FIR ’10 – Reading Question #8

As part of the Fall Into Reading Challenge 2010, Callapider Days has reading questions for us to answer, if we so wish, every week. The 8th question is:
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Where do you get the books you read? Are you a faithful library patron? Or maybe a bookstore junkie? Do you exchange books with friends or family members?

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My answer:
All of the above!

There’s something about owning your own books that’s very enticing. It looks nice, a bookshelf full of books, and that way you are not reporting to anyone, by having to give back the book after a certain time and what not. You can pile up your To Read list (a dangerous thing, sometimes…) and work your way through it as you go. Find a good book at the store? Don’t risk forgetting about it – get it, and put it in your pile for later. There’s also the fact that a new book, all shiny and unbroken, is very, very trilling. ๐Ÿ™‚

However, I don’t have an unlimited budget, and I’m also conscious of resources used to print all these news books. Then, there are also the books that I think look good, but I’m not sure if they are THAT good, or if I would want to actually keep them afterwards. For example, book club selections are sometimes not my cup of tea, but I always try to give them a shot, in respect for those who chose them (I would like people to give MY selection a shot), and because you never know, I might discover a gem (and I have discovered many!). But those I usually borrow. It would, also, get expensive to buy each and every one of them ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes I just browse the virtual shelves on my library’s website and select books that look good. I do enjoy borrowing books from the library. There’s something about a well-worn and loved book that many have read before you that’s just nice.

Finally, I often hose “book exchange playdates” with my various playgroups. I have a bin full of books, and the premise is that people bring a few books they don’t feel like keeping anymore, and then can leave with some “new” books to enjoy! It’s basically a regular free-play playdate, except for the fact the bin is out, and we all take turn browsing it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I host these with various playgroups I’m involved in, so books get suffled around by different groups of people; whenever they come for one of the playdates, they will find new books – not always the same ones in rotation. It’s been a huge success since I started those! And again – it’s green ๐Ÿ˜‰

Booking Through Thursday – Discussion

Do you have friends and family to share books with? Discuss them with? Does it matter to you?

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m part of a Stay-at-Home Parents book club (which is a bit of a misnomer, as some of the ladies involved are working, but have some free mornings where they can join us!), where we get together once a month to discuss a book while the kids play around us. It’s a great outing, the kids like it (we rent a room at a community center), and it provides us with some discussion time! The books are chosen randomly, first from a running list of suggestions by members, which the organizer randomly chooses from every 3 months to create a voting list. From that list, we vote for our 3 favourites, and the 3 books with the most votes become our next 3 books – those not selected are kept on the running list for future votes.

I personally love it. I love discussing books with other people, but find it hard sometimes to find others with similar interests, or who want to talk about books more deeply than “Oh yea, that latest chick lit was cool, I liked it a lot!” (nothing wrong with that, I read them too ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  But it’s not a very huge discussion, once both parties have agreed it was “cool”!) It also permits me to read books I might not have chosen myself, or even known about. I like to give each selection a fair chance, in case I like it, but also because I would like others to give my suggestions a chance if it was selected and to come to the meeting to talk about it.

This month, we’re reading “Reading Lolita in Tehran“, by Azar Nafisi. This is definitely a book I wouldn’t have chosen myself – in fact, I didn’t even vote for it in the last selection! I think the synopsis was a bit misleading, the book was much more insightful than just relating the meetings of a group of ladies. A very good read – I finished it yesterday ๐Ÿ˜‰ The meeting date is not yet scheduled, but I’m looking forward to it!!

Booking Through Thursday – Disappointment

Name a book or author that you truly wanted to love but left you disappointed. (And, of course, explain why.)

Brick Lane“, by Monica Ali, left me rather disappointed. This was the May selection for my stay-at-home parents’ book club, and it was chosen in our quarterly vote by many members because it was apparently highly rated – and the synopsis really did seem good.
(we have a running list of books suggested by members, and every 3 months the organizer uses Random.org to select a handful of books to select from, and then we are invited to vote for our 3 favourites – at the end the 3 books with the most votes are our books for the next 3 months. Those not chosen are kept on the running list. It’s a good system!)

I was disappointed in the book because I felt it unfortunately did not deliver. The action was very slow moving, if any action there was. It felt to me that nothing really happened at all through all the book. I didn’t feel like there was any character growth, even though there was a change in situation at the end – but even that wasn’t a huge break from the previous situation. It just felt more ambiguous than anything – together, but not together… (vague I know, I don’t want to give any spoilers, but if you read it, you’ll know what I mean by that ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). It was hard to connect with the characters, and I found lots of the events were not described very well or in detail, leaving you wondering what exactly happened – and that applied to some life changing events too.

However, this being said, these are simply my honest personal opinions – I should note that the great majority of the ladies in the group DID enjoy the book very much… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ah, well! I’m enjoying this month’s read a lot ๐Ÿ˜‰ (“Reading Lolita in Tehran“, by Azar Nafisi).

Booking Through Thursday – “Half”

So โ€ฆ youโ€™re halfway through a book and youโ€™re hating it. Itโ€™s boring. Itโ€™s trite. Itโ€™s badly written. But โ€ฆ youโ€™ve invested all this time to reading the first half.

What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens?

Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?

Read the whole thing. I can’t do half things ๐Ÿ˜‰ Movies, books… I always have to finish it if I’ve started – plus I always wonder: but what if it got better later on??

There’s been 1 book that I haven’t finished – it was a chick lit for a playgroup book club (don’t get me wrong – I do like some chick lit every now and then), and I couldn’t really get into it even in the first chapter – something about the style and tone turned me off. And I was on holiday in Ireland, and had also brought with me “The Rebels of Ireland” by Edward Rutherfurd, my favourite author ever, and kind of REALLY wanted to read that book, while, quite conveniently, IN situs. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to say, I don’t regret – there was something special about reading about some places while being there, I felt more connected to the book – and could identify where the characters were.

I’m currently a bit ambiguous with my current read, “Brick Lane” by Monica Ali, but I do think I will finish that one. It’s also for a playgroup book club ๐Ÿ™‚

Booking Through Thursday & New Book Club

God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of bookโ€“one genreโ€“period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business โ€ฆ you can choose, but you only get ONE.

What genre do you pick, and why?

*Whether you believe in God or not, pretend for the purposes of this discussion that He is real.

That would be a very harsh thing to do, because I’m typically all over the place in my reading..! But if I HAD to choose, and I mean really HAVE to, I would choose historical fiction, hands down.

New Book Club
I am part of a monthly Stay-at-home-Parents book club, which I love – we get together one morning a month, let the kiddies play around us while we discuss the book of the month. It’s a great outing, and I’m discovering great new books! We vote every 3 months for the next 3 selections, from a running list of books suggested by members – books on the vote list are selected randomly, so they (and we) each have equal chances of being selected.

So anyway, I’ve also just joined a new book club (I know – where do I find the time? I still don’t know – but I can say that I’m a night owl and read before bed every night…). This time it’s an online book club, hosted by SimpleMom.net. She has 4 books a year, and you can join in to all or just 1 of them, at any time. The next selection is “In Defense of Food”, by Michael Pollan, and the first online discussion, covering Part I of the book, is on May 6th, with discussions every following Thursdays until June 10th. Nutrition, and eating well and as naturally as possible, is a subject of high interest for me, so I thought it would be interesting to join in the discussion, and see what the book had to say!

Join us if you can! ๐Ÿ™‚