Posts Tagged ‘books’


Today’s guest post is from William Yatscoff. William is the founder and marketing manager of Bookkaholic Magazine. Bookkaholic magazine is a weekly online magazine publishing general interest articles, book reviews, book trailers, book giveaways, and other book interested articles. Come take a look what Bookkaholic has out now.

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By Stephan Brunker at de.wikipedia Later versions were uploaded by Luestling at de.wikipedia. [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

Every single soul that I have had the pleasure to meet has asked me one of two things, when I mention reading is my hobby – “What exactly do you read?” or “How do you manage to spend time reading a book?”. Well, to those confused souls, what I can confidently and clearly enunciate is that I am a self-confessed and thoroughly obsessed bookaholic! Reading a book was never considered a chore in my family, rather it was a way of life. There were people who liked to sing or dance, who were good at math or science and then there was a breed who proudly called themselves bookaholics…us!

I can never exactly zero in on the time I discovered the marvel of immersing myself in a good book; probably when my parents were tired of running behind me, making sure I didn’t get myself or someone else into trouble. Enid Blyton provided me with the first look into a world of magic that called to me in a way that no other activity ever did. Starting from Amelia Jane and the Three Golliwogs right on to Famous Five, I have had the privilege to be involved in all the naughty skirmishes and outlandish adventures that were always a part of the protagonists’ lives.

Being a bookaholic then became a part of my life. I absolutely had to immerse myself in the wondrous and magical lands that beckoned to me from the pages of my favorite books. Graduating from the initial genre of books I started out with, there was no looking back as the journey progressed towards Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, J.K.Rowling, Dan Brown and onto Stephenie Meyer. The thrill of solving a mystery, the joy of getting to know yet another magical creature, or pondering over the technical impossibility of a vampire romancing a human (though that turned out well for Edward & Bella!), these are some of the vast plethora of feelings that am sure every staunch bookaholic would have gone through.

There were times when the only escape route would be to rush home at the earliest, and go curl up with the current flavor of the month, traveling off to lands unknown and meeting interesting yet intriguing people. A bookaholic would truly understand the importance of these sessions involving utter detachment to one’s surroundings, as these are the times when one can feel liberated from their day-to-day problems and these in fact act as a time of therapy for someone who is so burdened with worldly stress and tension. The road to being a bookaholic, though it may look daunting, is in fact the easiest and best way to attain clarity when your mind is otherwise clogged with unwanted worries or frustration.

No matter what anyone may tease or nag a bookaholic about, there has only been an upward spiral of learning and enlightenment that has always accompanied reading a book. And if someone has a bone of contention to pick with it, then they would have an entire army of bookaholics to answer to…all armed with a book of their choice, bookmarked to their winning point!

 


Last week the author of the Horrible History series, Terry Deary, copped a lot of flak for saying that libraries have been around too long and are no longer relevant. The general consensus of opinion was that Mr Deary is a money-hungry male appendage, but there was one part of his message that is undeniably true; the world has changed, and dramatically so, since libraries were first conceived.

Curse those vile Victorians!

Deary says that “this is not the Victorian age, when we wanted to allow the impoverished access to literature. We pay for compulsory schooling to do that.” That’s not the only thing that’s different now; the Internet has largely rendered the need for reference books obsolete, and of course there is the proliferation of ebooks to muddy the waters for readers, publishers, authors and libraries alike (do not get me started on comparing and contrasting ebooks and paperbacks when it comes to copyright, digital rights, lending rights…mainly because it hurts my head just to think about it).

That doesn’t mean that we need to close library doors, fire all the librarians and sell off all the books. (It’s possible that the profession of librarian may go the way of the blacksmith and the coach maker, although I imagine it will be more akin to the farrier’s trade; there will still be a need for a few of them, but nowhere near as many as before.) I spoke with a local librarian last year who wryly noted that if it wasn’t for their free computer and Internet access, the place would be empty. So it’s not just about literature. There is and will probably always be a need for compassionate and progressive societies to provide free access to information, particularly for those citizens who cannot afford their own computers and/or internet connection.

