BBAW 2011: Readers

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

Oh, wow, that’s a lot of prompts. I suppose I’ll go with book acquisition habits, since I’ve talked about how book blogging changed the way I read last year for my anniversary, which is at the end of this month.

Book blogging has made me both pickier about how I acquire books and more omnivorous. Because you rarely know if you’re going to love a book, I usually purchase books from thrift stores; my love for mass market paperbacks, especially old, yellow ones, makes that all the sweeter. I love coming back to my home town after a long time away and sifting through the thrift stores. That’s how I got my copies of A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, which are wonderfully dated. If only I could make the entire series match in paperback! But that’s another topic for another time. But even then, I’m pretty picky, mostly because a dollar can go towards part of another costume piece if I don’t spend it on a book. (My life, ladies and gents, my life.)

But it’s also made me incredibly bolder when it comes to libraries. I’m not shy about the fact that I’m occasionally the reason books don’t get shelved at the library; that’s how I picked up Hard Times by Studs Terkel, which I’d never heard of before and would have never picked up in a million years, but I’m incredibly glad I took it home and read it. I can take books home and return them without reading them without feeling guilty at all. The three libraries I have access to in Georgia have incredible selection. I never tire of finding a book that has only one copy in the public library in the entire state of Georgia, and then putting it on hold. The sheer access I have, all with a free library card! It boggles my mind that some people who profess to love books don’t even think about using their local libraries. I recently cancelled my Netflix subscription, and I’ve been relying on public libraries for films ever since. It’s been working out great. Give your local library a shot, or at the very least support it. (Oh, there’s an idea for a community fundraiser! Hmm…)

Review: Hard Times

Hard Times by Studs Terkel

I miss shelving at my local library. It’s really a great way to discover books I’ve never heard of, with the added bonus of the fact that someone else found it worthwhile to check out—which is not much better than just stumbling across a book in a bookstore, I know, but it feels better. Which is how I found Hard Times. I’d never heard of Studs Terkel in my life and the Great Depression is not exactly a historical event that sweeps me off my feet, but the fact that it was a broad oral history intrigued me, and the bit I read interested me. (I am the reason some books don’t make it back onto the shelves. I’m a patron too!)

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Booking Through Thursday: History

Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.

Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.

No, of course not! How would historical nonfiction get published if you were the only person who read it?

I’m reading a history right now—Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading, which I’m enjoying. While I was at home for the summer, I read Studs Terkel’s oral history of the Great Depression, Hard Times, which was fascinating. I like historical nonfiction as much as I like anything else, to be totally honest. It’s the quality of the book that interests me; a good writer can make any historical event fascinating, while a bad writer can make even the most amazing historical event flat and uninteresting.

Booking Through Thursday: Anticipation

What’s the last book you were really EXCITED to read?

And, were you excited about it in advance? Or did the excitement bloom while you were reading it?

Are there any books you’re excited about right NOW?

It was definitely A Storm of Swords; you cannot imagine the self-control it’s taking me not to just tear through A Feast for Crows and A Dance of Dragons right now. I’m usually excited beforehand; I think In Great Waters was the last book where I got to the point where I wanted to read it when I wasn’t reading it.

At the moment, I’m excited to start on The Silmarillion today—I finished Hard Times last night—and Kushiel’s Dart, because my hold on it came in yesterday and only the library at home has a copy of it. Also, I love and adore Jacqueline Carey.