Thursday, 26 May 2011

Kindles in the LRC

Managing a Learning Resources Dept: Getting Kindles set up and working for use in LRC: "We have been investigating Kindles for the last few weeks in order to have some available in the LRC for staff and students. We are always ..."

Reading classics - a time saving plan...?

I would like to spend many weeks relaxing and reading books and in particular classic novels. I would like to read them for the story, for the language and words, for the feel of the book and pages and also so that I can say that I have read them. I would like to have a list of hundreds of classic novels and be able to tick them off as read, completed, achieved.
However, I don't see how I am going to achieve this ambition as currently if I read a classic, for example Jane Eyre, it takes at least 4 weeks. This is because I tend to read something more modern or upbeat at the same time and also because I'm usually tired from work or social activities so fall asleep before I've managed to read more than a chapter at bedtime. There is often another book that I would like to read or, especially in stressful times, I like to read old favorites or whodunit mysteries.
Today I had an idea, I would read classic novels but the 'easy reader versions' of which we have a selection in our library. This would enable me to read one per couple of days and therefore could achieve my target easily. So I had a quick look today before leaving work and selected Gullivers Travels.
So far so good but then this evening I mentioned it to Teenager2 my 17yr old son who admittedly is a bit particular when it comes to reading (his favorite author is Wilkie Collins). He was horrified at my idea - "that's a complete cheat" he said "you're not reading the proper book nor the real words".
I agree to some extent - it's not "the real thing" but it is the story, sort of. Is it better to have a quick overview of lots of different books and stories than an in-depth read of a few? I suspect he's right but I think there is still some value in it - how else am I going to read all the books that I want to read in the next 30 years? It's not as if I'm not reading some books 'properly' as there are others on my pile. So tonight it's a chapter of 'Scoop' which I'm reading in full plus a gallop through 'Gullivers Travels'. After all if anyone asks if I've read it, I can say "Of course, who hasn't".

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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Should Book Club book choices always be what you would like to read?

I think that we are fortunate in our book club that we are all good friends as I think this influences the choice of books that we make. It means that we have some ideas in common, often one of us will suggest a title and a couple of other people will immediately agree that it is a book they would like to read. However the most valuable thing is that if someone really wants to read a title then we will agree even if it doesn't appeal because of friendship aswell as the spirit of the group. In the same way if anyone really doesn't want to read a particular title then that's ok - there's not an obligation. However we did decide that one of our aims was to try and read books that we wouldn't otherwise read - I suppose out of our usual comfort zone for one reason or another. Despite being close friends with lots in common especially children we have a wide range of reading interests. So we try to mix classics with new releases, old favourites with cheery quick reads and books we think we ought to read. This has worked well nearly always even when we read To the Lighthouse and decided we didn't need to read anymore Virginia Woolf. This months choice includes Money by Martin Amis as although no one is looking forward to it, we feel we should read it. To balance it up we're also reading The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy.