Blog Hop: Visit My Bookshelves

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Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Share a photo of one section of your bookshelf randomly selected or go ahead and share the entire bookshelf.

I’ve been wanting to share a video touring my L. M. Montgomery shelves (so, not that randomly selected), making this blog hop prompt perfect!  Please enjoy the visit to my shelves in the video below. 🙂

Blog Hop: A Taste of a Story

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Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  If you could add one interactive feature to reading books, what would it be?

I’d love it if books could be more sensory somehow.  There are picture books (and movies) for the visual senses, and audiobooks sometimes include sound effects.  Beyond that we’d have to stray into fantasyland, I expect, but it would be awesome if books could somehow give you (as an option) a tactile sense when they describe, for example, soft silk or rough tree bark.  There are plenty of things characters feel I wouldn’t want to feel, so it would need to be optional!  Likewise, I’d like to experience some of the smells that are described in a story, but not all of them.

Taste would be the trickiest but maybe the coolest too.  I tend to be intrigued by food in books, especially fantasy-sounding food like bubbly pies (from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern) or butter pies (from Diana Wynne Jones’ A Tale of Time City).  I’m sure fans have made up recipes online, and I’ve even read a few books that included a recipe or two at the end, but the truth is I’ve never made any of them…so I guess what I really want is a replicator that would just spit out the food described in the book I’m reading!

Blog Hop: Beyond the Book

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Other than book reviews, what do you feature on your blog?

Along with reviewing books, I sometimes review movies or TV shows, which I kind of consider the same thing…I mean, it’s all stories.  I also post updates about my own writing each Wednesday, and I do some kind of internet-community/reflect-on-books thing each Friday, generally either the Friday Face-Off or this Blog Hop.  I usually check each one and decide which prompt I like better that week!  I post quarterly about my reading challenge updates, and I was doing a Sunday spiritual quote that I need to get started back up.  Oh, and I post a LOT about my writing when I have a new book coming out soon!

So it’s all pretty story-focused one way or another…which is, after all, supposed to be the focus of this blog!  I have other things in my life, but this space is all about the stories. 🙂

Blog Hop: Bookish Identity

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  When did you first know you’re truly a bookworm? Did you lose sleep over a novel?

I think I’ve always known I was a bookworm…?  My parents took me to the library weekly since I was toddler-age, and I memorized The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree before I could actually read (so I count it as the first book I ever “read”).  I had a book bag all through my childhood that I’d bring home full of books from the library every week.  So this dates back!

Reading was so normalized that I don’t know if there was a point when I realized not everybody read this much.  Probably somewhere in elementary school, I imagine, when I noticed the divide between people who liked sports and people who liked books (I’m sure some people cross over but the two camps seemed clear to me at age ten!)  Ironically, perhaps, my clearest memory that should have told me I was unusually fond of reading is of reading a book (!) where the kids got points for prizes for each page they read.  I was politely incredulous of the very low numbers of pages they were reading and counting as good…

I can’t say I really lose sleep over books.  I stayed up late recently to find out the ending of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but the previous book I can distinctly recall staying up late reading was Jane Eyre, five years earlier.  And I don’t lie awake thinking about books in a worrying or angsting kind of way.  One thing I like about books is that they don’t make me feel that way!

When did you discover you were a bookworm?  Do other people often lose sleep over books?

Blog Hop: Reading for Therapy

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What is your opinion of bibliotherapy? Do you think this is a useful way of dealing with psychological issues? If you’ve used it yourself, or know someone who has, what books(s) would you recommend?

I’ll admit I had to look up “bibliotherapy” for this question, but it appears to mean pretty much what I’d expect: reading as a component of therapy.  It seems to be not so much about reading instructive books, but reading in general, often fiction.  Here’s an interesting article on the subject.

So, now that we’ve defined our terms–as a very definite non-expert on the subject, I think it sounds like a good idea.  I don’t think it would be a substitute for other kinds of therapy, especially for people with very serious things to deal with, but as a component it seems like it could be helpful.  I’ve long said that Terry Pratchett books are my favorite cure for gloomy days!  And with more seriousness, I think exposure to stories, especially ones that are uplifting or have good messages, can be very positive for mental health.

On the flip side, sad stories or horror stories could have a negative impact, in the wrong moment for the wrong person!  So it’s not quite as straight-forward as “read anything, it will do you good.”

I once attended a very interesting presentation at a sci fi/fantasy convention about using Harry Potter books as a component of therapy.  I unfortunately don’t remember most of it, but what stuck was an anecdote about using Professor Trelawney’s story to combat anxiety.

Continue reading “Blog Hop: Reading for Therapy”

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!