May 28, 2012

Continued Adventures in Reading

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have yet to get in the habit of regular blogging. Damn my leg!

To date I’ve read Treasure Island, A Princess of Mars, Warlord of Mars, The Gods of Mars, The Hobbit, The First Men in the Moon, Hunger Games, and Ender’s Game. Not bad for someone who went so long without reading a single book.

During the reading of these books I’ve noticed several things about myself:

  • It takes a lot of effort to get myself to begin another book. I want to read something fun, but I’m finding it challenging to identify a book that I may enjoy without having a plot line or idea spoiled by a recommendation. The less I know the more surprised I will be and the more I’ll enjoy the book.
  • I prefer to see movies based on books before I read the book. Most would disagree with me here, but those who know me know that I don’t watch movies I’ve already seen. When watching movies I tune everything out around me and get fully immersed into the story. When I know what is going on, I am critiquing the film, distracted, and generally bored.
  •  Given the previous two points I would have thought it would be difficult for me to read a book that I already knew the story of. But when I read the Hobbit and The Hunger Games after seeing the movie versions, I found that it was fun to see how the author originally presented the story and how Hollywood decided to present it in film. For me these books were still exciting and fun to read.
  • I’m clearly drawn to adventure books.
  • Reading inspires me to be creative and at the same time depresses me. Movies can do this to me as well, but on a much smaller level because they generally last several hours and by the next day I’ve forgotten about it. Books on the other hand last weeks, so I find myself having more time thinking about the story and the parallels with my life and current events.

I’ll go into greater detail on some of these points in separate posts.

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March 30, 2012

Picking My First Read

… the continued adventures of The Year I Started to Read Books.

So after my long hiatus from reading, I needed to find something to read. What to choose? Do I go with something current, classic, or unknown?  Given I have read so little my options were practically endless. Imagine walking into a bookstore and not having read a single book found in the store. Where do you start?

Being really cheap and not totally sure that I would be able to read on my Android phone, I began browsing the free ebook selection. Next I needed to decide what type of book. I already knew I wanted to read fiction, but did I want a story that took place in space? Some far away fantasy world? Vampires, ninjas, pirates? I didn’t know.

While all of the books are virtually unknown to me, I have heard friends talk about some of them, and I’ve seen many film adaptations. Note: There will be a future post about my first experience with having a beloved book get converted to a movie. While film adaptations are not the same as the book, I felt that I needed to find a story I knew nothing about and had no preconceived notions of. This quickly started to limit my options.

In reality the selection process didn’t take that long. It’s only in hindsight that I fully understand what drew me to choose Treasure Island. I knew it had pirates, a character named Long John Silver, and did I mention pirates? So this was the perfect book–a fresh story to re-energize my mind.

Next: I will discuss what it was like to read a book after my long hiatus, along with a really short review.

 

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