monday muse

Monday Muse (13) – Depth vs. Breadth

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I was talking with a friend at work the other day about our habits with reading. We both found it difficult to justify reading more by one author rather than reading all the other authors out there (at least one of their books if they wrote more than one). This makes me wonder what is more important to the reader – depth in one author’s style OR breadth of authors’ voices. I can see how academics truly immerse themselves in one author and/or time period for writers to be experts, but is that what we as the common reader aim? She was more inclined to read deeply Oscar Wilde works, where I have found solace in Jane Austen, Dan Brown, and Colleen Hoover. However, once I find an author (beyond a series since that I do not consider a part of depth) and dive into their works (famous or not), I tend to notice how they approach their content and can soon predict the rising action, climax, and denouement. Not that that is a terrible thing, but it does make me reconsider other authors styles that I have yet to discover. With my huge TBR pile, after I read a book and am amazed by the author’s writing style, sometimes I jump ship from my pile and head to the local library for something else by them – I swear Colleen Hoover dominated by Fall and Winter reading!

Continue reading “Monday Muse (13) – Depth vs. Breadth”

monday muse

Monday Muse (12) – Reread Month

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Sometimes, I look upon my bookshelves that is clearly divided into two sections: to be read and to be reread. As many bookworms may relate to, the to be read pile grows much faster than the latter. However, I’ve been reading some amazing books lately that I wish I had more time to reread them – to experience the emotions I felt the first time and/or to pick up new themes and nuggets I overlooked. I go back and forth between sticking with what you know you like and experiencing something different (always giving a book 100 pages before deciding if it is worth finishing). What a risk that is, as there are other books I KNOW I like that I could reread and still have an enjoyable experience. It is like the whole desert island game: which 5 books would you bring with you if you were stranded on an island? You better like the ones you bring! I wrote a post surmising this thought of rereading called Book Perennials and have yet to take myself up on it. Then I pondered, why not dedicate a whole month to rereading my favorites? Easier said then done, as I am internally going through the rest of year and seeing what books come out or what I have to read for class or my book clubs. Now if I was on a sabbatical, that would be the PERFECT time to indulge in books like these:

wild9everythingmbyfault

I wonder if this idea can be one of the Readathon Challenges I’ve seen….. Now there’s a thought 🙂

What are books you’d like to reread every year?

monday muse

Monday Muse (11) – Book Hangover

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon has undone me. I was skeptical at first, as how can a Young Adult/Teen book affect me so? Whelp, I’m happy to be proven wrong. And now that I read it in one day, I have no idea what to do with myself. It’s gotten to a point where I picked up a book the other day to start (one that I was highly anticipating!) and couldn’t find it in me to keep at it. Now granted, Everything, Everything is a unique type of literature that includes drawings by the author’s husband and  most dialogue between the two main characters is through email and instant messenger – not comparable to Pride and Prejudice whatsoever in terms of prose. But something about it and the themes and conclusion has kept me in a perpetual book hangover. I must say this is a rare occurrence for me, and it maybe attributed to how I’m on Whole30 and moods are just generally better and life is good in this program! However, I am confident that is not the reason I’m elated, and yet worried to pick something else up because it won’t compare to what I’ve experienced reading through Yoon’s first novel. It doesn’t help either that the trailer for the film adaptation went up not too long ago, so when I’m not reminiscing on the book, I’m watching the youtube clip every moment I get. I can’t get enough. I also want to tell eveerryyooonnneeee I know about it #obsessed. My review will be posted in the next week, so don’t worry, the high will continue then as well.

The questions I have for myself now are, what the heck am I going to read next?! And when will I be mentally prepared for it?!

