Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Few Tidbits

I'm in the middle of The Great Santini right now. I've been a fan of Pat Conroys for quite a few years. I started Santini a couple of years ago, and then something came in from the library, so I put Santini aside. I'm finally getting back to it because I made a New Year's resolution to read at least one book each month that I already own - regardless of books that come in from the library or whatever. Actually, I made this resolution before New Years. I read a book in November (Bones to Ashes - K.Reichs), one in December (The Black Echo - M.Connelly), and now The Great Santini for January. February's slated book is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This is another book that I started and then was sidetracked by a library book. This is a great resolution for me. I'm notorious for buying books and accumulating them while I read others that I borrow from friends or the library. And I'm terrible because, while I'm willing to borrow a book from a friend, I'm rarely willing to loan one out. I'm very protective of my books!

What kind of reader am I? I like to devour my books. I make every effort to keep my books in good condition, but not at the expense of losing out on the experience. I like to make notes in my books...mark passages that stand out to me or words that I want to look up - which probably carries over from teaching. I normally mark my books with pencil, though. I don't like to "color" the pages with pens or highlighters. I always view my books as "for me." I'm not saving them for others; I don't plan to put them on display. So, I make the most of them "for me." I'm a very interactive reader, and if the writer is good, I end up taking the characters with me in my mind for weeks after I finish a book. That's one of my tests of a "good" book - did the characters get under my skin? Either good or bad...the characters that I feel indifferent to compose the books I don't care much for.

I do like to re-read books, but I don't have a lot of chances to do that. I have so many books "to read," so time for re-reading is rare. Books that I would never tire of re-reading, though: To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Lords of Discipline, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, L.A. Requiem, A Tale of Two Cities, Huckleberry Finn, Sorrow's Anthem...other's haven't been tested enough for me to know yet! ;)

I participate in a Mystery book group out of California as a "remote" member. They choose three books each month. I read as many of those books as I can each month. The group has opened my eyes to authors I was unaware of before. I love the experience of discovering a new author. And that author may have been around for years, but is simply new to me. I almost enjoy discovering authors who have been around for years more because it takes me longer to catch up to them writing, and I don' t have to wait on pins and needles for the next book.

I've added some links in the right margin that are author sites I like to frequent. Also I've put a widget from my GoodReads account so you can see what I'm currently reading. If you know of book sites that I might want to check out, always feel free to share them in the Comments section.

In closing my "Tidbits" today, I'll share with you what is on my bookmark in The Great Santini: "Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it." -- P.J. O'Rourke


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