Archive for July, 2008

Journals and Cell Phones

Posted July 31, 2008 By Jandy

No, this isn’t about my normal reading, but more about the frustrations of being a librarian dealing with journal vendors.

The Krafty Librarian has given a wonderful rant that we can all identify with. I had to pass it on.

Journals and Cell Phones

My Book Collection Catalog

Posted July 30, 2008 By Jandy

A few years ago I knew I had to have a catalog of my books. LazyGal led me to Book Collector. I was so pleased with it I have recommended it to others and my brother bought Movie Collector for his DVD’s.

I went through 90% of my book shelves and slowly added titles. Every time a new book comes home with me it is entered into the database immediately. There are almost 1100 books in my database. It’s a librarian’s wish to be able to see what it there quickly and easily. Book Collector is definitely one of my better inexpensive purchases.

I have this problem, though… When I’m not home, I can’t check the list to see if I’ve purchased a book but haven’t read it yet. (I don’t want to network it so that I can access it thru the Internet, thanks.) Plus, my wish list is too long to print on a single sheet of paper and it’s in Excel. I like to have this list when I’m at the used bookstores.

So I’m finally trying an online social book site. Again, I’m using LazyGal’s recommendation. I had tried one newer site, but it wouldn’t upload my txt file despite following their directions and paring the file back to two fields. So now my bookshelves are on Goodreads.

Next, I have to figure how to save my wishlist there as well.

Books Are Losing Out to the Internet

Posted July 9, 2008 By Jandy

This electronic article, “Page by page, a good book can rewire your brain“, was posted at SFGate today by Mark Morford. Morford discusses the fall of book reading and how the Internet contributes to that fall.

I travel in book reading circles and activities, such as attending the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Reading may be declining, but there were thousands of people there that weekend. You wouldn’t have guessed that book reading was in trouble that weekend. It’s also rare that I don’t have two or three books going at a time (right now it’s four).

I see Morford’s point, though. There are times I have to put down my book and get on the computer just because. I may not being doing anything special (playing a game, catching up on my email, etc) or I may be working or writing this blog or adding a new review at my web site.

In the middle of the article Morford gives reading some hope:

“Ah, but I do believe all is not lost. There is lingering hope…

“I can personally attest. About a year ago the most astounding thing happened: The hard drive on my MacBook suffered a rare and painful meltdown when I was away on vacation. I was, much to my initial horror, to be e-mail/Net-free for over a week…

“Mercifully, the yoga kicked in and I quickly shrugged, sighed, noted the incredible opportunity, the gods trying to tell me to unplug. I hit the bookstore and bought three thick, sticky literary novels the way a misguided vegan buys some grass-fed steaks for the first time, and devoured them whole.

“As I did so, an amazing thing happened. Time slowed down. The brain quickly returned to its normal breathing. The mental seizures and the near-constant desire to click away and leap to something different faded and soon vanished. And books suddenly moved from the bottom of the intellectual priority list straight back to their original, top-tier state of grace.”

There’s hope.

Variety of Reading

Posted July 7, 2008 By Jandy

This comment was posted on my previous blog entry:

“Not really a comment on meeting old friends. I was browsing your alphabetical list of book titles and was surprised that such an otherwise comprehensive list does not include Mansfield Park.”

Nope, I’ve never gotten around to Mansfield Park – this person is right. Nor have I yet read Persuasion by Jane Austen, either. Those are both on my “some day” list – which may or may not happen. I also still haven’t read Catch-22, all the Nora Roberts novels, more Toni Morrison, Jim Butcher‘s Codex series, the rest of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, or finished up the Ann George mystery series. There’s a reason my website front page says “So many books, so little time”. There is so much I want to read.

I talk about Mt. Bookpile frequently. Except for a couple of the Nora Roberts books, none of the other books I just mentioned are in Mt. Bookpile. I’d like to read them though.

My library book club has been good to get me read things I wouldn’t have otherwise – for example Giant or Middlemarch or Eat, Pray, Love (and those are only in the last year).

I find it interesting that the commenter calls my reading list comprehensive – I call it varied. There’s so many genres and authors that I like to read that I can be all over the board. Yes, I have my definite favorite genres – science fiction and mystery especially – but I just like to read.