Saturday, January 31, 2015

Libraries and Why I Love Them

Here's a pretty accurate account of my thoughts during a semi-weekly trip to my local library:

Look at all the pretty new books! So many choices...
 Ooh, new books from Gayle Forman, Ally Carter, Holly Black [the list can go on for a while]! I should get them all. 
I probably won't have time to read them all.
I'm getting them all.
There are so many books I want to read! Maybe I could start a new series this week. I've heard this one's pretty good...
Okay, the plot sounds interesting. Add it to the pile.
Recently returned shelf! I haven't seen this book on the shelves for ages! I'd better grab it before it gets checked out again.
All right, I'm running out of room in my arms for all these books. I should just go check out.
Hold shelf! Aaand four books I had put on hold last week. Well. I mean, they literally have my name on them. I have to check them out, right?

And then I go home with way too many books.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The "On My Shelf" Tag

I love book tags, so when I saw this one over on Ariel Bissett's YouTube channel, I knew I wanted to do it (her video is here)! Here's how the "On My Shelf" Tag works. You choose a random number that will correspond to a shelf on your bookcase. Then you choose another number, to correspond with a book on that shelf. Then you write about that book for a little bit.

1. Shelf 1, Book 12
 Legend by Marie Lu
I think I've talked about this one quite enough, but just in case you missed it the first three hundred times, I loved this book. I read it during a time when I thought I was completely over dystopian YA, but it was so wonderful, I just couldn't dislike it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Goodreads To-Read Shelf

My first post on this blog was about my huge TBR pile. It has not shrunk since then. In fact, I've probably found even more books to add to this list. So I took a look at my "To-Read" shelf on Goodreads, all in the name of science (Not really. But it was interesting).

My "To-Read" shelf can be broken up into a few categories. First up...

Okay, this is a huge part of my shelf. I think I've put off reading some of these because I'm intimidated (Anna Karenina mocks me). I'm never going to be able to read all the books that are considered classics, just because it's such a large category. But hopefully I can get to a few of these.

Young Adult
Some of these haven't been published yet (yay, an excuse!), but some have. I have a few that I haven't read because my library doesn't have a copy, and I'm not sure if I'll like it enough to buy it, but the overwhelming reason I have so many young adult books on my TBR list is because young adult books just keep coming out and catching my eye. Then the ones that I've been meaning to read for a while get pushed back on the list. Of course, volunteering at a library weekly doesn't help (I get to see all the new releases all the time).

Adult/Misc./Books That Seem Sophisticated and Full of Culture
I am so interested in so many of these. But for some reason, I just haven't gotten there. Possibly, I'm intimidated by reading something that already has such strong fans (The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings). Whatever it is, I can't wait to find out the reasons for the love surrounding these books.

And what have we learned from this? Well, from going over the books I want to read, I've been reminded of some books I'd forgotten about. And, seeing as how I'm so excited to read so many of these books, I'm not really that intimidated anymore. I just want to read! There are so many excuses for not reading, but if reading's what you love to do, then do it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Books to Cuddle With on a Snow Day

Who needs ice-skating and sledding when you've got books?

After a December with minimal snow (at least where I live), January seems very aggressive. So when I got a few snow days last week, I sought comfort in books. Essentials for staying warm: sweaters, blankets, hot chocolate, and books.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Required Reading

Even the most book-obsessed person I know has had at least one bad experience with required reading. There can be so many variables that can either make or break your school reading experience--teachers, other members of the class, your own personal situation at the time, etc.

I'm kind of opposed to having someone else tell you what to read--I think most people are more likely to read something they picked out on their own than they are likely to read something someone else told them to read. I get that class curriculum means that everyone has to read the same thing, and not everyone will like it. So that's definitely a point against required reading. One of my good friends told me once that she doesn't like to read classics because school has made them all seem like required reading.

This, to me, is terrifying. I love classics! The first Jane Austen book I read was given to me by my sixth grade teacher (not technically "required," but pretty close). And I doubt I would have picked up any intimidating, small-page-smaller-print book in the paperback classics section if I hadn't already been introduced to some of them through school. So I don't like the fact that required reading seems to turn some people away from these sort of books.

However, like I said, reading books for school can be kind of a gateway drug into more classics--reading Catcher in the Rye last school year led to reading Franny and Zooey over the summer, and I loved them both.

Plus, there's the obvious fact that required reading is kind of unavoidable. The whole class should be reading the same thing, in order for discussion and learning and to occur. It helps, in fact, when someone doesn't like the book. If twenty people are all agreeing on everything about the book, there's not going to be a great discussion.

What do you think about required reading? Are you for it, or do you think the students should be allowed to choose the books?

Happy New Year and happy back to school.