Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Do ebook readers disrupt sleep?

NPR reported recently on a study that shows people who read on iPads before bed sleep less and get lower quality sleep.

One More Reason To Reach For A Paper Book Before Bed

Basically, the article talks about how exposure to certain lights before bed -- i.e., the blue light in the TV -- disrupt sleep and make it harder to fall asleep and get high-quality sleep.  The article is clearly anti-ebook, and it's not until you get to the end that it gives a reluctant nod to e-readers that don't emit light.

Personally, though, I've never had a problem with my e-readers affecting my sleep, and I've used both kinds.  I also have never had an issue with eye strain from being on either the computer or an e-reader for long periods of time, and I have a very strong theory about why this is.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tracking ebook reading habits

The other day, some headlines came out that reminded us of one of the features of ebooks, at least when they are read using the ebook sellers' reading devices and apps: Kobo announced a list of which ebooks readers are more likely to finish... or not finish.

It turns out that being a bestselling book doesn't necessarily mean a lot of people are reading it.  For instance, Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch was only completed less than half of the time, and Twelve Years a Slave was only completed a whopping quarter of the time.

What ebooks do people tend to finish, though?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why we should value the classics

Next time someone questions why we should value classic literature, point them in this direction:

11 Terrific Words Coined By John Milton

Among other things, classics can trace the introduction of new words into our language.  Shakespeare has long been hailed as having introduced many new words into the written language, but in fact Milton is responsible for more words than Shakespeare:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why I give books as Christmas presents

Years ago I started a tradition: I always get books for presents for the kids I babysit for.  Even my adult friends often get books or gift cards to bookstores.  But especially with the kids I work for, most of whom have mountains of toys, iPods, iPads, and any other thing they want, I've always wanted to give them the real gift in this scenario: the value of books and reading.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Interview with Katherine Paterson

NPR ran a fascinating interview with Katherine Paterson the other day.  This is the author of Bridge to Terabithia, a book that is almost universally taught in elementary school, at least where I live.  She also wrote The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved, two other well-known books.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Are you a re-reader?

On the whole I don't reread books, mainly because there are SO many things I want to read, that I have a hard enough time already reading them all once.  But I know a lot of people, particularly a lot of the kids I take care of, who really enjoy rereading their favorite books.

I've read articles before on how that's actually not such a bad thing.  One article I saw a few years ago actually said it encourages better reading habits because you tend to have a more emotional, sensory experience when reading a book for a second (or third, or fourth...) time.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The perfect gift for book lovers

I saw these shirts thanks to a Facebook ad -- but what a fantastic gift idea for the book lovers (and English majors!) in your life!

Litographs T-shirts: Unique t-shirts created entirely from the text of your favorite books

Of course, I really want the Great Gatsby shirt, and I love the Phantom of the Opera shirt too.

Can you think of anyone who would love one of these shirts?  I can think of several people!

Friday, October 24, 2014

An Amazon rant

A couple days ago, my attention was drawn to this lovely rant about Amazon's power-grubbing business practices.  I still don't like Amazon; my list of reasons why has only grown over the years.  I still try to avoid shopping there as much as possible, and you'll never catch me owning a Kindle.  I'm not even sure I want to publish there when I self-publish my books, although many self-published authors report the majority of their business comes from Amazon, so I probably will... reluctantly.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Every Day by David Levithan

This is the first post I've written about an actual book in quite a while.  It's also one of the few books I've read this year, and the first book I read in 24 hours in a long while.  I saw David Levithan's Every Day over the summer in a booklet for parents with book recommendations for kids, and I finally checked it out from the library this past week.

I could not put it down.  I read until 2am the night I started it, even though I had to be up early.  And then I finished it the next evening, roughly 24 hours after starting it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Your responsibility as a book borrower

Barnes & Noble posted a column on Facebook today:

I Ruined a Borrowed Book, Do I Have to Replace It?

I couldn't even believe this question was being asked.  Yes, of course you have to replace it!

Friday, September 26, 2014

One last post about banned books

There's always room for one more post in honor of Banned Books Week, right?


I know the graphic doesn't fit on the page well, but if you hover over the left side of the books' spines, you can read the little box that pops up saying when and why each book was banned.  If you can't make it work, though, you can go to its original location to view the Banned Books Week infographic.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Silly reasons for banning books

There have been a number of interesting articles on banned books this week, in honor of Banned Books Week.  I didn't get to repost all of them, but I especially liked this one, compliments of Barnes & Noble:

11 Books That Were Banned for Completely Ridiculous Reasons

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014

It's that time of year again -- Banned Books Week!

