisdom says if we love a book, we read it from beginning to end, possibly without putting it down. Not finishing a book must mean something went wrong along the way. Continue reading “Reading Interrupted: BFD to the DNF”
Children’s literature holds a prominent place on my reading list. Seven of the 16 books I’ve read this year are classified children’s or young adult novels. That tally will increase when I finish my current read, Alison Uttley’s charming A Traveller in Time.
I’ve been thinking about what draws me to children’s literature because of a Guardian article I read, loved, and shared widely last year that came back into my life recently through Facebook memories. It was written by SF Said and is called “Children’s books are never just for children.” I agree! Obviously. Continue reading “Why read children’s literature?”
For some book lovers, a list of major no-nos would go something like this:
- Do not dog-ear a book’s pages.
- Do not dribble coffee/tea/wine on your book.
- Ditto foodstuffs.
- Do not break a book’s spine.
- Do not allow the dust jacket to be torn or otherwise defiled.
- Do not deface the margins by scrawling your (likely inferior) thoughts.
- Ditto underlining and highlighting.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: If you’re borrowing a book your generous friend (or library) has lent you, doing any of the above is rude. Yes, sometimes it’s fun to eat potato chips while reading, but not while reading someone else’s book.
Outside the context of a borrowed book, though, are these really so bad? I’m discomfited by the suggestion, for several reasons. Continue reading “Book lovers’ 7 deadly sins … or not?”
Do spoilers ruin a reading experience or just change it? Does knowing what’s coming in a story put one off reading it?
Thinking about these questions reminds me of something one of my favorite professors once said. It was during a Jane Austen seminar, and we were discussing Austen’s endings. “Reading a Jane Austen novel is like listening to a Mozart sonata,” he said. “You know where it’s going. The fun is in getting there.” His obvious point was that knowing the outcome doesn’t spoil the experience of reading her.
On that note, let’s begin with… Continue reading “Do spoilers really spoil a reading experience?”