B is for… (#atozchallenge)
B is for…
One of my earliest favourite books was Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ about a little girl who loved to read and learn and who developed supernatural powers. I identified strongly with her, though I’m still waiting for my telekinesis to kick in (guess I’m being challenged enough on a daily basis).
I love books. Books with hard covers, soft covers, spiral bound, perfect bound and even saddle stitch. They don’t even have to have words in them to start with (don’t get me started on stationery). One of the best books I was ever given was ‘A Hobbit’s Journal’ with blank pages with small character sketches. (Cover picture below, you’ll see some of the inside pages on D day). I write my poems in this book (which reminds me I’m a little behind with that)(Ps. thanks Sara). Following the Tolkein theme my parents bought me the illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings for doing well in my GCSEs. I remember (whenever I say this think ‘vague recollection’) sitting in the school library and reading it in the three individual volumes.
I remember book vouchers with fondness, nowadays Amazon vouchers would do the same trick (hint to future boyfriend(s)).
One of the perks of being a lecturer is receiving inspection copies of books, mind you I couldn’t possibly afford to buy all the books I need to prepare my lectures and sessions without this service. I still manage to spend a small fortune on books too. I plan to start adding some book reviews (fiction and non-fiction) to my blog shortly. I’ve also joined Goodreads (as of yesterday) so need to explore that service too. I gave away some books (Seamus Heaney’s poems) for free on World Book Night, hope to continue tracking them (reminder – need to add my reviews).
Stories that whiff
On the whole I like the smell of new books but there are some that are a bit rank, I don’t know if it’s the type of glue, and I really don’t like second hand smoke smelly ones. I recently bought a kindle which doesn’t really smell (gadget obsession alert) and I love this too. So really is it the reading and writing aspect that I love rather than the actual books themselves? I’m not sure but I know I won’t be selling/chucking any of my books anytime soon.
Turn to the textbooks
Even as a pro technology and internet person I would still like to encourage students to learn to use books more. I was chatting with a friend last night and talking about the over reliance on Internet sources (Yes even I use wikipedia as a resource).
But students, next time you need to find something out check out the textbooks on your bookshelf (whether it is virtual or real or the libraries’ shelves). The first thing you need to do is work out what it is you need to know and think about what are all the words that could be used to describe that topic within your area. Write yourself out a number of questions you want to be able to answer.
Firstly I would go to either the chapter list and/or the index at the back. Get used to skim reading to find the relevant sections. Be active with your books, write all over them (unless they are library books) and each time you write out a quote write out how this is relevant to your question. Read with a purpose, you should find it means more to you.
What’s waiting on my fiction bookshelf?
I have been loaned a whole host of Terry Pratchett and a Joe Hill, I’ve still got my Slingink Secret Santa book, The Secret Scripture to read and I got a few random books out of the library. I also have some books I’ve been sent for review. Then there’s the rows of Stephen King, The True Blood series, the Final Vampire Diaries and many more YA series. I’m impatiently waiting for Book 10 of the Night World series. I could go on but I won’t bore you. Think I will save the HP discussion for the H day! Bet Paul H will be looking forward to that post.
Questions to my readers
What is your favourite book: to read, to look at, to smell, to write in, to keep near you?
When researching do you turn to books or the Internet? Ultimately which do you find most helpful, in what situations?
What is next to read on your bookshelf?
Posted on April 2, 2011, in #am writing (and all things writing related), April A-Z Challenge, Kirsty rambles on about life, the universe, tv, and everything! and tagged Blogging from A-Z Challenge April 2011, Books. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.