Blog Hop: Reading at Work?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Do you thing that readers make better employees, as opposed to non-readers? Why or why not?

My first thought on this question was…I don’t really see how the two ideas connect?  Unless you’re working in a job where a knowledge of books is particularly relevant (a school, a library or a bookstore seem like the most obvious examples), I’m not sure there’s any direct connection to whether someone likes to read and whether they’re skilled at their job.

I think reading is one way people can grow, gaining knowledge, new perspectives and greater empathy.  But it’s not the only way.  And I don’t think a love of reading automatically indicates higher intelligence over non-readers–again, there are  other ways smart people may choose to spend their time.

Good reading comprehension skills, the kind that they test on the SAT, are one skill that’s useful for employees, especially in any job with any element of admin.  I work in marketing and I’ve sent a LOT of emails over my career, and the ability to understand an email and to write a clear one back is in fact really helpful.  There probably is a correlation between people with good reading comprehension and people who love to read.  But–it’s just one skill, and it also feels like I’m really parsing this question to get to this point.  Also, many, many other things (work ethic, integrity, knowledge re: their actual job tasks) go into making someone a good employee.

After all that–I will say that I personally like working with readers because it gives me something to talk to them about.  Although when I think about it, my friends tend to be readers.  With the co-workers I’ve been closest too, we’ve usually bonded about something else; mostly the job, or occasionally geek TV shows.

So I guess that all adds up to a “no, not really” for this question!

Blog Hop: Christmas Season in the Pages

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What is your favorite Christmas-themed fiction or nonfiction book?

I only have a couple favorite Christmas books.  If I’m feeling traditional, I like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  My other favorite is The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig, a very sweet Regency romance involving spies, set at Christmas with a cameo by Jane Austen.  It’s delightful.

This year I just finished reading Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, which was very funny, with a heartwarming ending.

What are your favorite Christmas books?  Evidently I could use some new ones!

Blog Hop: From Page to Screen, Darkly

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What’s your favorite horror book-to-movie adaptation?

I don’t read much in the way of horror books, or watch much in the way of horror movies.  But, just one comes to mind that I’ve both read and seen: Secret Window, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden.  The movie is from a very good era in Johnny Depp movies, and the writer/director David Koepp does some really nice storytelling in it.  There’s some bloody bits, though it’s pretty tame as far as horror movies go, and the creepiest parts aren’t involving blood at all.  It’s probably more of a creeper than a horror movie.

After seeing the movie, I read the Steven King novella, which I think is still the only fiction I’ve read from Steven King (though I also read On Writing).  A lot is very much the same, except that the ending is completely (like, 180 degrees) different.  And here’s the funny thing: I actually think Steven King tried to a do a more interesting thing with his ending, but David Koepp achieved his ending better, which I’d have to say gives him the edge.

Anyone else more of a horror book/movie fan than me?  What’s your favorite adaptation?

Blog Hop: Reading While Haunted

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  You’re spending a night in a haunted house.  What book would you bring with you?

Firstly, I would not spend the night in a haunted house!  I jump and freak out in fake haunted houses, when I know perfectly well it’s all actors and effects, so even a hypothetically-haunted house is completely out the window.  Absolutely nothing supernatural could happen and I’d still be freaked by every sound!  In fact, I recently beta-read Audrey Murphy by Karen Blakely (due to be published this December!), in which the heroine accepts a dare to spend the night in a haunted house.  I swiftly learned that I would fail this dare, as I offered frequent advice that the heroine ought to be more scared…

Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s try to imagine a situation where I do in fact spend the night in a haunted house.  What book would I bring?  If I thought the house was actually haunted by malevolent spirits, I’m going to have to go with a Bible as the most likely to be helpful and protective under the circumstances.

If we’re theorizing that it’s not really haunted, just creepy, then I’m leaning towards something comforting that doesn’t require too intense of concentration.  Probably either L. M. Montgomery’s journals (because I’m weird that way 🙂 ) or maybe Winnie-the-Pooh.

Is there any hypothetical possibility that I might want to bring something atmospheric, like Dracula or something by Steven King?  No.  No, there really isn’t!

