Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: books

More Conversation about How You Choose What You Read . . .


The first post in this discussion was on August 10th… Choosing a book to read

And, here’s the single comment on that last post that lets this conversation continue:

“Unlike most people my reading is completely random. I use the local mobile library and I pick up books with an interesting cover and read the blurb. Then I look inside to see the size of the font and get an idea of the style. If I like the look of it, I take it home.

“The only books I buy are ones that I have seen recommended somewhere, or those written by fellow self published authors. However I am beginning to switch from novels to biographies so may not be looking out for King or Koontz as I have done for years.

“If I really enjoy a book I put a review on Goodreads or my wordpress blog.”

I happen to know that individual is not particularly young and is an author in the United Kingdom.

And, while I could offer a number of speculations about their reading from the comment, I’m mostly concerned with encouraging more of you to do the same as that brave woman—tell us “How You Choose What You Read“…

Also, to possibly elicit your responses, I should let you know that I don’t feel like we can have a good conversation without at least a few more comments…

So

I’ll repeat the questions I asked in the first post:

What are the ways you’ve chosen particular books…?

Amazon’s also-bought widget…?

A bookstore clerk’s tip…?

A Goodreads review…?

A book your Grandma gave you…?

A book your child loves…?

A book you found lying under a massive oak tree in the meadows of ancient England…?

It feels to me that sharing the way you choose books to read could well be the Easiest task to perform in a blog post’s comments section :-)

And, all it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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Blog Conversation about How You Choose What You Read . . .


Choosing what to read Our last conversation—What Age Brings to Writing—stopped on August 8th because there were no comments…

So, I’ll start another conversation by remembering a short discussion from June 25th that had a list of 30 reasons to choose what to read…

Reasons to choose; yet, there are, just beyond the reasons, the actual books you choose…

How do you do that—choose a book to read?

Do you have a lot of reasons or ways you choose which book is next?

I used to take an intuitive stroll within range of some books; then, pick one with no clearly conscious reason—usually, I liked the book…

After I’d read a bunch of books and acquired a few favorite writers, I tended to read more of those writers…

Hardly ever have reviews led me to read a book…

Even others’ suggestions have rarely convinced me; unless it was a very good friend’s idea…

Lately, I’ve been reading only books by my favorite fiction author, C. J. Cherryh—I’m exercising my mind for a Poetic Odyssey…

The etymology of odyssey is “long, adventurous journey”; so, I’m reading my favorite fiction to prepare to write a long poem that recounts my personal adventurous journey :-)

Well…

What are the ways you’ve chosen particular books…?

Amazon’s also-bought widget…?

A bookstore clerk’s tip…?

A Goodreads review…?

A book your Grandma gave you…?

A book your child loves…?

A book you found lying under a massive oak tree in the meadows of ancient England…?

All it takes is one comment to keep this conversation going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Still More Conversation about Libraries . . .


This conversation began on July 9th and continued on July 11th and July 13th

Village Library

~ Village Library in Greece ~

It began with me remembering a few of my library escapades and interests, continued through four readers’ experiences in libraries, then on through a focus on a particular “library-charity-shop” in the UK…

Now come the reader comments that enable this continuation of the discussion…

Concerning my trying to locate a particular place in the UK, an author from Australia said:

“Well, I loved looking up the link to The Corner House and reading about the Oxfordshire community and I wished I lived in a small town in that community with a local library. Even if it was only in a novel—I wanted to live in: East Hagbourne, Toot and Marsh Baldon, or Long Wittenham. Thinking about libraries took me to these places in my imagination :-) “

How delightful to have a search in a small UK community for the resting place of donated books propel a woman in Australia into imaginative visits to libraries in other small communities in the English countryside :-)

And then, the author from the UK, who facilitated the search for the donated books, said:

“I’m glad you liked the link to Oxfordshire, but to get back to your initial discussion. In Worthing the mobile library brings books to a street ten minutes walk from our house so I don’t have to get the bus downtown. The main library is full of computers but has plenty of talks and events going on as well as a large children’s section. Each week I select four novels at random, unless I have read a recommendation.
“Certain authors always delight, Stephen King for one, and I try to mix thrillers and sagas. I get put off if I see a pretty woman in period costume on the cover. I try to keep a record of all books read on Goodreads; but, I have been known to pick up one a second time, just because I found the cover attractive.
“I donate copies of my own books to the local library after about three months, just to find readers; but, the latest one isn’t in there yet.”

So…

An author in Australia has imaginative visits to local libraries in the UK, while an author in the UK describes her library access and reading routine…

Have you imagined visits to libraries in another country…?

Have you made a visit to a certain library in another country…?

Do you want to visit any particular libraries…?

Do you use bookmobiles (mobile libraries)…?

Does your local library supply most of your reading…?

What’s your relationship to your local library…?

Can you tell I’m trying to encourage you to share a comment about libraries…? :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Yet More Conversation about Libraries . . .


Charlbury Library street As tens of thousands of citizens flood the streets of London, I recall part of a comment from a UK author in our July 9th post in this discussion about libraries:

“We have just come back from Charlbury in Oxfordshire where I took some of my books to what I thought was an independent bookshop.
“When I got there I found it was a room where local people brought books and bought another copy for 50p – rather like a charity shop. In fact, it was a charity, for the upkeep of the building. Not strictly a library but almost the same.”

