And She Reads Again Monday, Sep 12 2016 

I used to read all the time (a book a week) but fell out of the habit. Partly because I’m currently in the middle of the Game of Thrones book, the first book in a Song of Ice and Fire and it’s so tedious at the start.

Lately all I’ve been reading articles online (mostly health related ones). But something kicked inside of me and I started reading again!  Yes, it’s still Game of Thrones, and I’m not reading as fast as in the past, but it’s better than nothing!

This stuffed dragon is something I got to celebrate my reading again.  Why a dragon?  I love them (always have) and Dany is kind of awesome, and she’s Queen of Dragons.

29019561733_6f10102031_o.jpg

The Trouble with Time is: Monday, Feb 1 2016 

I haven’t read in ages, and I blame Game of Thrones.  Okay, so maybe part of it is that I feel like I don’t have enough time.  But I used to make time.  I used to read.  A lot.  So much so, that when I was younger my parents would worry I was depressed or something and to the point where my parents even asked my sister to find out if I was okay.  I was okay, though granted, I hated working at my parents’ restaurant when I was a teen, so I liked to read, especially fantasy novels, to forget about work.

But recently that changed.  I have been trying to read Game of Thrones, the first A Song of Ice and Fire novel, but for some reason I just can’t get through it.  My sister keeps telling me to just skip it, but I can’t just skip a book.  Though I haven’t finished a book in forever, I still follow my rules of reading.  But to be honest, I think a big reason, is that yes, it’s tedious because it’s all politics at this point, but also, I haven’t had a lot of time lately.

Since beginning my weight loss journey, I’ve been working hard on exercising, and my workouts have been taking a lot more time now than they used to.  And maybe reading so much is what encouraged my heaviness when I was younger.  I had to finish this chapter, this book, so I couldn’t possibly go and maybe walk or something.  Maybe subconsciously, I worry that I’ll fall into old habits?  Maybe now I’m reading too much into things.  Obviously I’ll continue doing both, I just need to get past this book, and I’ll be back to my old self.

Hell, it kind of happened with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and I both loved that book and didn’t exercise then.  Maybe I’ll love Game of Thrones, even though it’s just another fantasy novel, and in my opinion not as gripping as the ones I used to read when I was a teen inadvertently scaring my parents into thinking I was depressed. Hey, maybe that’s the reason I haven’t been able to get through it?  Maybe on a subconscious level I resent the fact that it is doing so well, when the books I loved as a teen did not reach my television screen?  Okay, maybe definitely now I am reading too much into things.

When your Secret Santa knows exactly what to get you Sunday, Jan 13 2013 

So, I wrote about this Personal Library Kit, not too long ago.  Well yesterday, we had our annual Secret Santa, and my Santa, Kath, having read my blog, got me this awesome list of materials.  Which I plan on using immediately.

My gift from my Secret Santa

So, my gift was a reading journal, which I can write and rate books in it, as well as an antiquated book plates collection, and a Dumbledore wand pen and bookmark!  Oh my goodness so amazing.  I can use the reading journal to write my thoughts down as I read. And obviously, I can use the bookplates for my collection of books in case of sharing.  I’m super excited!

And the Dumbledore wand pen and bookmark?  Already used 😀  Love that I have an elder wand.  I can’t wait to start putting the bookplates on my books! I’m going to start with my leatherbounds (the set of B&N ones I got for Christmas one year).

*sigh* I love books.

The one where I learn I can’t do everything. Tuesday, Dec 18 2012 

Who would’ve thought that reading 52 books in a year was ambitious? Apparently everyone in The Twelve group. I sure thought it could be done. Especially since I had been reading a new book every four or five days. But apparently the six weddings I went to this year (a grouping of events called Weddingocalypse) drained me. At least, that’s where I’ve decided to place the blame.

Weddingocalypse had more than one casualty, none a living being mind you. One of these casualties was my new good habit of reading. Totally went out the door. Just flew the coop, pulled a disappearing act, and any other departure related cliches you can think of.  I was really hoping I would actually do it right and get it done.  But I think, well no, I know I overextended myself.  And so that just did not happen.  It’s so embarrassing that I barely even got halfway through (though I think I might get to the halfway point by the end of the year).  Or maybe it’s my commitment issues (“Hi, I’m Ms. IstartsprojectsIneverfinish.  Nice to meet you”).

Otherwise, if I’m feeling lazy, which I most likely will, I’ll give myself the goal of reading 10 unread books off my shelf.  Or maybe 5 unread books and 5 from the NY Times 100 must read list.  And if I can’t complete that, then I’ll know that I really have issues.

