BTT: April 2008 Archives

BTT: Springing

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From Booking Through Thursday:

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don't have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?

Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?

My reading habits are unaffected by the Spring. I have the same TBR mountain, and what I pick out of it to read next is more of a question of how much I feel like reading at the moment, and that has nothing do with seasons... I'm not into gardening, either, and travel is currently out of question as well.

Most of my reading is done in bed before sleeping, so Spring doesn't take my reading outside, either.

Right now I'm reading fantasy, next up might be some non-fiction and if I can get my hands on any books on card games or Go, that's something I'm always interested in.

BTT: Vocabulary

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From Booking Through Thursday:

I've always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they've never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?

I just keep on reading. First of all, books in Finnish pose no problems for me, unless the vocabulary is very difficult (local dialects or something like that). I've also read enough books in English to read pretty fluently. Of course, just about every book I read has words whose precise meaning I don't know, but I usually grasp enough meaning from the context.

Occasionally I check what a word means, if something bugs me. I have an English dictionary, but it's huge and on the top shelf, so I usually just google the unknown words. Bucolic (a synonym for pastoral) is a word I've learnt this way from some book I read. But if I check something, it's usually not in the middle of reading.

If I'm reading hard science fiction, I sometimes may check some of the scientific concepts to understand them better, but that's fairly rare.

BTT: Writing Challenge

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From Booking through Thursday:

  • Pick up the nearest book. (I'm sure you must have one nearby.)
  • Turn to page 123.
  • What is the first sentence on the page?
  • The last sentence on the page?
  • Now . . . connect them together....

Actually, I had to travel all the way to our living room and bookshelf to find a book. I grabbed Sheri Tepper's Sideshow. Let's see, bold is Tepper, rest is me:

"Where's Jum?" asked Metty suddenly. Jum was nowhere to be found, and he had just stood next to Metty. The bloody fog was really getting thick. Metty sat down, miserable. "We need to find Jum", she said, hanging her head, "we can't leave him behind."

"I'll go find him, he can't be far", Jacent said and brandished his flashlight. After just few steps to the direction where they had come from, a faint trace of light was all that was visible of Jacent. With the light it didn't take him long to find Jum. Jum's batteries had run out and he couldn't move anymore. Silent as he was, he couldn't cry for help either. Jacent sighed. The fog was getting troublesome, and it started to look like they would have to stay here until Jum could recharge his batteries from sunlight. That would take a while... Jacent would find Metty and tell her.

That took a bit of twisting... not very compatible phrases. I have no clue whatsover who all those people are and how my little story line fits in with the original book, since it's on my TBR list and I haven't read it yet.

BTT: Lit-Ra-Chur

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From Booking Through Thursday:

  • When somebody mentions "literature," what's the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)
  • Do you read "literature" (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?

I think the first thing in my mind is the Finnish publisher literature series, mostly the Tammi's Yellow library. It's a long-standing series of translations of quality literature, Nobel prize winners and other great masters. For some reason I haven't read many of those.

I did few courses of literature in the university and those included reading some classics. So I did: Dostoyevski, Duras, Stendhal, Melville, Rabelais and others. I found many of them interesting and I fell in love with Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. I didn't fall in love with writing essays about the books, so I quit my literature studies quickly (I only took them because I thought it was appropriate for someone studying to become a librarian).

Of course, most of what I read is far from being "high literature", and I'm not ashamed to admit that. I'm a science fiction fan and that's it. However, I do appreciate books that are written well and I won't read just anything, science fiction or not. I do read what they call "literary fiction", but mostly skip the classics.

However, if a Nobelist writes something I find interesting, I'm in. Yasunari Kawabata's Master of Go was an excellent and very interesting book, for example, and I've been meaning to read Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago for who knows how long.

I read good books for enjoyment and try to avoid the bad ones - in the end it's that simple.

BTT: April 2008: Monthly Archives

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