Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reading challenges

I have 2 reading challenges at this point, and might add one more. I read fast - when I have time - and can go through a number of books. Although it seems that my husband, who is a physician who works both as a hospitalist and a clinician in a rural clinic as well as being a guardsman with 3 deployments, seems to read more than I do. Go figure.

Anyway, my challenges for this year, thus far, are the Chunkster and Shakespeare challenges. The first because my idea of a good book is a fat book. Not necessarily true, but those are the titles to which I'm drawn. The Shakespeare challenge stems from my graduate work; I studied pre-1660 British Literature in graduate school, applying a feminist perspective to the role of Joan in I Henry IV, comparing the heroine to Queen Elizabeth I. Plus I still have my old Bevington although I suspect it's out of date.

Caribousmom has defined a chunster as an adult book 450 pages or more. There are 4 levels:
1) The Chubby Chunkster. 4 books of at least 450 pages.
2) The Plump Primer for those who can commit to 6 450 books over the course of 12 months.
3) The Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big requires 6 books, 2 of which are 450 pages, 2 at 451 - 770 pages in length and 2 greater then 770 pages in length.
4) Mor-book-ly Obese. 8 or more books 3 of which must be more than 750 pages long.

I'm doing the Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big. I thought the title was funny and I have most of the books anyway yet to be read.

I'll talk about the Shakespeare Challenge in my next post later this week.

First things first...

Very, very first thing: Despite my background as a librarian, I am absolutely a newbie to blogging. Please be patient as I work through some of the stylistic basics. Next - one of my goals for the new year is to be a bit more organized about my reading habits and challenge myself a bit more. One way I thought to accomplish this was to join a few reading challenges and start a book review blog. I'm a librarian: I've always worked in a university setting. I've been a science librarian, done interlibrary loan, humanities reference, a serials & database librarian and my last position was as a department head for an acquisitions unit. I also have a master's in English, and was working on a certificate in Woment's Studes when I finished graduate school.

Even though I now stay home with my children (10 and 12) I still love books. I have hard copy books as well as e-books. I'm a fan of both, but find ebooks infinitely more conducive to running my kids back and forth to their various activites. I do think it's much easier to put a reading device in my mom bag than to pack a 500 page tome from place to place. It was hard to accept the technological change 10 or so years ago when it started - while I was an acquisitions librarian - but have embraced it since then. I still buy a lot of books in hardcopy, as do my children. We're pretty flexible about reading, as long as everyone reads.

While I like to read, it's hard to find the time in my day to do it. I'm sure a lot of people would be surprised by that fact, as I still am today. Participating in reading challenges and blogging my reviews helps me retain my focus on literature and hopefully will guide others as they choose their own books.

My other hobbies include baking - pies, cakes, pastries, cookies - candy making, gardening, movies and creating props for our halloween haunt.

That's it for me. Next posting will be about my reading challenges.