I worked to find that charity “library”; but, ran into a quandary and couldn’t say much about it in the post on July 11th

However, our UK author came through and resolved the quandary, by saying:

“The [‘library’] in Charlbury has closed but if you look up ‘The Corner House’ you’ll find where all the books went.”

So, while almost stepping into a different quandary checking Google maps, I, at least, found the street the former Charlbury “library” was on—our image for this post—a twee area, which looks like it might also embrace “The Corner House”…

So, the quaint little British mystery “library” has been accounted for… :-)

If we could only account for all those lovely British folk protesting a man who seems to have worked hard to earn those protests…

So…

Since it takes at least one comment on any given post in one of our Blog Conversation series to have the discussion continue, here are some possible things to comment about:

  • Your first library memory…
  • Your first major book discovery in a library…
  • Your first kiss in a library…
  • Your most memorable visit to a library…
  • Your reason for feeling like libraries should be supported and maintained…
  • How many books, and an indication of the types of books, in your personal home or digital library…
  • Any ol’ thing you can urge yourself to share about libraries :-)

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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

More Conversation about Libraries . . .


Sandusky Ohio Library Our current conversation began this past Monday, with A Blog Conversation about Libraries . . .

To kick off the conversation, I said:

“I’m going to be rather desultory with this beginning of our discussion—bounce around a bit—rather like being in a library—So much to do…”

And, we had four comments—one from Australia, one from the UK, and two from the USA…

Here’s Jane, from Australia:

“I did love the local library that was in the basement of the town hall near my school. It seemed to have all the books I liked and I had completely forgotten about it until I read this post. I also loved my father’s Volkswagen which had a strange compartment behind the back seat, lined with carpet, into which passengers could throw their paraphernalia. I threw almost all of my favourite books into this sweet spot, so I could read through my collection in the morning on the way to school. Until one day my father said: ‘A book or two is fine in the back but an occasional cull may work well, you know. This is not a travelling library’…then, he smiled because he knew it was…”

I love the early focus here, the local basement library, the library in her father’s Volkswagen, reading on the way to school…

I truly wish my memory were that good—the best I could do (in the first post of this conversation) was the city’s main library I shelved books in when I was 18Though, I’m sure I was in some library before that—at least at school…

It would be interesting to have an ethical hypnotist take me back to my earliest libraries—hang out for a bit, see what books I took out…

Now, Julie, from the United Kingdom:

“We have just come back from Charlbury in Oxfordshire where I took some of my books, to what I thought was an independent bookshop.
“When I got there I found it was a room where local people brought books and bought another copy for 50p—rather like a charity shop. In fact, it was a charity, for the upkeep of the building. Not strictly a library but almost the same. I had to donate, rather than sell.
“The library I use is a mobile library that is only nearby for one morning a week. I get out four novels and have usually read three by the next week!
“I have always used libraries and rarely buy books.”

I tried to find Julie’s charity-shop-library—best I could do was the link up there for Charlbury; plus, on that site, a Gallery that shows the atmosphere of this small English town…

And, speaking of small town libraries, that image up at the beginning of this post is my hometown library in Sandusky, Ohio

Now, Ali, from the USA:

Adventures at my local library:

*seeing the dog for Paws to Read walk herself…
*searching for books from Ursula K. Le Guin and Andre Norton in both the adult and children’s section—doesn’t matter if they’re in the same series or not…
*discovering the library has more than books—music, ways to learn other languages, tv, free wifi access…
*finding lots of old Victorian books printed in the original individual hardback volumes as books used to be printed then…
*learning the library has some ebooks, but not everything I want to read and wondering why…

Speaking of library ebooks; and, referencing a news article from 2014 (plus, considering the pace of institutional change probably not having resolved these issues...):

“Publishers put restrictions not just on which ebooks libraries can offer, but how they can offer them. Some publishers only allow for an ebook to be borrowed 26 times before the library has to purchase the license again. Others opt for the license to expire after a year. And still others instead charge libraries significantly more than they do consumers for ebooks.”

Then, there’s the situation of libraries using self-published ebooks

Finally, this wonderful comment from Tea, also in the USA:

“Well, my first memories of books were of my mothers old encyclopedia collection. I used to tear through the thin pages, resisting the urge to color inside. But my early memories of the library began with the book mobile—the local children’s mobile book service. Inside that huge old colorful bus was a fantasy world where my imagination could run free. Later, as a young adult walking around town, every day I would visit the local University’s library. The long hot days and walks in the southern sun were exhausting. As soon as the automatic doors opened, out rushed the cold air conditioning. Of course, the smell of books was the first thing to jar my senses. The days of my younger years ended in that small library on campus. Later, as an adult, the public libraries became more of a necessity for my lifestyle. There, I could find media resources too, not only books. Also, there was a local popular cafe I frequented. Here people would sit and talk for hours and read. Nowadays, it seems like the laptop has replaced that physical book you held in your hand.”

I happen to know Tea…

I’d never seen anything she’d written. And, though she’s an accomplished artist, apparently, the creative impulse easily crosses over from canvas to the realm of words…

I wonder how many folks reading this post might be willing to share their memories of the library (“…the smell of books was the first thing to jar my senses…”)

Or, how many of you might comment about imperfections of libraries—or, your home libraries—or, street libraries—or, specialized libraries—or, personal digital libraries—or, prison libraries—or, possibly, famous libraries…

All it takes is one comment to let this conversation continue on Friday………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message