Damaged goods Tuesday, Jul 17 2012 

I can’t tell you how much I hate damaged books.  It drives me nuts.  Have you ever seen this video?

They mention highlighting and dog earing books in it, and it totally pains me.  Now, I know you probably think I’m nuts.  Because books don’t have feelings (or do they? okay they don’t), but it totally pains me to think of these poor little books without their poor pages being perfect.

Does this mean that I absolutely keep my books in pristine condition?  No, of course not.  I can’t help it that sometimes my books get creased, or they get bent etc.  I mean you need to look at my copy of The Scarlet Letter (okay, well it isn’t one I bought, but rather swapped on swap.com).  No, please look at it.

my damaged copy of The Scarlet Letter

The front cover is coming off!  And it drives me nuts.  Because while I know that normal wear and tear is common, I feel like that is abnormal wear and tear.  And that kind of wear and tear saddens me.  Again, I’m nuts I know, because they can’t feel (can they? no no no, stop being silly).  And of course I shouldn’t feel sad, because well, let’s see, a) they’re books, and b) I’m not doing it on purpose, and c) they don’t have feelings (I won’t even go there, again).

And as long as I’m not doing it on purpose, it’s okay, right?  Right.  Sure, I’ll keep telling myself that, and yes I’m only a little neurotic.  And it upsets me so much when I accidentally hurt one of my babies books that it boggles me when someone would willingly vandalize one of theirs with a dog ear or highlight.  I know there might (I don’t know for sure, hence the term might) be theory that dog earring or highlighting a book gives it character.  No, that doesn’t.  Regular use does, okay.  But manhandling a book by mistreating its pages is blasphemy to me.  Strong words I know, but I like them.

To be honest, do whatever you want to do to your books, but don’t you dare touch mine.  And again, this is why I rarely ever lend mine out.  Man, I’m so greedy.  Maybe I will get the personal library kit, ‘cause I don’t want to be known as greedy.

Grown ups can have reading lists too Wednesday, Jun 6 2012 

Last year my awesome friend started a Facebook reading group, called the Annual Grown Up Summer Reading Program.  Its cause is to encourage grown ups to read, similar to the reading lists of our childhood.  Suggestions for books to add to the list are made, and a final list posted.  A prize is given to the person who reads the most on the list.

I personally think this is a spectacular idea.  I partook last year, but only read a few of the books.  I do have many of my own books to read, so it makes it difficult.  I could always add other books onto the suggestions, and that way, I could kill two birds with one stone.

The group is open, so anyone can join, provided they have a facebook account.  And if you like reading and discussing, or if you want to start reading more, than you should really join.  And you should especially join if you just need an idea on a good book to read.  Because, really?  The more the merrier.

The 12 in 12 (for 2012) Wednesday, Apr 4 2012 

New Years resolutions suck.   Which is why I’ve decided to not partake in that nonsense this year.  Instead, a few of my friends and I will be doing what has been called “The Twelve.”  The concept is simple.  Instead of doing things you think you should do, you decide to do something you want to do.  And of course, they have to be positive things (no “I plan to punch someone 12 times”), and they have to be quantifiable (nothing like go to the gym more).  Well before you ask what this has to do with a reading blog, one of my twelve is reading 52 books this year.

For some people this may seem a lot, especially when taking into consideration I have 11 other things to do on this list.  And yet for others, this is something so easy peasy, I have nothing to worry about.  I’m in the latter group to be honest, because it really comes down to a book a week, and some books (like The Hunger Games) can be read in a day.  The only problem is, is that though the 12 is supposed to be for the full year, my final list wasn’t completely written out until February (and I didn’t actually start a book until mid-March, naughty me).  But, good news, is that not only am I a fast reader, but I started off with The Hunger Games, so though I’ve only started my reading in the past two or three weeks, I’ve got seven books completed (go me!).

What it comes down to is making sure I read about 100 pages a day.  Most of which has to be done at night, which means that I can’t do my normal goofing off on facebook (gasp!), which may actually be a good thing, because most of my facebook time is spent liking things my friends post, or checking for new posts.  Thrilling.  But now, I spend my time actually reading!  The only thing I fear is that with all this reading, I won’t have time for the other things on my list.  But I think I’ll just have to find a day or two to take a break from reading to focus on the other items on my list.  In any case, I’m really excited about completing this item on my list, and it will definitely take a chunk out of my unread books on goodreads.com.

A challenge to uphold Thursday, Apr 21 2011 

It seems rather unreal to me that I have taken 10 English courses and 14 Literature courses in the span of my college career and have only read 30 out of the 100 books on the best books list. Yes, you heard correctly, just 30. I discovered this fact not too long ago when completing an internet meme, and this realization more than kind of disappointed me. What disappointed me the most of this realization is that many of the books on the list had been on many a course syllabus of mine, but I‘d never found myself reading them.