This year's Banned Books Week is September 21-27.  This week always sneaks up on me every year, so as always I made a last minute decision (last night) on what I am going to read.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Are Nookbooks becoming less portable?

It's been a long time since I've blogged here, and while there have been many things to make me think "I should blog about that" -- the new Samsung Nook tablet among them -- this is what got me motivated enough to write a blog post:

B&N Removes Download Option

It used to be that when you were in your Nook library on the website, there was a button for downloading an epub file for each of the books in your library.  Apparently Barnes & Noble has decided to nix the portability that used to be part of their platform -- the fact that you could download your ebooks on your computer and sideload them onto other compatible devices (or onto your Nook's SD card, if its main memory was too full).  In other words, my major reason for liking Nook so much -- the fact that they weren't trying to tie you to one device, the way the other major players in the game (Apple, Amazon/Kindle) seem to be doing -- just went away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

If I Stay coming to the big screen!

At Maleficent yesterday, they had a preview for a movie with a story I recognized: If I Stay, a book by Gayle Forman that I read a few years ago.

Friday, June 6, 2014

YA reader -- and proud!

The big news in the world of books right now is that Slate ran an article criticizing adults for reading YA.  Here is a nice article in response, explaining why we shouldn't be shaming anyone for reading what they enjoy.

I've been dealing with something similar from the family I nanny for.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reading Rainbow revival

Today it was all over Facebook: LeVar Burton is reviving Reading Rainbow, a public broadcasting show that many of kids in my generation and later generations grew up with.  The show was canceled a few years back.  Apparently they launched an app a couple of years ago, and it's been so popular that they have decided to launch it on the Internet, too, with free access to low-income schools (the places where reading encouragement is really needed the most).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

A friend of mine was assigned The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle in his modern American literature class, and I thought it looked interesting so I decided to read it too.

I have to admit, actually, that I'm a bit contrary: My friend had read it a while back and said he hated it the first time around, and all of his classmates were complaining on their forum posts, so of course that all made me want to read it.  (It turned out my friend liked it this time around, but his classmates still did not.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

From a tablet back to an e-reader: My thoughts on reading devices

I don't think I ever posted about it when I went back to a regular e-reader last fall.  The original Nook Simple Touch was on sale -- steeply on sale, half off if I remember correctly, making it only $40 -- and I was intrigued by the thought of reading on a much smaller, lighter device than the Nook Tablet I've used for the past couple years.  The Nook Tablet isn't really that heavy, but the NST is probably half the weight, making it a very appealing option for me.

After using it without a cover for a little while, thinking to preserve one of the device's best features for me -- the small size and light weight -- I finally invested in a lightweight clip cover that is really made for the more recent versions of this device, the ones without buttons on the side.  I don't use the left-hand buttons often enough for this cover to be in the way, though, and it was by far the lightest and slimmest option.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Teen reading habits declining

When I was a teen, I generally read 5 or more books a week.  I can remember having a different book virtually every day -- and we're talking your average 350-400 page adult book.  Shorter (200-300 page YA books) I often could finish in under a day, sometimes two in a day.

I know I wasn't the norm, even then.  A lot of kids watched TV or played video games, which I didn't really do, instead of reading.  And the generations since, reading has become even less common.

Until the Harry Potter phenomenon.  That book series inspired a lot of kids to read who wouldn't have normally, I think.  But now, it appears that the number of teens reading is dropping again.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Stuffocation by James Wallman

A little while back, I was intrigued by a Nook Daily Find book: Stuffocation, by James Wallman.  Living in a small house, I frequently feel like I have too much stuff, and lately I've especially been feeling the impact of too much clutter.  So when I read the description of the book, I decided to check it out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'm back! and happy National Library Week

Today I saw a post that this week -- April 13-19, 2014 -- is National Library Week.  (I also realized that I missed Read an eBook Week, which I'm very disappointed about -- there are usually lots of great freebies and discounts during that week.)

Anyway, I've been working on blogging more frequently lately, so this seemed like a good opportunity to revive Livre du Jour, my old book of the week blog!  I know I haven't posted regularly in a very long time.  I still read a lot -- although when I get busy, as I have been this winter, I don't read as much, and I forget altogether about blogging.

But I have a new system in place now, and one of my major goals of the year is to get back into blogging regularly -- every day, in fact, on one blog or another.