Bookish News: A New Virtual Library and California Bookstore Day

bookishnews.jpg

Bookish News is a feature in which I scour the farthest corners in the virtual land known as the internet in hopes of learning what’s happening in the book world.

A New Virtual Library

Getty Publications has established a new virtual library! This virtual library will provide FREE online access to over 250 backlist titles, of which you can read either online or download as a PDF file. It’s an educational library, so you won’t find Twilight among it’s catalogue, but its an excellent resource for people everywhere.

We’ll see published works that are both in print and out of print (another awesome feature) from the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Research Institute.

My favorite part of this is the book profiles will include links that direct users to print editions in their local libraries. That’s perfect for someone like me who loves the feel of a book in my hands.

“Creating the Virtual Library comes out of the Getty’s conviction that an appreciation of the arts is crucial to a vital and civil society. We are committed to sharing our educational resources as part of our mission to promote knowledge and understanding of the visual arts in all their dimensions, and we are delighted to give these important works of research and scholarship a presence in the digital sphere.”

I love that! So many people nowadays hide away their research, ready to sell it to the highest bidder, when we should share everything we learn with each other. That’s the way we move forward in the world and this new virtual library is a one giant foot, taking the leading step.

(Source)

California Bookstore Day

The first ever California Bookstore Day will take place on May 3rd of this year. It involves a wide spread group of indie book stores all over California. The day involves literary inspired items that you can find NO WHERE ELSE to be sold in these bookstores for one day. Items include: Recipes From Michael Pollan’s Kitchen, a literary map of California (something I very much want), a bound gift edition short story by Neil Gaiman based on Sleeping Beauty (also something I very much want), and a tote bag illustrated with the entire text of Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

The idea is to bring people in with these fantastic items so that they will also buy other things available in the store, supporting local bookstores everywhere. It’s a wonderful idea and they have many authors teamed up to help make it a reality. One of which I am most excited for is Lemony Snicket. His childhood series will always remain a favorite of mine.

So on May 3rd celebrate California Bookstore Day by stopping by your local bookstore and purchasing an item that can’t be found elsewhere. (While you’re at it, buy me one too).

(Source)

What do you think about the virtual library? Will you celebrate California Bookstore Day? Do you have any bookish news to tell? Share below and happy reading!

Favorite Books I Had to Read for School

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Books I had to Read for School

I love reading, I do. I really, really, do. But for some reason, at school when a teacher puts a book in front of me and says “YOU MUST READ THIS” the reader inside of me vanishes and instead the rebellious hoodlum takes precedent and silently declares war with the teacher.

I hardly read any of the assigned novels in school and I’m not proud of it. But I can’t change the past, I just have to move on and try to do better.

However, there were a few novels assigned that I couldn’t help but read and be taken in by its spell. Its these novels I will talk about today.

east of edenEast of Eden by John Steinbeck

I was completely taken by surprise with this novel. The summer before my sophomore year in high school I was assigned Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and hating summer school work on principal I in turn hated that novel. So in class during my senior year, when Ms. Potter assigned East of Eden I silently groaned and felt the rebellious hoodlum rising within me. I felt that Steinbeck was stalking me. He knew I didn’t read his previous novel and he was back for revenge. Game on Steinbeck.

I was determined to just skim through the book but when Ms. Potter actually dedicated a class period to reading the first few chapters, I had no choice in the matter. There I was practically shouting at the novel in my head as I read it when I found myself starting to read with earnest, starting to digest what I read and actually cursing the bell that meant class was over. This novel was actually okay, more than okay, it was fascinating. I read the whole novel quickly after that and found that Steinbeck had won the battle, but I didn’t care. East of Eden remains one of my favorite classics to this day.

thekiterunnerThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Another novel assigned by the brilliant Ms. Potter. I’d heard great things about this novel and I knew it was probably a good one, but still the stubbornness in me wouldn’t allow myself to be excited. As soon as the words “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS” were uttered Khaled Hosseini was dead to me. I stared at that book for a long time, trying to convey what an inconvenience it was to me. This time it was my mother that convinced me as only a mother can (you all know the look and tone of voice). She had read the book and said it was a novel that I absolutely needed to read, not skim.

Since I live with my mother, I didn’t really have any other choice but to comply. Of course, this novel engaged me. Anybody that has read it I doubt can say otherwise. It’s a compelling story and utterly heart wrenching. It really is a book that everyone should read at least once in their lives.

thegreatgatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book was assigned for our final exam, which meant that it only earned double negative points from me. We were to have the book read and then come in and answer the discussion questions. Being the natural born procrastinator that I am, I did not even open the cover of the book until the day before the exam and I really had not planned on reading the book at all, but just do the basic skimming. I ended up finishing that whole novel in a matter of hours (it’s a short book).

