Monday, October 19, 2009

Books and Books and Reading...

Have all been on my mind lately, for lots of different reasons:
I just joined a book club.
preparing to hunker down for the winter...lots of books on the 'to read' list in these long winter days and nights
My kids. More specifically how I went wrong, and what I can do about it.
My chosen format.

As you can see, I have a widget of two different lists of books: Books I have read, and books that I want to read. I began these widgets on library thing quite some time ago, and really just kind of did it by memory. I have slowly added to the already read list as I get through books, and if I happen to chance upon them in searches for other books. I'm in no hurry to complete this list, and in fact, doubt that 'completing it' is even a possibility, as I have been a voracious reader for most of my life, and cannot begin to make a dent in that which I have read in my lifetime. (The current list is a dismally meager assortment.) It's fun trying though :)

I am excited about the prospect of a book club; For me, reading a book is much like watching a movie; What's the point of reading if you can't talk about it afterward? I have long wanted to participate in one, and am looking forward to this new venture. Our first book was the novel Loving Frank by Nancy Horan--her first! I was glad this was a choice, because it was already on my personal list of books to read, and did not disappoint! Very disturbing from a personal perspective...I could not relate to the woman in the novel AT ALL, and found myself judging her rather harshly...but no spoilers! It was an extremely well-written book, well-researched and an easy read. Highly recommended--helped me to be near a computer to google things as they came up in the context of the story; I was introduced to several FLW buildings, and learned something of his philosophies. It definitely encouraged me to look into other books about him; I love his architectural style already, but knowing something of the man makes it all the more interesting.

I should note here, that I have become an avid e-reader, and I will tell you why, though I share the opinion of most people that I do prefer the heft of a good hard-back, I love that I have no less than 30 novels currently in my purse, along with a book light and a dictionary. All in the palm of my hand. :)
My fetish with e-reading started out a few years ago when I bought a palm OS PDA...I needed a way to plug in all my kids schedules and synch them with my computer so that I had ALL the information I had for EVERY kid...My life was getting too crazy to keep it all on a calendar at home--We were hardly ever there. :) In the course of setting up my new PDA I noticed that it had a website for downloading books, so I got one (a freebie) and have never looked back. I can change the size of the font when I can't find my glasses, I can set it to scroll so I don't even have to turn pages (Though i don't really do this much--I'm a page flipper--I go back and forth a lot.) and best of all, it's back-lit so that I don't need to have a light. My palm pilot has become my constant friend while waiting for practices, Dr. appointments, etc. I can turn it off and on--it saves my page automatically--bookmark, highlight, look up words, etc. The website has everything from classics to current best-sellers. There has only been one title which I have not been able to find, but what I have discovered is that the iTouch has applications for both kindle, which does have my favorite book in e-format, and also the application that allows me to read all the other e-books I've purchased. So...I may be saving up for an iTouch. :)

Finally--I have spent 'the day' (not the entire day, but it kinda feels like it) looking for a book for Cooper that he needs for a class project. It needs to be a book of at least 200 pages, that has been made into a movie. I decided that I was going to pick it, because I want him to not pick something stupid...It disappoints me greatly that my children are not readers, and I tend to blame myself, since I never encouraged them as much as I could to be readers. I read quite a bit to Taylor (who, not coincidentally, is my best reader) but when the other two came along, it tended to be he who read to them, so it was always short and sweet, rather than some of the longer tomes which were read to me by Grandma Punkin. I am hoping that it is more the craziness of youth that prevents them from being readers, though I am certain with Cooper that he literally does not enjoy it; his vocabulary is somewhat limited (a by-product of his stunted reading!) and it just is not his thing. So, because he needs to do well on this next section, I found a classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and I have downloaded the audiobook. (Gasp!) But I decided to balance my need to have him read with our desire that he keep up with his school work and continue to thrive in the Honors environment. So the compromise is that he will listen to the audiobook, and keep a list of vocabulary words, and we will discuss each evenings chapters with him...I'm actually looking forward to it, and I think he will find himself engrossed, and hopefully, it will light a spark in him.

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