Blog Hop: Bookish Holidays

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Have you ever wished that there were official government bookish holidays, and that, by law, employers HAD to give their workers a paid day off? If so, what kind of bookish holiday would you like to have?

I’ve rather thought that Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23rd) would make a nice holiday.  In college, I was in a Renaissance-but-heavily-Shakespeare class that happened to meet on Shakespeare’s birthday (and since we only met once a week, it was actually a pretty lucky chance).  I brought cookies in to celebrate. 🙂  Mostly just because, but also a little bit because I’m a Stratfordian (I believe William Shakespeare of Stratford, who was born on April 23rd, wrote the plays), and I knew my professor was decidedly not…  Nothing like fighting a literary war with cookies!

If Shakespeare’s birthday was an official holiday, obviously it should be celebrated with Shakespearean plays.  And maybe something to do with dragons, considering it’s also St. George’s Day.

November 30th would make a good writing holiday–it’s the birthday of L. M. Montgomery, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill (prime minister, but also a writer).  Plus, it’s the last day of National Novel Writing Month, so a final-day celebration seems both appropriate, and helpful to all the writers who need a day off to get their final words written.

I tried to think of a fictional holiday in a book that I’d like to see really celebrated, but I came up blank.  The only one I thought of was Hogswatch from Discworld, but that’s very close to Christmas (with more meat pies).

Are there any bookish holidays you’d like to see celebrated?  Any holidays from books, or holidays celebrating books?

Blog Hop: Reading Timeline

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  How long does it take you to finish a book?

This varies wildly depending on the book–both its length, and how much I enjoy it!  I used to go through books very quickly.  Even a longish book (say, 400 pages) would be finished in about three days.  My pace has slowed dramatically with life changing.  I don’t have as much built-in reading time in my schedule anymore, and (perhaps because it used to be built in) I don’t tend to think of reading when I have free space and am thinking of what to do (I more often write or blog).

I’m probably averaging something like a book a week now, for what I would consider my “proper” book that I’m reading–the paper one that I read over meals and when I feel like picking something up.  I read nonfiction for two hours a week, and could spend a few weeks on one, or finish it in just that time, depending on the length (which probably varies even more for nonfiction than fiction).  I also listen to an audiobook whenever I’m in the car, and probably get through most audiobooks in a week or two.  And I have a book just to read before bed–when I was reading L. M. Montgomery’s journals, it would take months to get through a volume.  Now that I’m reading her short stories, it’s a bit faster.

If I’m particularly enjoying a book, I’m more likely to pick it up more often and therefore I finish it faster.  If it’s just okay, I can get bogged down for weeks.  There is a definite and unfortunate irony at play there…

I always feel I’d like to read more and finish more books faster, but I suspect that feeling is shared by most readers!

Blog Hop: To Borrow, To Buy?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Have you ever read a library book you loved so much, you just HAD to own it, so you bought a copy for yourself after returning the library book you had already finished?

This is how I buy most of my books.  I read almost everything from the library first, then eventually buy the ones I particularly loved.  The only exceptions are authors I love so much I’ll buy their books unread (though I’ve maxed out most of them), and even those are authors I read from the library first.

I feel like this question implies a shorter time frame than usually applies in my case.  I usually don’t buy books until months or years after I read them the first time.  I’m trying to recall a book I loved so much I immediately went out and bought it…and though I’m sure it has happened, I’m having trouble thinking of an example!

Oddly, what comes to mind are movies.  I rented Jesus, a three-hour miniseries, and I think I ordered it on Amazon before I even finished it.  Both because it’s that good, and because I’d seen enough to be sure it was the one I vaguely remembered watching and liking when I was a kid.  Similarly, I rented Christopher Robin, loved it so much I meant to buy it immediately–got bogged down trying to decide how to apportion a gift card–and my husband bought it for me for Valentine’s Day maybe a week after we watched it (I promptly watched it at least twice more with other people within the following month!)

Have you read a book from the library, or borrowed somewhere else, and then rushed out to buy it?