I drunk the story in and loved what I tasted. My heart went with Gatsby as soon as he was introduced and stayed with him until the very end. The next day I went to class and I nailed that exam. It actually amazed me that I had so much to say about such a short story, but that’s just proof of Fitzgerald’s skill. Well done Fitzgerald, and well done Ms. Potter, you got me again.

There you go, the three books that I actually read cover to cover in high school. Sure, there a few more out there but none that resonated with me such as these three. Here’s a lesson for you kids out there: read the books teachers assign to you, though it may seem like they are doing it just to be mean, they are doing it for a reason. Trust them.

Did you struggle with reading books assigned to you? What books did you love the most in high school? Share below and happy reading!

Dreaming Novel Things: My Book Borrowing Policy

dreamingnovelthingsDreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinion and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!

It’s a known fact that bookworms consider their books to be very precious indeed and I am no different. When someone asks to borrow one of my books one part me feels excited at the thought of being able to talk about the book with a person but then another part of me looks at my book and wonders if I’ll ever see it again. And if I do, will it be in the same condition? Will they love Pride and Prejudice like I did? Will they turn on a night-light so that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe can get through the night? Will they watch reruns of The Mindy Project with To Kill a Mockingbird?

So I drew up an official policy for borrowing my books, with a signature at the bottom verifying that you have read the terms and agree to comply and also agree that if said book gets lost or comes into any physical or emotion harm, the manufacturer of this contract can choose a punishment from The Should Be Punishments of Misusing Books to her liking. Read below to see the contents of that policy.

Official Book Borrowing Policy

Drawn up by Miss. Lindsey on the day of the 23rd of January in the year of 2014 at nine in the morning.

This is an official contract that can be held up in a court of law, Oz, Wonderland, Narnia, Never Land, Middle Earth and the Ministry of Magic.

Miss. Lindsey asks that you take no notice of the chocolate smudges on this contract, business always gives her an appetite.

Article  I

First submit a form outlining in TYPED wording the following: The title of the book you want to borrow; the author of the same book; the date of when you want to borrow that book; the date of when you plan to return that book; your interest in reading this book; and where will this book reside in your residence.

Turn in this form no later than two weeks before desired date of borrowing book. Seal form in a standard envelope made out to: Miss. Lindsey S., Berkshire Lane, First Bedroom on the Left. It should be delivered by owl.

When Miss. Lindsey receives your form she will take exactly one week to deny or approve the request. DO NOT do any of the following during that time: ask if she’s made a decision; ask her what’s taking so long; bribe her with candy.

If your request is denied, you can resubmit another form after 90 days. After the third time, your request will no longer be considered. At that time, it would be wise to move on.

If your request is approved then you move on to a second phase. Note that gaining an approval after the first phase does not guarantee you approval for the second phase.

Article II

Miss. Lindsey will send you an inquiry form (note they are not standardized and questions change often) that you are to fill out and send back. Some questions on this form may include but are not limited too: What is your favorite book?; Favorite Author?; Have you ever lost a book?; What are your eating and drinking habits? Medical History? Would you cuddle with a book to pick up its gloomy mood? Did you laugh at the previous question? No, seriously, did you laugh at the previous question?

Once you have completed the inquiry form and have sent it back allow one week for review. You will receive either an approval or denial at the end of that week. If your request is denied, it was probably for a good reason. If your request was approved, then you should feel honored. You will be asked to attend the Solemn Book Oath at a location and time of Lindsey’s choosing. Do not be late.

Article III

Once you have been given an exact location and time to meet for the Solemn Book Oath and assuming you have arrived on time the ceremony shall begin.

You will see Miss. Lindsey at the location, but you are NOT to go up to her, NOT to speak to her and NOT to motion to her in any way. Miss. Lindsey S. has brought you here for a reason. She has found a book either abandoned or misused in this very location and the oath will not begin until you remedy the situation for the book. Correctly.

If you don’t, Miss. Lindsey S. will shake her head ever so slightly and you must turn around and start the whole process from the beginning. You are expected not to complain.

If you do pass the little test then Miss. Lindsey S. will nod her head vigorously and the both of you will then go to the back of the building where there are no prying eyes. If you don’t believe there will be prying eyes then you automatically failed. That’s right.

Once the two of you are alone, Miss. Lindsey S. will pull out the precious item that you have requested. You will place your right hand over the item and recite the following oath:

 I, [Insert Name Here]

Solemnly Swear (YOU MUST RESIST SAYING UP TO NO GOOD EVEN THOUGH YOUR BRAIN DEMANDS IT)

To not only take care of this book as if it was mine

But to take care of it as if it was Miss. Lindsey’s

Which it is

I, [Insert Name Here]

Solemnly Swear

To cherish this novel, to not dog ear this novel and not eat anywhere this novel

This novel will not come within five inches of any liquid

And shall have the best place to reside that my home has to offer,

Even if it means giving up my bed

I, [Insert Name Here]

Solemnly Swear

To return this novel at the exact day I promised

At the exact time I promised

In the exact condition that was given to me

On oath of Dumbledore, Gandalf, and Aslan

I Solemnly Swear

You are expected to have that oath memorized and repeat it verbatim. A mistake in the wording will earn you an automatic fail.