Our municipal council administers three libraries plus a mobile lending service. Activities and services provided at these libraries have included a toy library, computer lessons, feng shui demonstrations, Meet Local Authors sessions, a chess club, preschool story time, a regular computer gaming/social club for teenagers and a visit from a mobile reptile zoo. A recent news article reported that a Scottish library attracted record numbers to their annual Love Your Library Day by hosting pole dancing classes. When I first read this, my initial reaction was, “What the…?!?” but upon further reflection, I realized that they have the right idea. Deary says that “we have to look at what place [libraries] have in the 21st century”.  And that place is right at the centre of local communities, where they can provide much-needed services, function as social and cultural hubs, and maybe even (God forbid!) entertain people. Libraries need no longer be solely, or even mainly, about books.

The same library that gave lessons in pole dancing invited visitors to play “booky table tennis”, using old books for paddles and nets. I wonder if any of the books used were Horrible Histories…


Paul D. Dail, one of my “Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies” ToC bedfellows, has given me a Liebster Blog Award.

And what, you might ask, is a Liebster Award? Initial Google inquiries seem to suggest that it shares characteristics with an urban myth; nobody seems to be entirely sure where or how it started, and the rules of the award appear to have evolved over time. I’m going to enter into the apparent spirit of the awards by modifying them just a little bit to suit me, but if you want to see Paul’s rules, go visit his blog (he’s a very hospitable host).

These are the rules I’m going with  –

– Paste the award picture on the blog.

– provide 11 random facts about me and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me (obviously notifying said person about this post).

– Nominate some more people to answer the same questions.

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I’m left-handed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a disproportionately high number of writers are left-handed.

2. I love anchovies.By Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3. I am a direct descendent of  Chief Kamariera Te Hau Takiri Wharepapa.

4. My second child is named after St. Alia of the Knife from the novel “Dune”.

5. When I was pregnant with my first child, I worked for a community of Catholic friars, running their retreat centre. Some visitors mistook me for a Sister in mufti – until I stood up from behind my desk…

6. I am the oldest of seven assorted full and half siblings.

7. I have a theory that one of the secret ingredients in KFC is catnip.

8. My IQ according to the free online test I did just now is 125. My greatest strength was (not surprisingly) Verbal. Tomorrow, with another test…it’s anybody’s guess.

9. My story in “Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies” was inspired by my aunt who died of cancer.

10. The first story I ever sold for publication, “Metal Mouth”, was inspired by her sons.

11. The smell of fresh earthworks makes me nostalgic.

And the answer to Paul’s 11 questions are –

1) Before now, had you ever heard of the Liebster Award?

Nope.

2) Before now, had you ever heard of me?

Yep.

3) How long have you been blogging?

Since September 2010.

4) What is the primary purpose of your blog?

I’d been told – many, many times – that writers Must Have A Blog for promotional purposes. And oh, because the fans demand it, daaahling! The shameless self-promotion angle is still there, but I’ve found that I get more satisfaction out of using my blog to promote other people.

5) Where do your blogging ideas come from?

Random stuff that happens in my life, mostly.

6) Do you blog according to a schedule or is it more random?

I aim for two posts a week. Some weeks I win, some weeks I lose.

7) If you have a day job, what is it? If not, just say something interesting.

I work part time as a teacher aide. I discovered this calling (and it does feel like a calling) by accident; I was volunteering so much at my kids’ school that they finally gave in and decided to pay me. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a disproportionately high number of writers also work, or have worked, in education. Anyone want to propose a theory why that is?

8) Which search engine is set as default on your browser?

What – you mean I have a choice besides Google?

9) Did you have to check your browser before answering #8?

Fractured_Spirits_eBook_uploadNope.

10) What is the title of the last book you read?

Fractured Spirits: Hauntings in the Peoria State Hospital. Quite timely, as I’m off on a horror writers’ weekend retreat in an abandoned mental hospital in a couple of weeks’ time.

11) Have you ever met a famous person?

Define famous…some of the cast and crew of the 1993 movie “The Piano” stayed at the hotel at which I worked when they were filming, so I got to wait on Sam Neill and Holly Hunter.

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My chosen recipients of the Liebster Award have been selected kinda sorta at random from the list of blogs I follow. Some are old friends, some are new-ish discoveries. And they are –

Noor A Jahangir a.k.a. The Troll King

The Bookworm’s Fancy

A.J. Ponder

The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog

S.L. Schmitz

Werzombies Press