TGIF: The Reading Blues

graphic courtesy of GReads

TGIF at GReads is a feature for recapping the week’s posts and answering a book-blogging question posed by Ginger.  I try to join in from time to time when I have some interesting thoughts on the question at hand.

This week the question is: Reading Blues: We all get them from time to time. What helps you overcome those reading slumps when nothing seems to grab your attention?

This question comes at a great time because I am (sort of) in the middle of reading slump.  I went on a library hold request spree a month or so ago and as the holds pour in, I find myself not wanting to read books that I know I would actually like… if I was in the mood for them.  You see, I didn’t believe it was possible to wear myself out on dystopia or other sorts of action-y or sci-fi books.  But I think I might have overdone it.  Because all I want to do these days is watch baseball.  Or go to the gym.  Or clean.  I know, I might be losing it.

So what do I do?  Well, I didn’t finish one book, returned another to the library without reading, and put another library book down in favor of watching baseball and reading a romance novel (On the Island) I bought last month, but hadn’t read.  Then I went to the library and picked up another adult romance (Attachments) which I’m nearly halfway through.  I guess a change of genre was all I really needed to get me back to the books!

I also want to address how blogging has played into my reading slump, though.  Before I started blogging, I probably would have let my interests wander and would have happily taken advantage of my increased interest in exercising and scrubbing the bathtub.  Maybe I would have taken the opportunity to reread Harry Potter or even just taken a break from reading for a few weeks.  Now that I blog, though, I want to keep putting out reviews, which means I need to be pretty much constantly engaged in a book or two.  I am perfectly happy to read more (that was one of my goals in starting this blog), but another of my goals in starting a book blog was to read better.  That is, to be happier with what I read and to read more things that I actually like.  So I am giving myself to permission to read what I like, consequences be damned!  Hopefully that, in and of itself, will keep me out of another reading slump.

What do you do when you hit a reading slump?  Has blogging played into how you handle them?

And here are my previous posts of the week, should you be interested:

My review of Starters

My review of On the Island

My Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Characters

TGIF: Musical Stories

graphic courtesy of GReads

TGIF at GReads is a feature for recapping the week’s posts and answering a book-blogging question posed by Ginger.  I plan on joining in from time to time when I have some interesting thoughts on the question at hand.

This week the question is: Musical Stories: If you could read a book about any song, which song would you love to see written down in story form?

My favorite band ever is The Beatles.  When my husband and I first started dating I knew he was a keeper because we stayed up all night listening to Beatles music and talking.  Naturally, my pick for this is a Beatles song, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.”

As you can tell, this is sort of an ominous, psychedelic circus song, which according to wikipedia was based on an antique circus poster John Lennon found.  I know there are a lot of circus books out there (and I haven’t read any, oops), but I don’t know if there are any psychedelic circus books out there.  I would like this book to be similar to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in that it should be trippy and creepy, yet lucid enough to make sense.  I think it would be interesting to have the story told from a similar viewpoint as the song– that of an advertisement for the circus.  Honestly, I am not sure how you would pull that off, but someone far more creative than myself will write this book and they will figure it out.  I think that describing the characters from an advertising standpoint would be pretty interesting, as people in a circus are both wanted and hated for their oddities and unusual talents.  We’d never get a real look at the characters, but that could make an interesting statement on mediated identities.  I also think it would be appropriate to include illustrations or photographs in this book.  The creepier, the better.  The illustrations could further hammer home the idea of mediated identities and bodies as a form of entertainment.  Overall, I think it is important to maintain the slightly dark and ominous tone that that the song has and that might be accomplished by examining how the circus appeals to some darker human impulses.  Really, I think the circus gives you a lot to work with and a psychedelic circus would be pretty cool.

Which song would you want to see turned into a book?

And here are my previous posts of the week, should you be interested:

My review of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

My review of After the Snow

My Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Fooled Me

TGIF: Bookish Trends

graphic courtesy of GReads

TGIF at GReads is a feature for recapping the week’s posts and answering a book-blogging question posed by Ginger.  I plan on joining in from time to time when I have some interesting thoughts on the question at hand.

This week the question is: What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you’d like to see more of?

I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified for identifying trends as I am usually the person who is totally behind the trend, but one thing I am finding interesting is the move to digital forms of reading.  E-readers and tablets are popping up everywhere, becoming more affordable and practical.  Sales of tablets are predicted to surpass the sales of laptops by the year 2015 (according to a study by Forrester and repeated all over the place).  That prediction surprised me, especially when I thought about what it meant for reading.  It wasn’t that long ago I remember hearing a story on NPR about how electronic books would never replace paper ones because of the consumer’s resistance to change.

I, for one, do not own a tablet or an e-reader.  I looked at them about a year ago, thinking I would like to have instant access to whatever I wanted to read.  But the cost of ebooks is often ridiculous (It’s only a computer file!  I know, I know, I pay lots of money for computer files like Windows 7, but I have trouble making the two seem equivalent in my mind).  I also decided that it made more sense for where I was financially to make greater use of my public library.  I feel a little left out in the blogging world because it seems I am the only person who doesn’t have one of these gadgets, but I still don’t think that an e-reader is right for me right now.  I’d probably drop it in a bathtub or something.

That being said, I am generally positive about the spread of digital means of reading.  I like the idea of instant access to what you want to read, that you can have a library that uses hard drive space and not physical space or paper, and that there is increased access to a wider array of reading material, especially for those without the benefits of a huge library system.  I am also in favor of a medium which allows for an increase in the diversity of material produced though means such as self-publishing.  I don’t really have an opinion on the quality of self-published things, since I’ve never read any (and probably won’t due to the lack of e-reader), but I like at least the idea that electronic publishing is less elitist and gives opportunities for people to be heard who might not otherwise be.

I have also read that e-readers are changing what people read in public because it is far easier to hide an embarrassing cover.  There are also reports claiming e-readers actually increase the number of readers out there.  I think it is interesting to consider how a different medium for reading changes how or what we read and who reads and am curious to see how things continue to change in the future.

Are you a fan of your e-reader?  Have your reading habits changed as a result?

Feel free to leave me your TGIF links so I can check out the bookish trends you identified!

As for my highlighted posts for the week:

My Top Ten Tuesday– Spring TBR

My review of Clockwork Angel

A discussion on violence in dystopian novels