After the oath is conducted correctly, Miss. Lindsey S. will hand over the book. Please excuse the reluctance in her eyes.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You have officially borrowed a book from Miss. Lindsey S. Enjoy it, soak it in and God help you if any harm befalls it.

Signing this document means that I have read and agree to the laid out terms and realize that by not complying can earn me a punishment at the manufacturer’s choosing.

___________________________________

Your Signature

___________

Date

New Rating System

Hello everyone, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

Well I’m glad to say that I finally have some spare time again which means regular blog posts from here on out. I wanted to make a change though. I decided my rating system needed to be a bit more personalized. So with that let me introduce the new and improved (and fun) system.

KIT KAT BARS!

Give me a break! Give me a break! Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar!

What better way to rate books than with the delicious chocolate covered wafers? One Kit Kat bar means I highly don’t recommend this novel and four Kit Kat bars means I highly do recommend this novel. Now to determine how much Kit Kat bars a book earns I use my handy candy wrapper now converted into the Ultimate Book Wrapper.

BeFunkynewsystem.jpg

When rating a novel I look at three elements: characters, story and writing. For characters I assign separate scores for the main characters and the side characters and then take the average of that score for my overall characters score. So referring to the picture above my main characters score was 20 and my side characters score was 30. The average of those two score would be 25, which is now my overall characters score.

The number assigned to themes and symbols simply means how many I found. According to the picture for our example book, I found 3 themes and five symbols.

Now as for the Kit Kat bars or KK, one Kit Kat bar is equal to ten. So:

o-n-e.jpg

1 Kit Kat=10

t-w-o.jpg

2 Kit Kats=20

t-h-r-e-e.jpg

3 Kit Kats=30

four

4 Kit Kats=40

Once again referring to the picture above we look at the overall characters score, writing score and story score to determine the KK scores. Therefore:

the KK for overall characters would be 2.5

the KK for story would be 2

and the KK for writing would 4

Taking the average of those scores we get our official rating, which is 2.83, rounding up, that means 3 Kit Kat Bars.

 1 Kit Kat Bar= 1.0-1.4

1 and a half Kit Kat Bars=1.5-1.7

2 Kit Kat Bars= 1.8-2.4

2 and a half Kit Kat Bars= 2.5-2.7

3 Kit Kat Bars= 2.8-3.4

3 and a half Kit Kat Bars= 3.5-3.7

4 Kit Kat Bars= 3.8-4.0

I think this system will make my ratings much more accurate and quite frankly more fun.

robot candy

The author of this article would like her readers to know that many kit kat bars were harmed during this process. Many.

What do you think of the new rating system? How do you rate books? Share below and happy reading!

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist WednesdayIn the famous words of Snow White, “I’m wishing (I’m wishing) for the one I love, to find me (to find me) today.” In this case (actually in most cases) the one that I love is a book.

I came about Wishlist Wednesday hosted by the ever so lovely Pen to Paper. (Please check out their blog, it’s awesome).

Wishlist Wednesday is a meme that allows you to turn the spotlight on a few books that have been sitting on your get-to-eventually list for a while. Books that you dream of claiming their rightful spots on your bookshelf.

This week while browsing Goodreads I stumbled upon Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.

planet of the apes

 

 

A skeptical non-human couple retrieve a bottle in space with a strange story. In the not-too-distant future, three men rocket to an Earth-like planet with temperate lush forests. But here humans are savages who destroy their shuttle; apes their civilized masters who kill one, capture the narrator.

 

 

 

I mean, come on, who could resist? I’ve only ever seen the original movie but I loved it and had no idea it was a novel until recently. I’m always looking to expand my experience in science fiction as I don’t seem to initially go for that genre, so this seems like a perfect option.

I love the underlying messages that play out in the movie. The way humans justify committing atrocities and our fear of the unknown. Our hypocrisy is made crystal clear during the famous court scene where the apes recite almost verbatim passages from their bible that dictates man below ape.

And that ending scene, where our protagonist discovers the devastating truth! That has to be one of the most memorable film moments ever captured. I’m hoping the book that inspired the film lives up to my expectations, I have read reviews that the writing is a bit clunky but that doesn’t scare me.

Have you ever read this novel? What did you think? What are you wishing for this Wednesday? Comment below and happy reading!