Have you ever had a book hangover?

monday muse · Writing

Monday Muse (10) – The Perfect Spot

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I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues while we were waiting for a student interview and of course the topic of books (reading and writing) came up – it wasn’t me who initiated it for once :). I had the day off the day before, and I mentioned that I drove down into the city to my usual go-to spot for reading and writing. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if space and having the feeling of ‘retreating’ makes a huge difference in how we spend our time as well as our attention and motivation to it. Is there a such thing as The Perfect Spot? Or is that an excuse we give when we are not producing our creative abilities and inspiration is not hitting? If the latter is the case, I feel so much pressure to accomplish when I do go to my spot. The fact that I drove almost an hour to get to a space that I expected to add to my drive and mood for the activities at hand made me question why that is. The space that I choose to read and write when I have a large chunk of time is a huge community space in the church I go to. The open floor plan has cozy seating arrangements and high top tables scattered throughout the space along with free WiFi and coffee and tea. It is constantly buzzing with people there to meet with friends, do work, kill some time, or pray. Although I plug my headphones in and escape from that welcoming and comforting atmosphere, just knowing who and what is around me helps me in my energy and motivation – that I am not alone. Now, this has a lot to do with when I read Lonely – Learning to Live with Solitude by Emily White but in a positive way as I am ok with comfortable silence or being in a occupied space where everyone is doing their own thing, including me. Reflecting on my other perfect spots, they have had this similar vibe of a large open space filled with small groupings of people. It’s like when I was in college and could not do homework in my room because of all the distractions. Same as it is now, although there are no grades or tests keeping me accountable. A few Instagram accounts I follow that are from publishers feature an author in their element, be it in their home office or laying on the beach with a notepad. Isn’t that the dream!? I feel that after a few months or so, I’ll find a new perfect spot. Maybe that’s what it is about, not settling on only one but continually looking for something refreshing that I can hold onto – kinda like dreams and aspirations, they are ever evolving and turning into something new that we adapt to and work towards until the next step comes along.

What are your thoughts on the perfect reading/writing spot?

monday muse

Monday Muse (9) – Tinder for Books

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Although I hate admitting this, I am a frequent judge of books by their covers. I welcome challenges to this thinking from fellow bookworms and book club members! I’d like to clarify that a used book does not put me off or impair the aforementioned judgement. Broken spine, bent pages, notes written in the margins – I welcome it! With all this talk of what books look like, I cannot help but compare it to modern dating and relationships. For those familiar with the social dating app Tinder, you know you have the ability to swipe left, right, or up depending on your preferences of the people you are looking at. As easy as it is to swipe based on your natural inclinations to or against a particular trait or way one presents themselves, I do wonder what that looks like with books. Whenever I enter a bookstore or library, my initial strategy is to look for authors I know and see what else they have OR (most popularly) look at what front facing covers are presented on the shelves for an appeal. Once in awhile the spine of the book intrigues me, but for the books positioned so we can see the jacket, I am more inclined to take a closer look. If I have time and do not feel overwhelmed, I will take quick glances at all the books in the genres I frequently am drawn to. In this day and age though, we are pressed for time and are looking for quick bursts of time spent on activities. Within the realm of apps and technology, they are used to waste time while standing in line, sitting in class, or before going to bed.  Now I wonder, if there was an actual app for picking your next book or addition to your TBR pile, that you can swipe through, would it take and bring on more readers. I’ve though about how in Tinder, a profile can have multiple photos and blurbs attached to it for the viewer to explore and decide which way they will swipe. With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, how cool would it be to infuse the Blind Date with A Book and Tinder! The profile can have multiple versions of the cover as the photos available and give a brief description within the text and written blurbs. I imagine too a segment of “What the book is looking for in a reader” so it can be mutual (as much as a living thing and an inanimate object can ;)). Additionally, when there’s a match, the reader can get a few chapter excerpts to continue to hold their interest and increase the likelihood of a possible future….until the book is finished of course. Unfortunately, this idea along with the dating apps further the notion of appearance being an initial driving force of attractionality and being hopeful for some  type of potential. Yet, since technology is growing and becoming the norm, why not add a twist on some popular apps in existence.

What are your thoughts on A ‘Blind’ Date With A Book Tinder?