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.