So it kind of dawned on me that since I have this blog, I could attempt to complete the entire list by a soon-to-be determined date, and use this as a little side experiment that I could discuss on the blog. The only problem now is, that I cannot decide how I want to go forth with this mission, this quest, this crusade. Okay, crusade is a bit much. Did I ever tell you that I exaggerate a little… okay, a lot?

Before I digress, too much, one of the few things I need to decide now is how I want to proceed with achieving this goal. I have an inkling, but I am one of these indecisive creatures, who only takes the initiative when need be. Most likely I will use it, not to fuel the blog, but as something for the interim. Also, the question is which Top 100 list shall I use? The one that the meme was about does not officially exist (BBC did have a top 100 list, but it was in 2003 and did not include half the books on the meme’s list), then there is the Guardian’s list, and the official BBC list, and Time magazine’s list, as well as Modern Library’s. Once I decide which book list is closest to what I need, I should be all set. Once I solve that quibble, I should be all set.

The other question that remains is: shall I read every single book regardless of whether I’ve read them or not, or simply read the books I have yet to read. I believe the latter option is most feasible, but, does going that route make me a cheater? At times, I think so, and other times I think not. To be honest, my opinion on this varies with whichever moral standing I decide to place myself that day (be it Chaotic Good or Lawful Evil, etc.). I guess it comes down to whether I want to take the ‘easy’ road or not.

That being the case, I will most likely only be reading the books I have yet to read, even though as I type this, I can’t help but think, ‘but won’t it be a better feat to complete ALL the books?’ And that yet-to-be-decided pre-determined date? I’ve been realistically considering the time constraints of this. If I read a book per week, and we keep in mind that a portion of the list is comprised of sets, and so really let’s adjust that 100 to 150 books (since the complete works of Shakespeare is in there somewhere), which means then I can get it done in approximately 150 weeks, or put simply, 3 years? Provided, of course, that armageddon does not hit in 2012.

All of this now sounds like a daunting task to try and complete all the books. But, you know? I feel up to the challenge.

The real never-ending story Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 

Everyone has read that book that was so awful they just could not put themselves to finish it. A book so dull, that reading it, just takes all life out of you. For some, the answer is easy: toss the thing into a rubbish bin, and be done with it. Then there are others, who could never damage a book, but yet you can and do, send it to the salvation army. And yet there are those who cannot even bring themselves to do that. For those people, their solution is most difficult. They do actually have to go and struggle with the book, and finish it. And that task alone is daunting.

I am one of those many, who when picking up a book and dislike it, i have to see it through to the end. I can’t stop it midstream, neither can I pick up a new (never before read) book to read at the same time. One book, one session.

For a long time, I thought this inability to finish a book was solely due to dull books. And then I met the exception to the rule.

Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell is an amazing book, and was a great read (my review will come in a different post). I was fully invested into the characters, and I still wish for a sequel, because there are many questions I want answered. Truth be told, all the books I love, end that way for me.

But for some reason, this book took me nearly a year to read. A year. I could actually say two, because I had started it, then stopped, then restarted it. In this time, I didn’t read one new (never before read) book to quench my thirst for reading. For someone who used to read several books a month, this was a new experience to me.

But a little over a month ago, I did finally finish it. What spurred me? What got me through? What took me so long in the first place? At this moment, I am not entirely sure, to be honest. For the latter question, I am honestly baffled. The book was large, but no larger or not much larger than any of the later Harry Potter books. And I could finish those in a day. Was it the language? No, because I’ve finished Dickens as quickly as any other book. And like I said before, I loved the characters. I was busy, but no busier than before. Maybe the Raven King himself had put a spell on me? My truest guess was it had nothing to do with the book. And that I could just have been in a book reading funk.

On the first two questions, as I mull them over, I think what helped is that I decided to ignore my previously mentioned quirk of not being able to read more than one book at once. It was around the time of the Harry Potter movie, and I decided I wanted to reread the book to get myself ready for it. And so I put Strange and Norrell aside and read Half Blood Prince. That helped me the most. The reason being was that it even took me a while to read Half Blood Prince. And that shocked me so much, it made me realize it had absolutely nothing to do with the book.

What also helped me is that I just decided to stop thinking of it as an infeasible task. At that point, I had been thinking I may never be able to finish it. But I decided to stop thinking of it that way. I looked at my book shelf and the two rows of books I had to still read, and that also helped.

Since finishing Strange and Norrell, about three months ago, I’ve read six books (three of which were Jane Austen). Suffice it to say, I think the spell has broken.