Sunday, December 23, 2007

Making time for reading

I often wonder how one could NOT spend time reading. Finding time to read has never really been a problem at my house! But I have found that as I've grown older, other (unimportant) things can easily suck time away. So I found this article at Mental Multivitamin helpful.

A couple additions to the list:

Prioritize your reading. It's easy to think that just because you're reading, it's a good thing. But are you reading the BEST things? I need to ask myself this question often. If my reading time doesn't constantly include Bible study, then something needs to change.

Use waiting time to read. If you're downloading a big file, don't just stare at your computer screen. Grab a book.

What has helped you "find time" to read?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New comments setting

Blogger now allows comments from Open ID users. I don't know exactly what this is; all I know is that if you have an account with Wordpress, AOL, Technorati or others, you'll be able to sign in with that ID when commenting on my blog. So, I hope it's a good thing! More information here.

Jerome K. Jerome on work

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me; the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.
You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me; my study is so full of it now, that there is hardly an inch of room for any more. I shall have to throw out a wing soon.
And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by me now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isn't a finger-mark on it. I take a great pride in my work; I take it down now and then and dust it. No man keeps his work in a better state of preservation than I do.
But, though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask for more than my proper share.
But I get it without asking for it-at least, so it appears to me-and this worries me.
George says he does not think I need trouble myself on the subject. He thinks it is only my over-scrupulous nature that makes me fear I am having more than my due; and that, as a matter of face, I don't have half as much as I ought. But I expect he only says this to comfort me.
--Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Elizabeth Yates on bestseller lists

"Sometimes I wish those lists had never been invented. They put a stamp of mass approval on some titles and keep people away from other books that are equally good and often far better."

Elizabeth Yates, Beloved Bondage

Saturday, December 08, 2007

List #2 Word Challenge

These are some of my dad's favorite words. Can you put them all into one sentence? (it's OK to vary the forms if you need to)

Something like: The niggardly neo-platonist committed a nefarious travesty which caused the hoi polloi to fall into conniptions...

Surely someone can do better than that?

Hoi polloi

Friday, December 07, 2007

List #1 Childhood Read-Aloud Favorites

My parents gave me a great gift as I was growing up: they read to me. Not just once in a while, but every day. When I was little, I never knew what excitement was in store for me when Daddy walked in the door. He was always bringing home books--books from the library, books to keep. My dad has wonderful comic ability that lends itself well to voice characterization. And he's a great hand at improvisation--stories are never the same when he reads them! Mostly, we read to ourselves now, but every once in a while he will take up an old favorite and bring back some good memories.

I've been trying to remember which books I liked to hear the most as a young girl. I thought it would be a small list, but I keep remembering ones that just MUST be added. So think of this as just a small cross-section of the books that started me off on my literary adventures...

Honey Rabbit
by Margo Hopkins

One of my first board books. "What is spring?"

Cowboy Dan

Daddy didn't read this--he sang it. "I'm a rootin', tootin' cowboy, and my name is Cowboy Dan. I can ride a horse and rope a steer as fast as any man..."

Ten Apples Up on Top
by Theo Le Sieg (Dr. Seuss)

The pictures still make me laugh.

The Bear's Picnic
by Stan and Jan Berenstein

Sometimes I think of this book, when we're on a long road trip and trying to decide when and where to stop for lunch. ;)

All of Beatrix Potter's animal stories

Hop on Pop

My favorite page: "Night, Fight: We fight all night!" And of course, that wonderful run-together list of words at the last. I still try to read them as fast as possible.

Fox in Socks

OK. I have to confess. This wasn't a childhood favorite. I just read it for the first time last year. But it should have been! This has some of the best tongue twisters ever!

The Little Fur Family
by Margaret Wise Brown

This was my little brother Tim's favorite book when he was a toddler. A sweet story.

The Plant Sitter
by Gene Zion

I just have to laugh at the dad's dream sequence!

Laurie and the Yellow Curtains
by Sara Asheron

I honestly don't know why I liked this. Maybe it was the colours in the pictures. My mom says it's because all little girls want a house of their own to play in.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

A classic.

Stop that Ball! by Mike McClintock

"I hit my ball. I made it fly.
I hit my ball as it went by.
It went around and then came back.
I gave my ball another WHACK!"

Most of these books I still find a pleasure to read. And that is as it should be, for as C.S. Lewis wrote, "a children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last." --Of Other Worlds

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Listless? Not for long!

I love making lists. I'm not exactly a scatterbrain, but I do find it hard to focus until I take pencil and paper in hand! My writing notebook is full of lists, including the ubiquitous "to do" as well as a wide variety of book-related ones. (of course!) Lists are a way for me to record past progress, as well as to outline goals for the future. They are a way for me to set priorities and organize my thoughts.

I wonder if it's true that “Lists are the most necessary literary accessories of all." (Umberto Eco--HT to George Grant) I do know that they are a lot of fun. I'm not the only one to be fascinated with lists: there was a recent book published devoted to the topic.

Over the next few days, I'll share some of my own lists. I intend to focus on those related to books, in keeping with my blog theme, but a few others may make it into the mix. (for variety!) In the meantime, here are some lists others have made:

George Grant's Literary Lists

Top 10 Lists from Buried Treasure Books
(I found several new-to-me authors to check out from here!)

100 Most Influential Books Ever Written
(Interesting from a historical viewpoint...haven't read many of these, and don't intend to!)

Do any of my readers share my fascination with lists? I'd like to hear from you! Do you make lists simply as a way to outline things to be done, or do you make other sorts?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Collecting "isms"

No particular reason--I'm just a bit fascinated with them at the moment. Have one that's not on the list? Please share it!